Goalkeeper announces interest in replacing £6m Arsenal target

Steve Mandanda

Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has admitted his interest in a move to Marseille - which could pave the way for Steve Mandanda's exit.

Ochoa, 28, was highly regarded with Club America in Mexico after bursting onto the scene as a 19-year-old, and his impressive displays caught the attention of many clubs in Europe, including Manchester United, but stayed in Mexico, making almost 250 appearances for Club America.

He did finally get his move to Europe in 2011 though, but not to where people expected. Courted by plenty of clubs, Ochoa took the perplexing decision to move to France with newly promoted Ajaccio, marking a huge coup for the Corsican outfit upon their return to Ligue 1.

Unsurprisingly, Ochoa has been outstanding in France, and his superb performances have attracted interest from elsewhere, but most predominantly from Marseille, and the Mexican international admitted that a move to the Stade Velodrome would be appealing to him, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

"Marseille is a big team. For my career, it would be important," Ochoa said. "I am ambitious and I want to move forward. We must wait and see what will happen. First, (Steve) Mandanda is still there (at Marseille), so now we must respect that. But if he leaves, I am interested."

Ochoa makes reference to current Marseille shot stopper Steve Mandanda, who has been the No. 1 goalkeeper at the club since his move from Le Havre in 2007. The 29-year-old has been a reliable goalkeeper for Marseille for a number of years, and as the French second choice behind Hugo Lloris, he has a strong reputation around Europe.

His great displays have reportedly caught the eye of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is no stranger to signing players from France. Mandanda is allegedly seen as the ideal competition for Polish stopper Wojciech Szczesny, with a £6m summer bid believed to be in the pipeline - which could be all the more likely if Ochoa makes the move to Marseille in his place.

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