Mexes may spring a surprise
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
PHILIPPE MEXES'S agent believes the sought-after Auxerre defender may surprise people with his choice of club when he decides to leave France.
The talented young stopper is one of the hottest properties in European football and is being hunted by a plethora of the continent's titans.
Premiership duo Manchester United and Arsenal, along with Italian triumvirate Internazionale, Juventus and Roma have all monitored Mexes's rapid progress through the fabled Auxerre youth academy.
Mexes is in no rush to leave the French outfit but when he does reveal the time is right to leave Auxerre, he will have a clutch of clubs beating a path to his door.
He has most recently been linked with a switch to Inter but his agent Olivier Jouanneaux credits the latest speculation to an interview Mexes gave to Milan-based newspaper Gazetta Dello Sport.
Jouanneaux admits every time his young client grants an interview, the newspaper claims he will sign for their local team.
While Jouanneaux acknowledges it is frustrating to learn of rumours Mexes is on the brink of joining a club, he believes the centre half could spring a surprise with his decision.
"When the day comes to go abroad it will be very easy to find the best solution," Jouanneaux told planetfootball.com.
"We are not impressed to see Philippe close to one club or another club in the newspapers.
"I believe that perhaps Philippe's future choice will be something of a surprise.
"Philippe has never said he wants to play here or there.
"It is true these clubs have offered their shirts of players but it was a long time ago.
"The only positive I think with this story is that it seems that in Italy, they want to make a case with Philippe and they want to make the clubs struggle with each other to bring Philippe to Italy."
Mexes has regularly received shirts from the clubs on his trail, including those of idol Laurent Blanc, Gabriel Batistuta and Francesco Totti.
But Jouanneaux revealed that Mexes passes on his shirts to a charity 'Un Maillot Pour La Vie' ('A Shirt For Life') which the Auxerre defender plays an active part.
He added: "When he has these gifts from foreign clubs, like Totti, Batistuta and Blanc, he offers these shirts to the association.
"They sell the shirts to raise money which goes to some youngsters in the hospital to give them something to play with or to feel better.
"It's a social thing. It's an honour for him but the objective, the goal, is to make some children feel better."