In France, one of the most complicate transfer sagas of the summer has followed the future of talented attacking midfielder Florian Thauvin of Lille - who is embroiled in his second major transfer saga in six months.
In January both Arsenal and Newcastle pushed hard to bring in another French player to join their considerable contingents. Newcastle were at one point vastly considered the favourites to snap up the French youngster from Bastia - but in the end the 20-year-old decided against a move to the Premier League for mixed reasons.
It appeared he decided a move to Ligue 1 side Lille was best suited to him due to their proposal of sending him back out on loan to his current side Bastia. Here he knew he would be assured of first-team football so he could continue his development on a regular basis.
While Newcastle and Arsenal would have been disappointed on losing out on the attacking midfielder it was not going to be a deal they lost any sleep over. Talented yes, but a game changer he had not yet proven to be.
But after firing Bastia to safety in the second half of the season, and being one of France’s star players at the recent World Under-20 Cup triumph - his reputation has gone up a notch.
But of course he had only just signed for Lille, so he won’t be going anywhere this summer … right?
Wrong - because the unexpected change of manager at Lille, coupled with heavy interest from Champions League contending Marseille, has seen him attempt to force a transfer to the Stade Velodrome this summer - before even playing for his new team.
The situation has even become so extreme that Thauvin has refused to train on several occasions this summer and has so far not featured in any of Lille’s opening four matches of the Ligue 1 campaign - including yesterday’s away tie at Rennes.
While Arsenal’s interest has dried up, Newcastle are still said to be keen on the player - with a £10 million offer reportedly made this week.
But it looks as if The Toon will be coming up short in their chase for this highly rated youngster. Marseille appear to have won the race for his signature.
Their offer of €10 million may not yet meet the asking price labelled on him by Lille but reports in France this weekend suggest both parties want an amicable transfer completed before the close of the transfer window - with the suggestion it could be completed by Sunday evening.
Will you be upset to miss out on Thauvin once again?
image: © T1o