Sylvain Marveaux is on the radar of a clutch of clubs from Russia and Ligue 1 after dropping down the pecking order at Newcastle United.
Marveaux missed the Manchester City Capital One Cup tie with an injury and has not been involved since the defeat of Leeds back at the end of September – although he is understod to be nearing a return and is touch-and-go for the trip to Tottenham on Sunday.
The gifted forward has played just five times this year and now appears to have been usurped by Gabriel Obertan, who made only his second appearance of the season from the bench against Chelsea. Sources close to the player have suggested that Marveaux wants to play more first-team football, and a loan move is a possibility in January.
Spartak Moscow are one of the clubs monitoring the French winger, along with former suitors Sochaux.
Marveaux is one of a number of fringe men agitating for more first-team football but unlike with Gael Bigirimana and Haris Vuckic – both available for loan and both involved in the under-21 match at Burton last night – the indications are that boss Alan Pardew would be reluctant to see him leave.
The United manager is blessed with better attacking options this season and has challenged all of his fringe men to take any opportunities that come their way. But for his injury, Marveaux might have had an opportunity against Manchester City as Pardew shuffled his pack.
United will be even less enamoured with reports from Italy that suggest Rudi Garcia is interested in taking Yohan Cabaye to AS Roma. The France midfielder’s form has improved since a summer of discontent ended with the player effectively taking strike action, but that is unlikely to stop speculation linking him with a move away from St James’ Park.
Again, Newcastle would be prepared to stick to their valuation in January – an asking price that Arsenal singularly failed to match over the summer.
Meanwhile in an interesting dispatch from north of the border, former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray has played down suggestions that Mike Ashley might be ready to increase his stake in the fallen Scottish giants.
Ashley owns a minor stake in the Ibrox club, who now play in the third tier of Scottish football, and Rangers undoubtedly provide the opportunity for a fantastic return on any potential investment. With a route to the Champions League open if they continue to move through the leagues, there is arguably a more straightforward route there for him than the troubled path he has plotted at Newcastle.
But Murray – who suggests that his retail operation at Rangers is underperforming – says there is little prospect of Ashley selling up at Newcastle and moving on to Scotland. He said: “The rules of football are complex but, as far as I understand, if you own a Premier League club, then you can’t own more than 10% of a Scottish club. So, unless he sells Newcastle, then he can’t (own Rangers).
“Mike Ashley is an eccentric, fast moving guy though, put it that way. I don’t think he will (make a takeover move) though.
“The retail side of things at Rangers has not performed as well as we’d have liked it to. I’d rather he concentrated on getting that right.”