Espanyol are facing a fight to keep Héctor Moreno, after Marseille reportedly lodged the first informal bid for the Mexican centre-back.
Espanyol's president, Joan Collet, confirmed a bid was made for the 26-year-old: "It wasn’t anything official, but yes, I met with an intermediary and a foreign club, who stated their interest in the player."
Marseille, United and Spurs
Marseille are unlikely to be the only club interested, with Manchester United reported to be in the running, as they look to continue a transfer splurge that has seen both Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw join the club.
Moreno's agent was unequivocal when pushed about his clients future: "Moreno is leaving Espanyol. He wants to leave and we're looking for another team in Europe", and his performances at the Wold Cup would have done little to dispel any interest.
Moreno joined Espanyol from AZ Alkmaar in 2011, for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £4 million. He proved an instant hit, and hasn't failed to play over thirty league games since joining the Blanquiblaus.
Whilst Espanyol will be disappointed to lose part of the backbone of the side that finished 13th in La Liga, they will no doubt be aware that Mexico's further progression in the World Cup will create a bidding war, and ramp up Moreno's price-tag. Espanyol are in desperate need of investing in the squad, so incoming funds must be reinvested shrewdly.
Moreno's would be advised to stay away from the Premier League, although he is a strong, composed defender, he lacks aggression in the air, hence his low success rate in aerial duels in both La Liga, where he averaged 2.1 successful aerial duels per game, and the World Cup, where his is currently averaging just 1.3.
Premiership wouldn't be a good move
Marseille wouldn't be a poor choice for Moreno, especially in light of Marcelo Bielsa's arrival as manager. The Chilean tactician likes to operate with a back-three, a system in which Moreno has thrived, under Mexico manager Miguel Herrera, and Ligue 1 lacks the physicality of the English Premier League.
For Marseille, and any other side interested in Moreno's signature, there is always the potential for the move to fail to live up to expectation, hence why the common consensus is never sign a player on the back of a successful tournament.
However, Moreno has established himself as a quality centre-back in La Liga, and at the age of 26 is primed for a move to a bigger club.
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