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The winter transfer window is set to open shortly, and Goal.com works its way through the main Ligue 1 stars who could be on the move before the end of the month

ANALYSIS
By Robin Bairner | French Football Editor

With the January transfer window rapidly approaching, Goal.com takes a look at the players who could possibly leave France in the upcoming few weeks.

The winter period tends to be quiet in Le Championnat, but with budgets tightening due to the continuing economic problems gripping Europe, there is the possibility that some clubs will shed big names.

Olympique Lyonnais have already said that one big star will be leaving, though their president has indicated this will not be Yoann Gourcuff, while there will also be clamour for some fringe players to go through the exit door in order to maximise their exposure and improve their form ahead of Euro 2012.

ALY CISSOKHO| Lyon, Left-back, 24

Read more on Cissokho
SEASON STATS
Appearances
10
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
9m
Interested clubs
Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle
Chance of leaving this winter
90%
Signed for €15 million from Porto, the left-back hasn’t truly lived up to expectations at the Stade Gerland, despite providing an attacking threat from deep. His performance levels have been somewhat erratic, and only one player in history has scored more own goals in Ligue 1 than the defender.

Had Lyon been in a comfortable financial situation, they probably wouldn’t be aiming to offload the 24-year-old, but president Jean-Michel Aulas has said that one star will leave in the winter, and that increasingly looks likely to be Cissokho. Mouhamadou Dabo stands in wait, and though there is no question this is a downgrade on OL’s part, they can still hope to raise significant funds from the sale of a player who has never quite reached his potential with the Rhone Valley giants.

MEVLUT ERDING | PSG, Striker, 24

Read more on Erding
SEASON STATS
Appearances
11
Goals
1
Assists
2
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
6m
Interested clubs
Bordeaux, Rennes, Sunderland
Chance of leaving this winter 85%
That Mevlut Erding is still with Paris Saint-Germain is largely down to circumstance. He was widely expected to be off-loaded in August, though an injury to Guillaume Hoarau plus a match-winning cameo from the Turkey international against Toulouse proved decisive as the club decided to keep the former Sochaux player.

He has failed to score in the league since, and while PSG have been dreadfully short of striking options, Mevlut has been forced to watch on from the bench persistently. When he’s been called upon, no impression has been made, and it seems like his time in the capital is up, and Ligue 1 rivals plus some clubs in Turkey have their ears pricked.

ANDRE-PIERRE GIGNAC | Marseille, Striker, 26

Read more on Gignac
SEASON STATS
Appearances
9
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
8m
Interested clubs
Montpellier, Fulham
Chance of leaving this winter 35%
Gignac’s dream of signing for boyhood club Marseille has turned into something of a nightmare. Plagued by niggling injuries since joining for €15m from Toulouse, he has never managed to fully establish himself in the starting XI of les Phoceens and has failed to display the goal scoring quality he showed with le Tefece.

A player who is almost totally right-sided, Gignac has hit a rut of confidence in front of goal, yet there remains a deadly finisher somewhere in his mind bursting to get out once more. He fell out with head coach Didier Deschamps earlier this season, apparently ranting in a similar manner as Nicolas Anelka did with Raymond Domenech during the 2010 World Cup, but has since apologised. Nevertheless, his days at Stade Velodrome appear to be numbered.

The fact that he is presently carrying an injury expected to keep him out until the end of January may put some teams off making a move, though, while Marseille may be tempted to keep the attacker as Andre and possibly Jordan Ayew will both be at the African Cup of Nations in 2012.

OLIVIER GIROUD | Montpellier, Striker, 25

Read more on Giroud
SEASON STATS
Appearances
18
Goals
13
Assists
5
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
9m
Interested clubs
Newcastle, Arsenal
Chance of leaving this winter 5%
The star of Montpellier, striker Olivier Giroud, has ascended greatly over the course of the last five months, and now the No.9 finds himself in the viewfinder of several top sides. Showing a wide array of offensive skills, he not only leads Ligue 1 in goals scored, but he has also been surpassed only by Mathieu Valbuena when it comes to assists this season.

Strong yet technically adept, Premier League clubs are rumoured to be closely following the 25-year-old, who recently made his international debut for France.

Montpellier, though, won’t want to sell their key offensive weapon, who has been one of the major reasons they currently sit second in Ligue 1, and it will take a mammoth bid for him to be whisked away from the Stade de la Mosson.

LUCHO GONZALEZ | Marseille, Playmaker, 30

Read more on Lucho
SEASON STATS
Appearances
17
Goals
2
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
9m
Interested clubs
Olympiakos
Chance of leaving this winter 70%
Lucho once provided the sparkle in the eye of Didier Deschamps’ Marseille side, but the Argentine has been a shell of his former self for much of the last year, and particularly over the course of the last six months, when he has been overshadowed by Bosman signing Morgan Amalfitano and forced onto the OM bench.

He continues to show glimpses of his undoubted talent, and scored in the Ligue 1 round 19 victory over Nancy, which may well prove to be a fitting swansong to the player who was the key man in Marseille’s title success in 2010.

Off-field reasons, including being held gunpoint in his home during a burglary, have contributed to the player’s unsettled performances, and it’s simply time for a new start for ‘El Comandante’.

LUDOVIC OBRANIAK | Lille, Winger, 27

Read more on Obraniak
SEASON STATS
Appearances
12
Goals
2
Assists
2
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
4m
Interested clubs
Bordeaux, Borussia Monchengladbach, Saint-Etienne
Chance of leaving this winter 50%
Poland international midfielder Ludovic Obraniak is a player surely good enough to get into any Ligue 1 midfield ... any one, that is, aside from Lille. The likes of Eden Hazard, Joe Cole and Dimitri Payet bar the way for the 27-year-old from getting in the starting XI, and with Euro 2012 just around the corner, it seems that it’s time for the France-born man to depart a club at which he has achieved great success.

Technically gifted, Obraniak has been with Lille since signing for a mere €1.2 million in 2007, but he has never been able to establish himself as a first pick, despite scoring the winning goal in last term’s Coupe de France final.

The best player unable to get a regular start in Ligue 1? Almost certainly.

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