Rod not Fanni-ing about

Rod Fanni (Yes, he has a humorous name)

Who is Rod Fanni?

That is the question that Liverpool fans across the world may well be asking over the coming days after his club, Stade Rennes, announced a decision on the defender’s future is impending.

With Glen Johnson in indifferent form this campaign, supporters will be delighted to hear he is a highly-talented right-back that will both increase competition and options within the ranks.

“A decision will be made within 48 hours,” club general manager Pierre Dreossi said on Tuesday, with the Reds and Marseille believed to be the two clubs vying for his signature.

Fanni looked set to join Atletico Madrid in the summer only for talks to collapse, but Rennes manager Frederic Antonetti believes the defender will soon leave the Route de Lorient.

“Marseille are pushing,” he said earlier this week. “I’m not aware of the latest talks, but I believe the clubs are closing to an agreement, and I think he will leave.

“Rod had a difficult beginning of the season, he wasn’t called for the World Cup, and then he picked up an injury.

“Now he worked hard and he came back, work always pays, and now teams such as Marseille and Liverpool want him.

“I’m very happy for him. It will be a very nice progression in his career”.

Should moves to either club get finalised, it will prove a highly-deserved step up for the imposing full-back.

Fanni was born in the Cote d’Azur region of France , beginning his footballing career with hometown club Martigues in 1999.

After progressing through the youth set-up, Fanni plied his trade in both French Ligue 2 and Championnat National before earning a move to top-flight outfit RC Lens in 2002.

Fanni endured a turbulent time with les Sang et Or and after three years – including a season farmed out on loan to Chateauroux – he returned to the Cote d’Azur with OGC Nice.

The imposing right-back spent just two seasons with the Stade Municipal du Ray outfit before moving onto pastures new once again.

Fanni penned a four-year deal with Rennes in June 2005, seemingly coming in as direct replacement for outgoing Holland international Mario Melchiot.

The defender has flourished in Brittany and was named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year for the 2008/09 season, during which time he picked up the first of his five French caps.

Such performances with the les Rouges et Noirs saw a number of Barclays English Premier League vultures hover over the Route de Lorient, planning a swoop.

West Ham, Everton and Newcastle were mooted destinations, leading the 29-year-old to express his desire to ply his trade in England.

“If I leave Rennes, my priority is to go to England,” he said. “I know some scouts have seen me this season but personally I have not received any offer yet.”

Fanni’s plans to move were temporarily put on hold, penning a one-year extension with Rennes to tie him to the club until 2012.

Now, however, it looks like the defender will finally secure his move.

And should he plump for a move to England, then Liverpool have a defensive reinforcement that can make a difference.

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