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Galtier hopeful of St-Etienne stay

Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier has suggested he will remain at the club next season and is hopeful of keeping both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Stephane Ruffier with him.

Galtier, 46, sees a three-year extension he signed in 2011 expire at the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Having taken the club from relegation candidates when he took over from Alain Perrin in December 2009 to potential Champions League material and Coupe de la Ligue winners in the current campaign, Galtier has a strong hand to play at the negotiating table when he meets club officials to discuss his future next week.

"We'll see where we stand, and what the objectives are that the club set. I feel very good at Saint-Etienne. The team is improving season-upon-season and so am I," Galtier, whose sixth-placed side are four points off third but just a point adrift of fourth, told RMC.

"We have a European competition to play. I hope we can build a competitive team and the first thing to do will be to keep our good players. But there will automatically be someone leaving."

Goalkeeper Ruffier, 26, who has been linked to a switch back to former club Monaco, and leading scorer Aubameyang, 23, are the most highly-coveted assets in Les Verts' squad. However, Galtier is not resigned to the fact the duo will not still be at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard come next season.

"He's under contract. He has been given permission to leave, but there is a value attached for that permission to be granted. If I can keep him, then of course I would like to," Galtier said of Aubameyang, who has scored 19 league goals this season, before turning to the subject of Ruffier. "I dare to hope he'll stay. Stephane is fully committed to the project. He wished, like everyone else, to play in Europe. He will, and I hope to keep him."

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