Reported Aston Villa and Leicester City target Florian Thauvin has poured fuel on the speculation fire by admitting to L’Equipe that he could leave Marseille in the near future.
Just a week ago, OM coach Andre Villas-Boas was raving about the ‘extraordinary creativity’ of a winger who is showing signs of getting back to his brilliant best after two seasons ruined by injury.
Thauvin scored his first goals in a year-and-a-half in the 3-2 opening day win at Brest before netting a famous winner against Paris Saint German – Marseille’s first victory over their bitter rivals in over a decade.
But with his contract set to expire next June, and no extension on the table as things stand, Thauvin’s future at the Stade Velodrome is in serious doubt.
“I believe that this is a matter that should have been settled a long time ago, that a player in my position should not find himself in this situation today,” says the 2018 World Cup winner.
“I have no choice but to think about (leaving). I do not have a contract proposal from OM. The reality is, that in June, I will be without a club.
“Either I stay at OM, or I go abroad. I will study both options. First, there is the sporting aspect.
“What is the sporting project at OM? What will the club’s goals be? How important will I be in this project? Will I be one of the major players on the team? Will anyone want to build with me, around me ? What responsibilities will I be given?”
Thauvin’s comments should give hope to both Aston Villa and Leicester, who were reportedly keen to tie up a cut-price £13 million deal for the one-time Newcastle United youngster before the window slams shut (Tuttomercatoweb in August).
The gifted winger, who produced 18 goals in 2018/19 and 26 the year before, has unfinished business in England after all.
Villa have already signed Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins but, with a deal for Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica progressing sluggishly, the Midland giants could turn to the cheaper Thauvin.