French club FC Sochaux are fighting for their lives in Ligue 1 at the moment, so the last thing that Coach Herve Renard would want is anything to distract his key players. Step forward The Mirror and their story linking centre-forward Cedric Bakambu with a €4m move to Crystal Palace.
If Sochaux fail to win their fight for survival then there could be a number of players leaving the Stade Auguste Bonal for a discount price.
Here are five facts about Sochaux striker Cedric Bakambu:
1: 19-year-old Bakambu was part of the France U19 side that won the 2010 Under-19 European Championships that were held in France. The striker burst onto the scene scoring three goals, including the winner in the 2-1 semi-final against Croatia.
2: Now aged 23 years old, the centre-forward is enjoying his fourth season in the FC Sochaux first-team. He made his debut aged 19 after helping their youth team to the final of the famous Coupe Gambardella. Sochaux lost the youth cup final 4-3 on penalties after Bakambu had put his side 1-0 up after 39 minutes. He also scored his penalty in the shoot-out, but they had already missed their first two attempts.
3: After making his way through the various French youth teams, Bakambu’s international career has stalled, linking him with a move to play for the Democratic Republic of Congo. His parents were born in the African country and they have tried on numerous occasions to recruit him. Three years have passed since he played for France Under-20s. It may not be too long until he gives up on his dream of wearing Les Bleus on the international stage.
4: Bakambu was heavily linked with a move away from les Lionceaux during the winter transfer window. French clubs Rennes and Bordeaux made enquires as well as Watford and Newcastle United, but after starting the season fairly well, the striker decided to stay on until the end of the season. He will now be a crucial part of the attack that attempts to close the two point gap from Guingamp at the bottom of the table.
5: This was all set to be Bakambu’s most prolific season in Ligue 1. After finishing with eight league goals last season, he went into the winter break with six goals this season, but the transfer rumours seem to have affected him. Only finding the net once in 2014, he hasn’t scored in the past five games. His quickness and eagerness in front of goal will have to return to their best if he wants to attract a big club, and keep Sochaux in Ligue 1.