The Italian media have André Villas-Boas linked with Zenit, the French have him going to Marseille.
Marseille’s 1-1 score draw with Stade de Reims on Friday night means barring a miracle, they will finish outside the top three in Ligue 1 this season. It means they are going to struggle to qualify for any European competition this year, and it could have a massive factor in who the new OM coach will be next season.
Vincent Labrune announced he knew who he wanted, and that man – according to French newspaper L’Equipe is suspected to be former Chelsea and Spurs manager André Villas-Boas. The only complication is reported to be money, and without European football, that could be too big a bridge to cross for Marseille.
Marseille and Labrune need a big name. They spent €35 million last summer, although not in the same world as Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, but it is a massive amount compared to the other 17 teams in Ligue 1. They should have been pushing close towards Monaco; most people had them coming third. They could finish this weekend 11 points off of third and will definitely finish at least four points off fourth.
There needs to be a big change at the club, the redevelopments to the stadium should be complete for the new season, and there needs to be a face lift on the bench too. Villas-Boas fits the bill perfectly. He is a name that will get enough respect from the players, and will have the fans on his side, and he should be able to come in and change the club for the better. The only issue that he may face is time; neither the reported 12 million Marseille fans nor the people in charge are the most patient of people. If things don’t go well, Villas-Boas would find his neck on the line once more. It’s difficult to tell if the former Porto manager could survive another short stint at a top club. His trump card to play is that Marseille really need him too.
Unfortunately for Marseille the big sticking point will be wages. There is no way they can offer the same fee that Villas-Boas will have been used to at Chelsea and Spurs, not even half possibly. According to Sky Italia, Zenit St Petersburg is actively trying to bring Villas-Boas in to replace Luciano Spalletti, and they want to do it this week. Now it is likely that they will be able to offer the Portuguese coach a significant wage packet, and they want to do it now.
Canal+ confirm Marseille entered contact with Andre Villas-Boas 'some time ago', but contact is now terminated. Off to #Zenit— Mohammed Ali (@mohammedali_93) March 14, 2014
Labrune may have decided he had his man, but it looks like the in-demand coach could be lured away to Russian and Marseille would have to go back to the drawing board. Michael Laudrup, Zinedine Zidane, Eric Cantona and Christophe Galtier have all been mentioned. Laudrup would likely be next on the list, but he’s not quite the name Labrune had set his sights on.