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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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OM say wages prevent move for Drogba

Olympique Marseille have given up on Didier Drogba returning to them, describing the Chelsea striker as "inaccessible". Chelsea paid OM £24m for his services in 2004 after Drogba had earned the French player-of-the-year award. With recent performances and statements showing signs that he is unsettled at Stamford Bridge, La Provence newspaper reported on Tuesday Marseille were considering an audacious bid to bring the 30-year-old back to the club.

But sporting director Jose Anigo scotched the transfer talk to French radio station RMC: "The problem with Didier is that even if he wanted to come to Marseille, there is a financial problem.

"For a French club, he represents 12million euros per year. He is inaccessible to all French clubs."

Anigo also revealed a loan deal taking defender Gael Givet to Blackburn was "being finalised".

And on the day the club reached agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk to sign Brazilian striker Brandao, Anigo revealed there could be more players loaned out, including young attackers Elliot Grandin and Mamadou Samassa.

"Maybe we will lend Grandin," he said. "About Samassa, we have to ask ourselves, because we must not stop young people being given playing time."

Anigo also moved to clear up speculation about the future of coach Eric Gerets, who has been linked with a move away from the club because of reported differences over transfer policy.

He said: "We do not want it, let that be clear: nobody at the club wishes him to depart.

"He has no problem at the club."

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