PARIS: Manchester City have agreed a loan deal with Olympique Marseille for Belgium defender Daniel Van Buyten that would take French stopper David Sommeil in the opposite direction until the end of the season.
“I believe the deal to bring Daniel here will happen but there is a chance that it will not,” City manager Kevin Keegan told the English Premier League club's website on Friday.
“We have looked at him for quite a while, for two years in fact, as have other premier league clubs ... he is a good, strong defender who is good on the ball and has all the experience of international football.”
Van Buyten, who has 16 caps, flew into Manchester on Friday to talk over a move with Keegan while Sommeil went in the opposite direction to discuss personal terms with Marseille.
The French Ligue 1 club's chairman Christophe Bouchet told Friday's edition of the sports daily L'Equipe: “An exchange could make sense and could suit everybody”.
The clubs have until the transfer window closes at midnight on Saturday to complete the deal.
Marseille, who are sixth in France's top flight, 13 points behind leaders Monaco, hope to earn five million euros (US$6.20mil) from the deal and could use the money to sign a striker, said sources close to the club.
City confirmed they had agreed to pay an undisclosed fee to Marseille but British media reports said they had offered only one million pounds (US$1.81mil) plus Sommeil for Van Buyten.
Marseille's new coach Jose Anigo is not so keen on losing the 25-year-old. “If they decide to sell Daniel for financial reasons I shall have to go along with it, but I would prefer to keep him because he is a guy I like and a good player.” – Reuters