What's the story?
According to emerging reports from England, French side Olympique Marseille have been forced to put four of their standout players for sale to comply with Financial Fair Play Rules, with Dimitri Payet, Kevin Strootman, Florian Thauvin, and Morgan Sanson all on the market.
In case you didn't know...
Olympique Marseille had a disappointing 2018-19 season, finishing a dismal 5th in the French Ligue 1, thereby missing out on next season's UEFA Champions League. With UEFA's Financial Fair Play watchdogs officially sanctioning Marseille, Les Phoceens have to make €50 million worth of sales by June 30 to comply with the new mandate.
This, along with the loss of TV revenue due to missing out on the Champions League means that Marseille have to let go of as many as four first-team players. Florian Thauvin is expected to go for a huge sum, courtesy his impressive performances for Marseille over the past year. The 26-year-old has emerged as a pivotal player for both Marseille and the French national team in recent years and contributed 18 goals and 9 assists for Les Olympiens last season across all competitions.
The heart of the matter
According to Sky Sports reports, Premier League clubs are on high alert since the news about Marseille's fire sale came out, with Arsenal particularly keen on Thauvin and former West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet reportedly linked to Everton, Leeds United and West Brom.
Netherlands international Kevin Strootman can strengthen any side with his experience and class, while 24-year-old French central midfielder Morgan Sanson is an emerging talent, known for his excellent hold-up play in the heart of midfield.
With the Financial Fair Play commission's deadline set for June 30, Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas will look to offload these players quickly, making the best possible deals given the short time-frame.Published 21 Jun 2019, 21:00 IST