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Reported Newcastle United and West Ham target Gaetan Laborde is protected by an ‘expensive price-tag’, Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas told Get Football News France.

With a rather inconsistent strikeforce undermining Marseille’s hopes of a title charge, ‘AVB’ and co are in the market for a new number nine during the January transfer window.

And L’OM are one of many clubs interested in taking Laborde away from a Montpellier side who have been one of this season’s surprise packages under veteran boss Michel Der Zakarian.

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Skilful, versatile and capable of thriving in an old-school, two-man frontline, Laborde has produced 11 goals and assists in 17 Ligue 1 matches in 2020/21.

L’Equipe believes those displays have caught the eye of Newcastle and West Ham; both of whom were apparently willing to pay £11 million for the striker’s services.

But Villas-Boas’s comments feel like something of a warning to Laborde’s many suitors. Clearly, Montpellier will not be entertaining any low-ball bids this month.

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“Obviously, he scores a lot of goals. He is enjoying an excellent moment,” said former Tottenham and Chelsea boss Villas-Boas.

“He is a player with an expensive price-tag.”

Laborde’s agent, Christophe Hutteau, suggested recently that a January departure is unlikely, with the striker keen to stay at a Montpellier outfit chasing a Champions League place (Explica).

But, with most Ligue 1 clubs embroiled in a dire financial situation, no one is unsellable right now.

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