President Pablo Longoria does not hide it, he loves the transfer window. This summer, he again had a field day with 12 arrivals and about as many departures. Participating in the Champions League gave him some leeway, but he also had to adapt to a change in coaching, with Igor Tudor’s style being radically different from that of Jorge Sampaoli. In the end, Marseille managed to attract several top players and OM’s new squad looks good. The most brilliant rookie is of course Alexis Sanchez. At 33, the Chilean has lost a little physically, but his technical ability is intact and his first steps have been convincing.
OM also brought in French internationals, Jonathan Clauss and Jordan Veretout, motivated by the proximity of the World Cup in Qatar. With Chancel Mbemba and Eric Bailly, two defenders used to the Champions League and at the top level have arrived. On loan from Arsenal, Nuno Tavares has won on the left and Longoria has also been looking for young people, like Isaak Touré or Luis Suarez, who are both sporting and economic promises for the future. « It’s a clearly positive transfer window. We worked well and I’m happy“, summed up Igor Tudor on Friday.
Disappointing on the departures side
Ultimately, the Marseille workforce seems complete and homogeneous. « We wanted a squad of 22 players, with two players per position. That’s not quite the case, since we only have five central defenders. But Sead Kolasinac gave us satisfaction in the double position of defender and left piston« , Longoria explained to the press on Friday. But the Spanish leader also had the mission of making a few sales, essential to help fill the hole that is growing year after year in Marseille’s account books. From this point of view , the objective was not really achieved.
Some big salaries have nevertheless left Marseille, such as Arkadiusz Milik, Kevin Strootman, Jordan Amavi or Steve Mandanda. But the French goalkeeper left for Rennes without transfer compensation and the other three were loaned out, with a modest purchase option in the case of the Polish striker. Finally, only the departures of defenders Luan Peres (Fenerbahçe, 5M euros), Lucas Perrin (Strasbourg, 1.5M euros) and Duje Caleta-Car (Southampton, around 6M euros) made it possible to bring in a little cash in the Marseille coffers. « The club’s economic situation has allowed us to keep our best players. We had English and Spanish offers for Gerson and an Italian offer for Guendouzi. We held« , explained Longoria all the same.
The Dieng imbroglio
If the financial results of the Marseille transfer window are mixed, it is also because Bamba Dieng has not left. The Senegalese striker had however been identified by the management as one of the very few players in the squad likely to allow OM to record added value. Thursday evening, his departure for Nice seemed to be complete, for five years and against compensation of nine million euros plus bonuses. However, a knee problem detected during the medical visit blocked the transfer.
« It couldn’t happen yesterday. We are looking with Marseille if we can find a different solution« said Nice President Jean-Claude Rivère on Friday. But for OM, there is no question of changing the bases of the discussion. »We had reached an agreement, the player wanted to go but it was not recorded. There was a deal, so there’s no bargaining« , said Longoria. A departure from Dieng remains possible, as a joker in L1, or to countries whose markets are still open.