Marseille Set to Battle Liverpool for Summer Recruits

Christopher AlmerasCorrespondent IIApril 10, 2013

Marseille is in dire need for reinforcements to challenge PSG next season.
Marseille is in dire need for reinforcements to challenge PSG next season.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Marseille set themselves down the path of financial overhaul this past season in an effort to gain more flexibility in rebuilding the squad. With the wage bill trimmed and an injection of funds through the transfers of Loic Remy, Stephane Mbia and Cesar Azpilicueta among others, Marseille are looking to be active buyers this summer.

If reports regarding some of their interests prove true, Marseille could be looking at going toe-to-toe with Liverpool for some of their targets. Sporting Lisbon's Diego Capel is one of the rumored targets of both clubs (via Daily Mirror, h/t SportsNews Ireland).

Capel would bring a creative influence to Marseille, as the winger would improve the team's ability to attack down the left flank. This could help create opportunities through crosses or open space for Andre-Pierre Gignac.

Another player both teams are linked with is Ryad Boudebouz of Sochaux (via The attacking midfielder is an Algerian international, and at 23 years old is heading into his best years. Playing primarily on the right wing, Boudebouz is a talented playmaker.

A capture of Boudebouz and Capel would be economical additions that could provide a big impact. Both players are versatile enough to play in the midfield or on the wings of the attack in Elie Baup's preferred 4-3-3.

The interest in these two playmakers shows that Marseille's management is looking to upgrade the ability to create chances. Marseille has excellent ability up top in Gignac, and Andre and Jordan Ayew. Finding more consistency in the link-up play going from the defensive to the attack will be required to continue moving this squad forward.

An injection of talent in a handful of positions is going to be necessary to try and keep touch with rivals PSG in the Ligue 1 title race next year. Boudebouz and Capel are not the high-priced stars PSG will be looking to stock the shelves with, but they are the type of players who can hold their own against high-caliber competition. More importantly, they are players who create chances for teammates. With the finishers Marseille has on its current roster, that may be the biggest improvement needed.

If Marseille can finish the season strong and maintain a Champions League qualification spot, it will give them a potential advantage over Liverpool in recruiting these two players. The qualification will also help in funding summer reinforcements. For a team trying to compete for signatures with a legendary English club, Marseille will need every advantage it can get.