Marseilles confirm Campbell move

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The Independent Football

The president of Marseilles, Pape Diouf, has confirmed the club are interested in the England centre-back Sol Campbell.

The 31-year-old former Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender endured a difficult 2005-06 season, but bounced back to open the scoring in the European Cup final against Barcelona before playing for England in the World Cup in Germany last month.

Having recently decided to leave Arsenal, Campbell said last weekend that he was willing to move abroad, and Ligue 1 club Marseilles have now emerged as possible bidders.

"We have a list on which there are a lot of players' names," Diouf said. "Some are there because we have clearly expressed our desire to sign them, others have been suggested to us. Sol Campbell is one of them. His defensive qualities are exceptional. We are interested in him. However, we cannot say at the moment that the contacts are strong enough between him and Marseilles to say he will be with us next campaign."

Marseilles secured their qualification for the Uefa Cup after beating Ukrainian side Dnipro in the Intertoto Cup last Saturday.

Another former Arsenal player, Niall Quinn, confirmed yesterday that his Drumaville consortium had gained control of the Championship club Sunderland. Quinn, the club's new chairman and caretaker manager, already had the backing along with his consortium, of all the club's major shareholders. And last night he announced that the smaller ones have followed suit enabling him to complete his takeover.

"We went for 90 per cent of the shares," he said yesterday. "It hasn't quite come off today but my group have said they're taking the club anyway. We are very, very close with 89 point something [of the shares] - I'm not quite sure of the figure. Some of the papers were spoilt a bit but even if those papers don't come back we accepted today at a board meeting that we are taking the club."