Chelsea and Spurs scouting potential French World Cup star

Florian Thauvin

French radio station RMC report that both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur had scouts in Marseille last week to monitor Florian Thauvin.

Despite the fact that he has only been a Marseille player for five months, Florian Thauvin is attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

Arsene Wenger is known to be a fan of the 21-year-old, and now both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are reported to have sent scouts last weekend to the Stade Velodrome to watch the winger in Marseille's 3-0 win over Bastia.

If reports from French radio station RMC are to be believed, both sides will again have scouts present for the game against Lorient this weekend. Although he only signed for the club this summer, if Marseille - currently fifth - don't qualify for next season's Champions’ League Group Stage, there could be an opportunity for clubs to take advantage, and any substantial offer for one or two of their stars could definitely interest Marseille's owners.

It has already been an amazing 12 months in Thauvin's career. He has been involved in three Ligue 1 sides, won the U20 World Cup, made his Champions League debut and it is very likely that Didier Deschamps is set to name him in the squad for next month's friendly against Netherlands. Not bad for someone who only made his Ligue 1 debut last season.

His move to Marseille was well documented after he decided that he didn't want to play for northern side Lille, refusing to train at the start of the season, forcing Lille's hand in negotiating a transfer to Marseille.

He signed for Lille last January but was immediately loaned back to Bastia for the rest of the season. His performances for the Corsican side, as well as winning this summer's Under 20 World Cup raised his profile and the winger felt he should be playing at a higher-level.

Lille originally signed him for around €3.5 million, only to sell him on for an amount reported around €15 million, not a bad profit for a player who never made an appearance for the 2011 Ligue 1 champions. Now his future at Marseille looks in doubt as interest from the Premier League grows every week.

Even though his loyalty can be brought into question, no one can question his talent. He scored 10 goals during his first top-flight season at Bastia, and this season he has continued to impress for Marseille, adding six league goals and three assists in 17 appearances for his new club. His performances this season have not only caught the eye of watching scouts, but he is now set to make the jump up from U21 to the full French international set-up.

The right-side of the French attack has been a problem area for a few years now, with Dimitri Payet, Loic Remy, Florent Malouda, Samir Nasri and Jeremy Menez all failing to make the position their own. Now Thauvin's performances in the league and for the U21s have led to calls that he should be part of the 23-man squad that goes to Brazil this summer, it seems that Deschamps is now convinced and is willing to give him a chance.

If Thauvin continues to impress in the league and goes on to star for Les Bleus this summer, the deal that took him to Marseille may need to be doubled to prize him away from the Stade Velodrome this summer.

images: © ronmacphotos, © ronmacphotos

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