Saunders facing Diouf fight
Dean Saunders is relying on El Hadji Diouf's 'good nature' to keep him at Doncaster and has responded to reports linking him with Stephane Dalmat.
Last Updated: 16/12/11 5:27pm
Dean Saunders is relying on El Hadji Diouf's 'good nature' to keep him at Doncaster and has responded to reports linking him with Rennes midfielder Stephane Dalmat.
Since inheriting the managerial reins at the Keepmoat Stadium, Saunders has been busy assembling a squad he hopes has the ability and experience to steer a course to Championship safety.
Among those drafted in is former Liverpool, Bolton and Blackburn forward Diouf.
The Senegalese winger penned a three-month contract upon his arrival in October, meaning that deal is only set to run until January.
Rovers are desperate to retain the services of a man who can boast considerable Premier League and international pedigree, but Saunders admits he has a battle on his hands - with the latest rumours suggesting Diouf is a target for ambitious Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.
"It's really difficult trying to keep Diouf," he told the club's official website.
"We're relying on his good nature to stay at the club.
"When you look at it, he's a 30-year-old who is such a good player that he should be in the Premier League.
"He's a player of real quality and I'm going to try everything I can to keep him here."
Meanwhile, Saunders is bracing himself for a busy January, with Doncaster expected to bolster their ranks even further when the transfer window re-opens.
Former Inter Milan and Tottenham midfielder Dalmat is said to be among those Rovers are keeping an eye on, and Saunders admits he is working his way through a lengthy list of targets.
"I haven't spoken to Dalmat but we've targeted a lot of players," he said.
"We get lots of 'nos' but some clubs and players say 'yes'."