POWERFUL defender Daniel Van Buyten has earned himself the reputation as one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

The 25-year-old really came to the fore after spells with Sporting Charleroi and Standard Liege with his strong tackling and skill on the ball.

Van Buyten, known as 'Big Dan' in Belgium, became the most expensive Belgian player in history when he signed for Marseille for just over £13 million in the summer of 2001.

The burly central defender has helped repay his massive transfer fee by playing an instrumental role in their recent renaissance.

Van Buyten, who is now a regular with Belgium since making his debut in 2001, has attracted the interest of a host of clubs across Europe after his performances at Stade Velodrome.

The uncompromising defender, who has been likened to Holland's Jaap Stam, signed a new deal at Marseille in the summer, but it seems almost inevitable he will move onto a bigger club in the future. 

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