Pieroni chase hots up
By Patrick Haond and Laurent Picard. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
The list of suitors for Auxerre striker Luigi Pieroni is growing, as several Ligue 1 clubs step-up initial interest.
Pieroni is eager to quit Auxerre in the January transfer window and although they were at first reticent to concur with his wishes, it would appear they are now softening to the idea.
Auxerre figurehead Guy Roux has spoken of the player's situation: "Before the winter break, we were absolutely not keen to sell.
"But the situation has evolved. The coach played Ireneusz Jelen as a centre forward, and he has been very satisfied.
"So the door is half-open. Pieroni has understood his time on the pitch could be limited."
Valenciennes are thought to be at the head of the queue for the Belgian hit-man but face competition from Nantes, St Etienne, Bordeaux and Toulouse.
"Valenciennes really want him, the chairman and the coach have insisted, they have talked to Luigi a couple of times on the phone," agent Eric Dupireux told AFP.
"Luigi is about to be a father and he would like to get closer to Mouscron (Belgium) were his parents live, an hour-and-a-half from Valenciennes.
"But Nantes and also Toulouse have made concrete offers and are very interested. St Etienne have also showed interest.
"Within a week or ten days, the deal will be done, but it is Luigi who will make the choice."
Nantes turned to Pieroni as a potential addition, having been priced out of a move for Bordeaux striker Jean-Claude Darcheville.
"We are chasing (Luigi) Pieroni," chairman Rudy Roussillon told AFP. "We are in business with Auxerre, but I won't make crazy offers.
"Anyway, I don't want to wait until January 31st to recruit. We have cancelled a number of targets because of money issues.
"Darcheville for example, was too expensive.
"It wouldn't be normal to me that big salary differences could be seen in the dressing room."