€5m deal that paves the way for Valbuena to Arsenal or Liverpool

Romain Alessandrini has joined Marseille from Stade Rennais - likely as a replacement for Mathieu Valbuena.

Arsenal and Liverpool are both said to be monitoring French international midfielder Mathieu Valbuena after he admitted earlier in the summer that it was time to leave his current club Marseille.

Valbuena, who has been at the Stade Velodrome since 2006, is ready for a new challenge.

Now the star, who is having a blinding World Cup for Les Bleus, is hoping to make a move to a bigger club - with Arsenal and Liverpool of the Premier League keen on his signature.

Valbuena, who turns 30 this September, is happy to make the move - but Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa will want a replacement first.

Now he has one.

A year on from first registering their interest in the player Marseille have completed a deal to sign Romain Alessandrini from Stade Rennais:

The deal, believed to be worth around €5 million, has long been expected but now it is confirmed the club can perhaps begin to look at the potential sale of Valbuena.

Valued at around £10-12 million he would represent a good investment from either side - especially considering his quite excellent performances in Brazil so far.

Some might be concerned with age, but like a fine wine Valbuena might just be maturing into the best player he can be.

Now it is just a matter of where he will be.

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