Marseille tracking Onyewu to bolster defense

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With Olympique Marseille's defense hemorrhaging confidence on a weekly basis, Eric Gerets has elected to step up his search for a central defender to play alongside Vitorino Hilton.

Presently, Lorik Cana is installed beside the Brazilian after El-Amine Erbate and Ronald Zubar both suffered dips in form and confidence in recent weeks. Cana, the club's captain, is primarily considered a midfield player, and has shown exactly why as he tends to be drawn out of position too easily and is not suited from the role he is being asked to play.

As a result, the Belgian head coach of OM is believed to be looking towards his home country for a solution. Standard Liege center back Oguchi Onyweu, an American international player, has been impressive for his club this season and, with an expiring contract, should prove to be relatively easy pickings for the Mediterranean giants should they wish to make a bid.

Of Nigerian descent, Onyweu stands at 6-foot-4, is a powerful defender and has spent time in France previously -- with Metz during the 2002-03 season. From there, he signed for Standard but has also had a spell in the English Premier League, where he played 11 times on loan for Newcastle United.

Although there has been no formal approach from Marseille, if Onyweu were to sign for les Phocéens, he would become the second U.S. international defender to join up with a Ligue 1 squad this season, as Carlos Bocanegra is currently playing in Brittany with Rennes.