Smertin unlikely to arrive on Tyneside

Last updated : 12 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Les Girondins chairman Jean-Louis Triaud, talking about the proposed sale of defender David Sommiel to Manchester City, said: "We are far away from any departure. He is not untransferable, but we are not going to sell all the team.

"All the same if Christophe Sanchez received an offer we would let him leave, but about Smertin we don’t even think about that question."

However the midfielder’s agent Paolo Barbosa claimed: "I think everything will be decided within the coming week.

"The main sticking point is the fact that Bordeaux are asking too much for Smertin, but we will work on it.

"If we are unable to organise the transfer now, we will attempt to do it for the end of the season.

"Smertin is a natural winner. He really wants to win some kind of title."

The player himself agreed with his agent, claiming: "The club are not against the move but they want a good return. We have not discussed a loan move.

"The fact of the matter is that Bordeaux have spent a lot on new players during the window, and the club has hardly got the money, at the moment, to replace me.

"If they can get a good price for me then they can replace me with a good player, but what the final outcome will be is impossible to say at the moment."