FIFA rejects Barthez move to Marseille
ZURICH, Dec 9 (AFP) - World soccer's governing body FIFA has turned down Olympique Marseille's appeal to sign Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.
Marseille wanted to sign Barthez outside the approved transfer period on loan as a replacement for the injured Cedric Carasso who is second-choice goalkeeper behind Croatian Vedran Runje.
Barthez, 32, has fallen out of favour at the English champions and is now third in the pecking order behind American Tim Howard and Northern Ireland’s Roy Carroll.
However, the France keeper has been told by national team manager Jacques Santini that he needs to get back into the swing of regular top flight football if he is to keep his place for the 2004 European Championships in Portugal.
Barthez has two and a half years left on his United contract but his prospects at Old Trafford look bleak.
Marseille can appeal to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport or go ahead and sign Barthez when the transfer window opens in January.
The 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship winner has been training at Marseille, who are paying part of his wages, since mid-October.
Manchester United signed Barthez for a world record GBP 7.8 million (USD 13 million) from Monaco in May 2000. He played for Marseille until 1995, winning the European Cup with them in 1993.
Subject: French news