Marseille are set to strengthen their bid for the Ligue 1 title with the signing of Algerian international midfielder Foued Kadir in the January transfer window.
According to L'Equipe, Kadir, 29, will undergo a medical at the Stade Velodrome on New Year's Day before putting pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal with the team he supported as a boy.
"We've started negotiations for Kadir, who we wanted to sign last summer," confirmed OM president Vincent Labrune in La Provence newspaper. "There's a good chance they'll come to fruition."
Kadir's contract with current club Valenciennes, for whom he has registered six goals and four assists in an excellent start to the campaign, expires next summer. OM will likely have to pay a nominal fee of some €500,000 for the creative midfielder, who may feature in next weekend's Coupe de France tie with Guingamp before heading to South Africa to play for his country in the African Nations Cup.
OM are also poised to add promising young goalkeeper Brice Samba to their squad as back-up to No. 1 Steve Mandanda. Dissatisfied with the performances of veteran Gennaro Bracigliano, OM hope to bring in Samba, 18, from Le Havre, the same club from which they picked up French international Mandanda five-and-a-half years ago.
"We're also going to take a No. 2 goalkeeper. There's a good chance it'll be Brice Samba from Le Havre, a very promising talent and one of the great hopes of French football in the position," Labrune said of the teenager, who has made just two Coupe de France appearances for the first-team.