Debuchy, Remy, Lloris & the Ligue 1 stars who could be leaving their clubs this summer

With the new French season edging closer to kick-off, picks out five players who may yet still swap L'Hexagone for pastures new this transfer window
By Mohammed Ali

The dust is barely settling on a tumultuous and dazzling 2011-12 Ligue 1 season that saw outsiders Montpellier shock the continent to claim their maiden title, and the 2012-13 campaign is already moving ever closer, with the big kick-off just under a month away. Le Championnat is generally a league with more famed departures than arrivals, but this year could see the exact opposite, at least, for one club.

Just over a year since Qatar Sports Investments took control of Paris Saint-Germain, the side are again flexing their financial muscle, with the acquisition of Thiago Silva from AC Milan and the imminent arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic capturing the imagination of French football aficionados.

Nevertheless, last season saw a number of players - the unheralded and the notably familiar - excel in the division, with the likes of Lyon, Marseille and Lille amongst others again having to resist Europe's admiring glances for their top talent.

But for how long exactly? Below, picks out five domestic stars who could be moving onto pastures new.

HUGO LLORIS | Olympique Lyonnais, Goalkeeper, 25

Read more on Lloris
Appearances 54
Goals 0
Assists 0
Transfer value €20m
Interested clubs Tottenham, Arsenal
Chance of leaving this summer 70%

The Lyon goalkeeper has arguably been one of the best known faces of Ligue 1 in the last few years, but his time in the Rhone valley could be coming to an end given Les Gones' financial problems. The lack of Champions League football means that Remi Garde's side are required to sell before buying. Although Michel Bastos is reportedly set to leave for the UAE for a fee of €9 million, the goalkeeper is the only player who can attract the kind of big money that will ease OL's financial problems.

Club president Jean-Michel Aulas last month called on the cream of European football to meet the France captain's €20m valuation by July 15, and with that deadline having passed, no official bids have been accepted despite reported interest from Tottenham and Arsenal.

However, Lyon remain the only club in the top flight who are yet to sign a player, meaning the 25-year-old could still be sold to make way for new arrivals.

LOIC REMY | Olympqiue de Marseille, Striker, 25

Read more on Remy
Appearances 47
Goals 22
Assists 8
Transfer value 19m
Interested clubs Tottenham
Chance of leaving this summer 30%

Remy enjoyed a mixed season in the south of France last term. After Marseille's worst start to a league campaign in their history, going bottom after just six games, the France international propelled the club to a three-month unbeaten streak between November and February, with the run also coinciding with the beginning of his reputed links with Tottenham.

As L'OM shocked Borussia Dortmund and subsequently Inter in the Champions League, things could not get better for the 25-year-old, with the club flying in all four competitions. Indeed, when Harry Redknapp arrived on a scouting mission to visit Stade Velodrome in January, Remy starred, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over Lille, making a summer move all the more likely.

However, all has not been rosy for the former Lyon striker since. Marseille would finish 10th in the league, and the striker missed out on Euro 2012 through injury. Now, with Spurs having appointed a new manager, it is unclear whether Remy will still cross the English Channel before the transfer deadline. Whether he has the ability to perform in the Premier League, though, remains unquestionable.

MAMADOU SAKHO | Paris Saint-Germain, Defender, 22

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Appearances 26
Goals 0
Assists 0
Transfer value €16m
Interested clubs Newcastle United, Lyon
Chance of leaving this summer 50%

Once the youngest-ever captain of a Ligue 1 side, Mamadou Sakho endured a torrid second half to the 2011-12 season. Despite big names arriving at the Parc des Princes and increased defensive competition in the form of Milan Bisevac, Diego Lugano and Alex, it was unthinkable that Sakho would be forced out of the first XI.

Once considered a potential icon of the QSI era due to his Parisian roots, everything fell apart for Sakho, however, around the turn of last year. Out went Antoine Koumbouare at Christmas, and in came Carlo Ancelotti, who kept the 22-year-old on the bench and ended his Euro 2012 dreams by limiting him to sporadic playing time. The nail in the coffin came when Sakho, a substitute against title challengers Lille, came on, conceded a penalty and managed to get himself sent off as Les Dogues clinched a 2-1 win that effectively ended Les Parisiens' hopes.

This summer, Sakho has been linked with Newcastle, as well as domestic rivals Lyon. Last week, the former captain maintained that if PSG sign another defender, he would reconsider his future. Although he later retracted those comments, Thiago Silva has since landed in the Ile-de-France region, and a move away could be on the menu.

MATHIEU DEBUCHY | Lille, Defender, 26

Read more on Debuchy
Appearances 45
Goals 5
Assists 1
Transfer value €8m
Interested clubs Chelsea, Newcastle United, Inter
Chance of leaving this summer 95%

The right-back's stock rises more and more following two stellar seasons. After winning the league and cup double in 2010-11, Debuchy helped Lille to a solid third-place finish last term, whilst featuring in's Ligue 1 Team of the Week seven times. Further progress saw the 26-year-old take over from Bacary Sagna to become first-choice for Les Bleus at Euro 2012 - due to the Arsenal man's leg break - a role which brought further glances from scouts across the continent. He turned in a brilliant performance in the 1-1 draw with England in the group phase to add to his burgeoning reputation.

Since then, Debuchy has been linked with Champions League holders Chelsea, as well as Newcastle and Inter, as Rudi Garcia looks to cash in on one of his prized assets.

A defensively astute player, with a burst of pace and ability to find the perfect blend of defence and attack on the right-side, Debuchy would be a useful addition to any of his potential suitors.

On Tuesday, he told L'Equipe that he is "100 per cent committed" to making a summer move, with Newcastle top of his priority list due to his friendship with Yohan Cabaye. With a release fee reportedly set at €8m, he could prove a real bargain.

KEVIN GAMEIRO | Paris Saint-Germain, Striker, 25

Read more on Gameiro
Appearances 45
Goals 14
Assists 3
Transfer value €14m
Interested clubs Valencia
Chance of leaving this summer 70%

Gameiro is another member of the PSG contingent who has fallen out of favour due to the star arrivals at the Parc des Princes. Initially touted as a big domestic signing last summer, the Senlis native was just that. Les Parisiens dominated Ligue 1 early on, with Gameiro at the forefront as fellow strikers Guillaume Hoarau and Mevlut Erding floundered. However, with Ancelotti's arrival, the France international would see himself on the bench regularly, as the club made do without an established striker, instead preferring the attacking triumvirate of Javier Pastore, Nene and Jeremy Menez.

A quick, predatory forward, on his day the former Lorient man can torment most defences. And with Ezequiel Lavezzi the new name in the French capital, and Ibrahimovic on his way, Gameiro could be cast off after just one season, with Valencia - ironically the club he rejected to move to PSG last year - reportedly in the mix.

PSG have said that they do not want him to leave, but that was before Ibrahimovic's move to the Parc des Princes started picking up steam, so sporting director Leonardo may just be prepared to let the France international go.

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