Arsenal and Liverpool target refuses to rule out summer exit

Arsenal V Marseille Valbuena

Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena - a rumoured target for Arsenal and Liverpool - has remained coy over his future with the club.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool saw their title challenges fall apart at different points in the season, but the pair secured Champions League football for next season, meaning both Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers can begin to plan their transfer dealings this summer.

One of the players linked with both sides is Marseille playmaker Valbuena, who has been a consistently outstanding performer for the French side ever since his 2006 move from Libourne. Now 29, the diminutive playmaker has been tipped to leave Marseille as the club look to cut costs, and he says he needs to talk to new boss Marcelo Bielsa before deciding his future.

"I’m the pivot in this France side and I wish I could have produced the same performances for Marseille this season," said Valbuena. "I’m the first person to regret the poor season we’ve had and it has been a difficult year from a personal and a collective point of view."

"I don’t feel under pressure at Marseille. My form was pretty consistent but my performances also depend on the collective effort put in," he continued. "I know Bielsa by name only. He’s bringing in an ambitious project. It’s been eight years that I’ve been at Marseille now. People say I’m not trusted by Bielsa but that’s not true. He has his project but I haven’t discussed it with him yet."

Liverpool are seeking attacking midfield help after missing out on the signings of Willian, Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka, and Valbuena would be a proven addition in the short term - but given the success of a number of French players at Arsenal, Wenger could convince Valbuena to move to North London rather than Merseyside.

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