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By ESPN Staff

Striker Cisse free to leave Marseille in January

MARSEILLE, December 13 (Ligue 1) - Marseille president Pape Diouf has left the door open for Djibril Cisse to leave the club in the January transfer window.

Cisse has struggled to nail down a first-team place at OM since moving there on a permanent basis from Liverpool in the summer, having impressed in a loan spell the previous season.

Mamadou Niang has been preferred in the lone-striker role, and Diouf admitted Cisse is unhappy with the situation he finds himself in.

'We kept him this year after the loan because we were counting on his goalscoring,' said Diouf.

'Unfortunately, at the moment he isn't always starting and he is not happy with the way things are going.

'Despite all that, he is not causing any problems and hasn't publicly flaunted his desire to leave.

'But we can understand that if the situation continues, he could be led to reconsider his options.

'We are on good relations based on loyalty and honesty. Therefore, if he takes the decision that he must quit the club, I would be the first to be informed and we would discuss it from there.'

Lens have been linked with a swoop for Cisse, who may want to move clubs to gain first-team action with the European Championships coming up next summer.

Diouf revealed that OM would be active in the transfer market in January, especially considering Niang and Modeste M'Bami should be leaving to take part in the African Nations Cup at the start of 2008.

Meanwhile, coach Eric Gerets could be without centre-backs Gael Givet and Julien Rodriguez for the remainder of the year.

Givet has been ruled out of action for three weeks with an ankle injury sustained in the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Rodriguez hurt his eye against the Reds but, unlike Givet, played on until the final whistle.

He is set to miss this weekend's Ligue 1 game against Bordeaux and could be touch-and-go for the clash with Le Mans on December 22.

Gerets admits he is still puzzled as to the reasons behind the poor performance of his side against Liverpool.

'I am still feeling frustrated,' said the Belgian.

'It has rarely happened, in my time as a coach, that the feeling has stayed so strongly in my head the following day after a match.

'I hope the game against Bordeaux will give us the chance to show people we know how to play football.'