As Ligue 1 sides jetted off to play friendlies across the globe, there was one notable absentee from Paris Saint Germain’s training camp in Morocco. In the aftermath of Stephane Sessegnon’s bust-up with coach Antoine Kombouare, the talented-yet-temperamental midfielder faces a lonely wait for his future to be resolved.
The issue with Sessegnon goes without question. He is inventive, tricky and has an acquired taste for the slide rule pass, yet his inability to keep peace often precedes his talent. His agent angled for a move away from Parc des Princes in the summer – which strained the relationship between player and Coach. A limited number of appearances deteriorated the situation before
Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in Sessegnon – who has made just four starts this season – but with the future of Gerard Houllier in the balance, any courting of transfer targets may be put on hold. Everton are reported long-term admirers of the Benin international, and with Steven Pienaar’s contract close to conclusion, David Moyes could provide Sessegnon an escape route out of Paris and safeguard his team against the loss of Pienaar’s flair.
Elsewhere, Marseille Coach Didier Deschamps has reassured fans of his loyalty to the club, despite a run of five games without a league win. Despite the disappointing form, OM sit fifth in the table and are just three points off the top.
He told L’Equipe: “When I talk of still being here to lead the team when the new stadium is completed in 2014, I mean it. That might seem like a long way away, but I want people to know that I am committed to the cause. I already proved that last summer, when I could have gone to Liverpool.”
And after letting Hatem Ben Arfa move to Newcastle United permanently Deschamps does not envisage any arrivals this month, adding: “What is going to be available? Someone who is not playing at his current club? At this time of year, quality reinforcements would come at an inflated price. We needed Rod Fanni but I don’t want to stockpile players. In any case the players we have bought previously are yet to perform at their very best.”
The winter break has allowed teams to cater to any knocks or niggles their players may have and prepare for the second half of the season. Whilst the league has another week before recommencing, the French Cup draws the curtain on the two-week hibernation in French football. Lille, Bordeaux and Marseille will be wary of Cup upsets, with PSG hosting Lens in the pick of the ties.