Mexes delays big-money move
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The young central defender, dubbed the 'new Laurent Blanc' in his homeland, is determined to stay in Le Championnat and resist the overtures from abroad.
As a key member of France's excellent Under-21 team, who comfortably won their group in the finals in Switzerland, and a genuine star of the future, Mexes should be able to pick and choose his club when he decides the time is right to quit Auxerre.
Olivier Joaunneaux, the player's agent, has revealed that United have sent four representatives to Switzerland to monitor Mexes, but there are many young jewels on show, and it is likely most major clubs have sent scouts to the tournament.
Roma remain very much in the frame for the 20-year-old, as they have been seeking to obtain a first option on his signature for some time. It does seems like both they and United must wait at least another 12 months before being able to bid for his services.
Yet some French sources claim Sir Alex Ferguson's shrewd, personal involvement in his attempts to land Mexes mean The Red Devils are set to fend off the Roman advances.
It is believed that Guy Roux and Ferguson can come to an agreement where the transfer is completed in a year's time.
The slightly romantic, although perfectly feasible, notion is that the defensive prodigy will replace Laurent Blanc at Old Trafford in 2003, and then take over his mantle in the international side, as Les Bleus have missed the former Internazionale star.