Ruffier claims City snub

Image: Ruffier: Claims City were chasing his signature

Goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier claims he spurned interest from Manchester City in favour of a St Etienne move.

Keeper opted for St Etienne over Eastlands move

Goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier claims he spurned interest from Manchester City in favour of a St Etienne move. The keeper, capped once for France, will undergo a medical at the Ligue 1 club on Monday before signing an expected four-year deal. Had Ruffier made a City switch he would have likely found it tough to secure regular game time, with England international Joe Hart already established in the No.1 position.

Opportunities

The 24-year-old, who left Monaco following their relegation from the French top tier, says he did not feel City could offer him the same playing opportunities as Les Verts. "On Monday afternoon, my agent received a phone call from Manchester City," Ruffier told L'Equipe. "However, for me the priority was to play at St Etienne, because sport is the most important aspect. "Manchester City doesn't matter to me. I am not at City, I am at St Etienne and I am here for the sporting aspect. I was only attracted to playing." City's apparent interest in the Frenchman fuels speculation that reserve keeper Shay Given could leave Eastlands this summer, with Aston Villa reportedly chasing his signature. While Ruffier feels St Etienne can offer him more playing opportunities, he knows he will be in direct competition with veteran No.1 Jeremie Janot. "Did I consider the presence of Jeremie Janot? No I didn't," he added. "I was just looking for a high level club where I could blossom, that's all. "With Monaco suffering relegation to Ligue 2, I wanted to leave. To me it was essential to remain at a high level. That's why I chose St Etienne."
Exit
Meanwhile, 21-year-old striker Emmanuel Riviere will depart St Etienne for Toulouse on Tuesday. The hitman will undergo a medical before signing a four-year contract, with the deal reported to be in the region of €6million. Riviere will help bolster Toulouse's striking options after Danish frontman Soren Larsen departed the club by mutual consent. The 29-year-old's deal with the Ligue 1 side ran until 2013, but the Dane has never settled in Toulouse, playing only nine matches and spending the last two seasons on loan at German second-tier club Duisburg and Eredivisie side Feyenoord.

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