By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Kovac speaks on importance of keeping both Marmoush and Guilavogui

Speaking from the club's training camp in Portal, VfL Wolfsburg trainer Niko Kovac expressed the hope that Egyptian striker Omar Marmoush might be persuaded to remain in the northern "Autostadt" after all. 

The VfL gaffer also spoke on the future of former squad captain Joshua Guilavogui, noting that he hoped the veteran would be a part of his team beyond the summer. 
Current VfL sporting CEO Jörg Schmadtke essentially conceded defeat in his managerial regime's attempts to extend the expiring contract of Egyptian striker Omar Marmoush some weeks back. The 23-year-old rising star seems intent on jumping up several pay-grades after a successful stint on loan at VfB Stuttgart, a profile-raising tour of duty with his national team, and more interest from Premiership sides following his modestly successful start to the 2022/23 season.

The calculus for Marmoush may have nevertheless shifted somewhat after his primary Premiership suitor, Brentford F.C., opted to choose SC Freiburg's Kevin Schade as the attacker they plucked from the Bundesliga. Schade is widely expected to make a permanent move to London after some very basic criteria trigger an automatic purchase clause in his loan contract. Marmoush is thus left without an EPL amoroso.

Thomas Hiete of Germany's preeminent footballing publication writes that, despite the freedom to negotiate with other clubs as a player sitting on an expiring contract, Marmoush has not done so over the course of the last 11 days. Hiete cites the magazine's own internal sources to make this assertion. For his part, VfL trainer Niko Kovac would like to see him stay.

"I would like it if he remains," Kovac told Hiete, "He's a good lad, a good footballer."

Kovac kept it rather blunt when it came to Marmoush's hopes to step up, salary-wise.

"Omar has developed well, but I still believe he has room for improvement, especially in his defensive-game," Kovac emphasized, "We know how it goes. Everyone wants the players who are out-of-contract in the summer. We still don't want to lose him. We'd have to spend money on a replacement."

Marmoush has played in all 15 league fixtures for Kovac, making the starting XI eight times and netting two goals. Even if the 15-times-capped international could be supplanted at the center-forward position by Jonas Wind or the returning Lukas Nmecha, Kovac still has plenty of use for Marmoush as a buttressing attacker or direct flanker.

When it came to another rumored outgoing transfer, Kovac also threw his support behind former VfL captain Joshua Guilavogui. It appears as if Schmadtke has shut the door on a potential move to Stuttgart for the Frenchman for now. Kovac made clear that he was counting on the 32-year-old to help with the next phase of the season, even if he was no longer a regular.

"Everyone knows that Josh is very important for the team, both as a person and as a footballer," Kovac said, "He's a very fine person who possesses a great deal of empathy. He keeps the lads together, teaches the young players a thing or two."

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