AS Monaco are lucky enough to have an unbelievable amount of financial backing and manager Claudio Ranieri will have to spend wisely as most players will not want to miss out on Champions League football. Looking at where Ranieri could strengthen, it could be a case of bringing some French players home.
Lassana Diarra, Yohan Cabaye, Bacary Sagna, Adil Rami and Nicolas Anelka will shrewd buys for the French club. All these players are playing away from France and would give Monaco the French feel which is something missing from spending all this money. With Falcao, Rodriguez, Moutinho and Carvalho already at Monaco, it would be right to get a core of French players to get them back into Europe’s elite and even challenge PSG for the French title this season.
Lassana Diarra is playing for Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia and even though he is most likely getting paid handsomely, he could take the chance to join the Monaco revolution. Diarra would likely transfer at around £10 million and being back in France will keep him in the eyes of Deschamps for a France World Cup place. At 28 he would be looking to finish his career with his next move and coming home would be a big selling point. He would bring toughness and hardwork to compliment Joao Moutinho and possibly Yohan Cabaye.
Cabaye would be an expensive buy but as Newcastle is a ticking time bomb since Joe Kinnear’s return, he may be looking for a move away. Cabaye has been linked with Monaco recently and the fee is roughly estimated to be around £25 million. Cabaye has been fantastic for Newcastle but with Alan Pardew’s future in doubt it may be wise to look for a move. Cabaye offers good passing, hard work and organisation. He also has shown that he can be a winner in France with Lille.
Bacary Sagna has done enough for Arsenal for them to grant him a move. He has been a decent right back for them over many seasons and with him pushing 30 he will need to make a decision on his future. His fee would be around the £6-8 million mark but he will give Monaco a good outlet on the right. It’s all well and good having an elite strikeforce but they need to make sure the defence is secure too.
With this in mind, Adil Rami is a towering defender to compliment Ricardo Carvalho who is now more of a sweeper than the aerial-battle defender. Rami is now coming into his prime at 27 and he will give Monaco the reliability at the back which will allow the midfielders to be creative and not worry about being over cautious. Rami would be available for roughly £9 million.
Nicolas Anelka is bordering on retirement but he can still provide an intriguing back-up to the newly-assembled strike force. The former Arsenal-striker will be available for free, and would be a prudent addition to the Monaco roster.
Ranieri will have a job to convince those players to return to France but the chance to play for AS Monaco and be part of the new revolution will be something those players may not be able to resist. After all, if you’d said three months ago that Monaco would sign Falcao and James Rodriguez no one would have believed you.
Funnier things have happened so Monaco’s French core could be the next step towards a title challenge.