MARSEILLE are unlikely to offer an escape route for Stephane Sessegnon, with the French club operating to a strict recruitment model this summer.
As the Echo revealed earlier this week, Sunderland are ready to listen to offers for Sessegnon, just 10 months after handing the Benin international a new deal at the Stadium of Light.
Marseille have been mooted as possible suitors for Sessegnon, who is thought to be keen on remaining in Europe, despite interest from Chinese clubs Shanghai Shenhua and Tianjin Teda – the latter now conceding that a deal is a long shot.
But sources in France have played down the chances of a potential move to Provence for Sessegnon.
Marseille’s three main summer targets are understood to be Rennes midfielder Romain Alessandrini, Sporting Lisbon wideman Diego Capel and Lille winger Dimitri Payet, with an agreement on the verge of being secured for the latter.
Their guidelines for subsequent signings are either young French players with the potential to be developed and sold-on for a profit, or experienced performers available on reasonable wages.
Sessegnon, who turned 29 earlier this month, doesn’t fall into either category, even if a move to a club plying their trade in next season’s Champions League would hold obvious appeal.
The former Paris St-Germain forward is on a lucrative salary at the Stadium of Light after being handed a new contract by Martin O’Neill last August which ties him to the Black Cats until the summer of 2015.
And despite impressing in the Premier League during his two-and-a-half years with Sunderland, Sessegnon would offer little re-sale value to any new employers.
Marseille would also have to shell out a significant transfer fee for Sessegnon.
Sunderland are unlikely to allow Sessegnon to depart for anything less than the £6million they paid PSG in January 2011 and have stressed that he will not be pushed out of the door at the Stadium of Light.
While Sunderland are willing to dispense with Sessegnon’s services and boost Paolo Di Canio’s forward line with a different type of attacking option, the club will only sell if their valuation is met.