Monday, 6th August, 2012
Lille captain Rio Mavuba admits he has told full-back Mathieu Debuchy that he wants him to remain with the Ligue 1 giants this summer.
Debuchy has been involved in a prolonged transfer saga in the current window, with English Premier League outfit Newcastle United having two bids (€5M and €6M) rejected by Lille for the 27-year-old.
The France international defender has been outspoken about his desire to leave, but Lille president Michel Seydoux has sought to end the drama by insisting the player must stay as Newcastle’s bids have not come anywhere near to his true worth.
And Lille, who have lost Eden Hazard and Joe Cole from last season’s side, are reluctant to lose another key performer.
"I saw him and said I understand that he wanted to leave", Mavuba, the Lille captain, told Nord Eclair.
"In fact, I told him one thing: that I preferred him to stay with us.
"I know that the team is stronger with him."
It remains to be seen whether Debuchy will be granted his wish and an exit from Lille before the transfer window closes, but the French giants have been adamant that they need the defender focused for what is a key month, with Champions League group stage qualification up for grabs.
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