Marcelo Bielsa is beginning to put his stamp onto the Marseille team this week. With players already coming in to strengthen the attack and midfield, now he is concentrating on the defence, with Manchester City’s young centre-back Karim Rekik a target say French newspaper L’Equipe.
The 19-year-old joined City from Dutch club Feyenoord back in 2011, but in those three years he has only made a handful of appearances for the Premier League champions and has been loaned out for the majority of his spell.
His Premier League debut came in the 1-0 win at home to Reading, but that was back in 2012, and now the defender is attracting attention from Bielsa due to his last loan spell at PSV Eindhoven.
This was Rekik’s big break, back in the country of his birth; he excelled at the Dutch giants. He made 25 appearances during the league campaign and played twice in the Europa League.
His performances were good enough to convince Louis van Gaal to give him a place in the Dutch squad for the friendly against France and he was part of Netherlands 30-man preliminary squad before the World Cup.
Rekik is in contract with Manchester City until 2016, but after a good season in Holland, the English club may be keen to cash in on the 19-year-old, if a decent offer was made for the defender.
There is not a lot of history of Dutch players excelling in France. Luigi Bruins was just released by Nice; Nacer Barazite failed to make his mark at Monaco, which leaves Gregory van der Wiel as they only real current Dutch player to have been successful in Ligue 1.
It would be a huge attraction for any young player to have the chance of being guided by Bielsa, and that is going to be a huge factor in Marseille’s recruitment drive this summer.
The Marseille defence was considerably weak last season and it is a position that definitely needs attention. Whether or not a young 19-year-old is the answer remains to be seen, but if anyone has the ability to unearth a gem, it’s their new Argentine coach.