On Friday night as Montpellier took a five point lead in the race for the French championship there were a few notable scouts in the stands at the Stade Municipal as various clubs keep tabs on their summer targets. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and assistant Steve Clark , Giles Grimandi of Arsenal and Bayern Munich’s General Manager Christian Nerlinger all made the trip to Toulouse, fans will be wondering who the respected clubs will be monitoring.
Arsenal’s interest in Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud is well known as is the scouting of Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue. It would be very surprising if Arsene Wenger didn’t make a bid for at least one of them this summer. The interest from Liverpool is a little more secretive. In the past there has been interest in Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko but the Frenchman’s form hasn’t been very impressive this season, so a bid from Liverpool would be quite suprising.
Dalglish’s attention would certainly have been drawn towards Ligue 1’s top striker Olivier Giroud. With 20 league goals this season the former Tours forward has enjoyed a wonderful season in the south of France and interest in the 25-year old has come from most of Europe’s top teams.
Montpellier are close to securing Champions League football this season, the chances of the forward passing up the chance of playing in Europe’s premier club competition are very remote. However there was plenty of other talent on show that messes Dalglish and Clark could have been monitoring.
Playmaker Younes Belhanda has been in superb form of late, and a large bid from Liverpool could see Rene Girard without his Moroccan superstar next season. Moves for defenders Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa and Henri Bedimo could also be possibilities. From the home side there is no doubt that Etienne Capoue would have caught the Scotsmans eye, along with left-footer Franck Tabanou. Tabanou has a devastating left-foot and is well regarded as one of France’s up and coming talents.
With so many talented players on view it is hard to narrow down what players Dalglish would like to bring to Anfield this summer. After the success that Alan Pardew and Newcastle have enjoyed this season it is no surprise to see one of England’s big names keeping an eye on the talent Ligue 1 has to offer.