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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 22 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 14, 2008

French starlet Gourcuff hints at Bordeaux stay

Yoann Gourcuff insists things will have to change at AC Milan if he is to return to the Serie A club at the end of the season.

The 22-year-old playmaker was farmed out on loan to Bordeaux for this season after failing to gain regular first-team action at the San Siro.

He has come into his own in his native France, starring for both Les Girondins and Les Bleus over the first three months of the campaign.

Under contract at Milan until 2012, he could sign for Bordeaux on a permanent basis if the Ligue 1 club take up the option of buying him for an agreed fee of 15 million euros.

And he would prefer to stay at the Stade Chaban-Delmas if the current regime at Milan under Carlo Ancelotti is still in place.

"I haven't turned the page as far as going back to Milan is concerned," he told French daily L'Equipe.

"I belong to them. I watch their matches, look at their results and their news. And I am happy about what is happening at Milan this season.

"But in my head, I am a Bordeaux player. We will see what happens at the end of the season but what is sure is that I will not go back there under the same conditions."

With players such as Ronaldinho and Kaka in their squad, Milan already have a number of attacking midfielders at their disposal so Gourcuff might be surplus to requirements.

However, the Frenchman has shown this season that he is a star of the future.

He has turned around the fortunes of his national team - and maybe saved Les Bleus coach Raymond Domenech from the sack - with memorable performances against Serbia and Romania in recent World Cup qualifiers and he has also shone for Bordeaux in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League.

Such is his poise, technique and the position he plays in, many are hailing him as the 'New Zidane' and he is certainly the nearest thing France have had to the former Real Madrid and Juventus star since he quit the game in 2006.

Gourcuff, though, wants to shake off that tag. "I am not the 'New Zidane'. I am Yoann Gourcuff - that's it," he said. "It was flattering the first time I heard that because Zidane was a unique and exceptional player.

"But it isn't right to make these comparisons. It puts too much pressure on. Everyone has their own style and everyone is different."

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