Football

Mathieu Valbuena begged by Francois Hollande to stay at Marseille

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Liverpool and Arsenal target Mathieu Valbuena has been begged by French president Francois Hollande not to leave Marseille this summer, amid speculation linking the midfielder with a £10million move to the Premier League.

The London Metro reports how the France international received a personal phone call from the politician, who is a renowned supporter of the Ligue 1 club and regular visitor to Stade Velodrome.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been credited with an interest in bringing the playmaker to the Emirates Stadium this summer, while Brendan Rodgers is also mooted as an admirer of Valbuena as he too looks to strengthen his Anfield squad ahead of Liverpool's return to the Champions League next season.

When reports emerged of Arsenal and Liverpool's alleged interest in the player, Hollande was quick to put a call in to Valbuena to try and convince him to snub his growing list of admirers and stay with Les Phocéens.

"It's true – Francois Hollande called me and asked me to stay at Marseille," confirmed Valbuena in an interview with French TV.

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