L'OM seeking striking options
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marseille are already looking at potential replacements for Didier Drogba as Chelsea's financial muscle looks set to deprive the Uefa Cup finalists of their exciting Ivory Coast icon.
The African attacker dazzled in Europe last season but had planned to spend at least another season on the South Coast of France.
L'OM were steadfast in their assertion that their top scorer was staying put, but have started putting the feelers out regarding possible recruits with several strikers appearing on their radar.
Marseille have rejected an initial é¼28 million (£18.5 million) bid from Stamford Bridge but a deal may be brokered at around é¼36 million.
"Finally, the offer was made on Tuesday and we refused it," chairman Christophe Bouchet told L'Equipe. "Not because we want to pick up some money but because it is a very complex case.
"We are not in a position to sell but there are a series of problems to solve.
"For example, we have to consider the financial millstone around our neck.
"We also have to find a forward and a good one, and perhaps other players.
"Didier has a true fondness to play another year in the Marseille shirt. It all makes us think about this."
Marseille have already explored the prospect of acquiring Chelsea's Hernan Crespo and Adrian Mutu on loan as part of any Drogba deal.
However, this was rebuffed by The Blues with Crespo on the brink of joining Milan and Mutu a confirmed part of Jose Mourinho's plans and, furthermore, not keen on a switch to Ligue 1.
Samuel Eto'o, Sylvain Wiltord and Sidney Govou are three other options open to Jose Anigo and developments are expected in the Drogba situation this week.