Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Marseille hero Franck Passi fears reported Leicester City and Aston Villa target Florian Thauvin could leave for just £5 million in January, telling Maxifoot the World Cup winner should be valued in the £40 million bracket.

One of France’s biggest clubs will only have themselves to blame if their star man departs on the cheap in 2021.

Thauvin has made it clear he wants to sign a new contract at the Stade Velodrome, with his current deal due to expire in July.

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However, Marseille have done little to meet Thauvin’s demands. The former Newcastle United winger is looking for £85,000 a week – a sum that may put off Ligue 1 clubs struggling amid the financial uncertainty (Pianeta Milan).

That has opened the door for Villa and Leicester to try to lure the 28-year-old back across the Channel (TMW). The Premier League pair face competition from AC Milan, however, with technical director Paulo Maldini one of Thauvin’s biggest fans.

For Passi, the prospect of losing a £40 million footballer for a fraction of his market value doesn’t bear thinking about.

Photo by Valentin Antonini – OM/Olympique de Marseille via Getty Images

“A great club that wants to play the Champions League every year cannot lose its best players,” says Passi, the former Marseille player and coach.

“To earn £5 million at Christmas and lose a player who can take the club to the Champions League… this is not understandable.

“Especially since a player like Thauvin, who is in the final year of his contract, has no interest in leaving this winter.

“OM cannot recover £40 million, which would solve their financial problems. And I do not even know if they will be able to reinvest this sum in another player of the quality of Thauvin.”

Last week, Calciomercato reported Brendan Rodgers had made it clear to his Leicester bosses Thauvin would be a superb addition to the current Premier League leaders.

The France international is fit and firing again after a series of injuries and appears to be rediscovering the form that saw him find the net 26 times during a career best 2017/18 season.

BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images

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