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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Brandao to have medical for Marseille move

Marseille have reached an agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk for the permanent transfer of their Brazilian striker Brandao.

The 26-year-old forward will be in Marseille "in the next few hours" to undergo a medical prior to signing his contract, according to www.om.net.

Brandao has been at Shakhtar since heading to Europe in 2002 and was the top scorer in the championship-winning team of 2006.

If all goes to plan this afternoon, the Sao Paolo-born frontman will ease coach Eric Gerets' worries up front with Mamadou Niang (foot) and Bakari Kone (knee ligament) sidelined.

The Mediterranean club switched their focus to Brandao after withdrawing their interest in Swedish veteran Henrik Larsson last week.

OM confirmed earlier this month that Larsson would not be heading to the Stade Velodrome after the 37-year-old deliberated for too long over their offer.

Brandao's arrival will no doubt delight Marseille president Pape Diouf, who on Sunday poured cold water on speculation that Gerets would leave the club if he is not able to sign his chief transfer targets in January.

It had been reported in sections of the French media that the Belgian wanted to quit OM and was on the look-out for a new club.

Gerets rubbished those claims after Saturday's 2-0 win at Auxerre, and Diouf did the same the following day.

"A departure of Eric Gerets would absolutely not be linked to unsuccessful recruitment,'' he said.

"There are three people at the club who decide our recruitment policy - Eric Gerets, (sporting director) Jose Anigo and Pape Diouf.

"When we have to take a decision on who comes and who goes, it is a combined decision which is taken after weighing up the pros and cons and all the elements.

"So, when I see that people, based in Paris, have put out information speculating on the departure or not of Eric Gerets, allow me to condemn this type of approach.''

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