Back at the end of April, The Guardian linked Liverpool with a potential move for Olympique de Marseille’s Rod Fanni. It was a rumour that made virtually no sense at the time but, at 33 years old, Brendan Rodgers may have been looking for another experienced option in his defence.
Fanni is a former France international, making five appearances for Les Bleus, and has played over 330 games in Ligue 1, able to cover at both centre-back or at right-back. However, if Liverpool want to be considered Champions League contenders next season, it is a move they have to avoid making.
This week, the print edition of French newspaper Le Parisien has revealed that despite his relatively poor performances this season – see the blunder for FC Nantes’ winner at home – Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa is pushing for Fanni to be awarded a new contract at the Stade Velodrome.
He has played 26 games this season, scoring twice, but his performances have been far short of impressive. It seems the move is born slightly out of panic, due to the number of players Marseille could be losing this summer.
Andre-Pierre Gignac and Andre Ayew are, like Fanni, free agents this summer. Although Marseille can’t afford to offer the star duo new deals, they can afford to extend the defender’s terms. There is uncertainty over the future of fellow centre-back Nicolas N’Koulou, so to lose both would leave Bielsa extremely short in that position.
He may not be anywhere near good enough for Liverpool, but for Marseille he is still able to play a role next season.