Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten top Ligue 1 talents who could be on the move this summer

The current row over TV rights in French soccer might not have made the news across Europe but its consequences soon will. Orange has dropped out of the bidding for next season's rights -- it paid the French league €200 million ($288M) to show one game a week for the last three seasons -- leaving Canal Plus as the sole bidder. Canal has shown a willingness to pay something similar to its current deal, worth €450 million ($650M), but whatever happens, it will not make up the huge shortfall caused by Orange's drop-out.

A smaller revenue for the French league therefore means less for the clubs themselves, and before too long they will be unable to keep their star players on big salaries. Last season, the likes of Yoann Gourcuff (€23.5M/$33M), Loic Remy (€15M/$21.6M) and Andre-Pierre Gignac (€18M/$25.9M) all made big-money summer moves within Ligue 1.

That pattern is unlikely to repeat itself this summer, so here are some of the stars, in no specific order, who could be leaving Ligue 1 at the end of the season:

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