Lille look for signings
By Patrick Haond. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Lille have turned one eye towards next season as they prepare for a UEFA Champions League challenge.
The Northern French club have secured their place in the top three in Ligue 1 and could join Lyon as automatic entrants into the Champions League group phase.
To compete with Europe's elite, Lille will need to strengthen their squad and they are considering a brace of youngsters - Lyon's Bryan Bergougnoux and Grasshopper Zurich's Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Bergougnoux has impressed this season for the reigning champions despite his failure to nail down a regular starting spot.
The powerful forward may be allowed to leave Stade Gerland on loan and Lille want to add him to their ranks.
However, Ajaccio, Paris Saint Germain and Toulouse are also admirers of Bergougnoux, who has scored four goals in Ligue 1 this term.
Swiss full back Lichtsteiner has also come to Lille's attention and they may be able to prise him from Grasshopper's grasp for é¼350,000.
But while Lille look to add to their squad, it seems increasingly likely that captain Philippe Brunel will leave in the summer.
Brunel is out of contract at the end of the season and wants a two-year extension with the option of a further 12 months.
Lille, though, have offered a one-year deal, and a 12-month option, due to Brunel being 32 and the midfielder concedes he is now poised to quit the club.
Brunel said: "Except for a miracle I will not be at Lille next year."