The weekend in Ligue 1 started with a bang as reported Liverpool target, Mathieu Valbuena, scored the opening goal as Marseille won a five-goal thriller at Marseille. Newcastle United target, Remy Cabella also got his name on the score-sheet.
It was a great game to start the 33rd week in Ligue 1. Twice Montpellier came from behind to level the game, Morgan Sanson making it 2-2 with 10 minutes to go, only for Dimitri Payet’s deflected shot to loop over ‘keeper Geoffrey Jourdren into the Montpellier net.
For Valbuena it was a timely return to form with the World Cup approaching. That was only his third goal of the season, his first in nine games; he was also named Man of the Match by WhoScored.com. Didier Deschamps will hope the midfielder will be back to his best before this summer’s tournament.
Potential new Marseille boss, Marcelo Bielsa, was in the Montpellier stands to watch OM pick up the much needed victory, but it is unclear whether or not he will be able to pick the 29-year-old midfielder next season.
Valbuena has been linked with moves to Liverpool, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur recently and it seems likely that he will leave Ligue 1 this summer.
His next destination is no certainty though. At Liverpool, Valbuena would be an excellent member of the squad, but is probably passed his best to force his way into the starting line-up at Anfield, especially if they go on to win the Premier League.
However, with Liverpool taking on the league and Champions League next season, they will need players like Valbuena to bulk up the squad.
The France international will be wanting to play as much football as possible heading towards his 30th birthday and might not be willing to accept a squad role. Newcastle may be a much better option; with his low price-tag and desire to try something new, a place in the North-East might be ideal as the Toon Army look for experience and quality next season.
Valbuena is set to start for France this summer in Brazil, and his performances for les Bleus could go a long way to determining where he ends up next season.