The agent of Mathieu Valbuena has confirmed that the French midfielder has held talks with Sevilla, according to the newspaper ABC.
Jean Paul Bernes admits though that despite the player’s desire to play in Spain, there are other factors that may prevent a move to Andalusia.
Valbuena has stated that he wants to play in his father’s home country, and a move to La Liga could well be on the cards as Valencia and champions Atletico Madrid have also expressed interest in signing him.
The UEFA Europa League champions recently lost influential playmaker Ivan Rakitic to Barcelona and Marko Marin returned to English Premier League side Chelsea after his loan expired.
Therefore a replacement is definitely required and Valbuena finds himself at the top of their wish list, having built a wide reputation during his eight years at Marseille.
His performances for the French national team have also been impressive, particularly during the FIFA World Cup where he scored against Switzerland in the 5-2 win.
After an impressive youth career, he signed his first professional contract with Marseille at the age of 21 in June 2006.
He appeared mainly as a substitute throughout his first season, but made a huge contribution as he scored his first professional goal in a 2-1 win over Saint-Etienne in the final game of the campaign. It sealed second place for L’OM and ensured UEFA Champions League football for the first time in four years.
Franck Ribery’s departure to Bayern Munich opened the door for Valbuena to make a name for himself in the first team. He scored the winning goal over English side Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League which effectively earned him a new contract – keeping him at Stade Velodrome until 2012.
He became a regular starter during the 2008/09 season and despite disagreements with new boss Didier Deschamps, Valbuena eventually won him over and remained with Marseille the following campaign which saw them complete the domestic and league cup double.
Now a French international, he scored in the Coupe de la Ligue final victory before Ligue 1 was secured before the end of the campaign.
He was selected in the French FIFA World Cup squad, though his tournament was marred after problems in the camp which resulted in the players going on strike.
Another two French League Cups have been added since, though trophies on the domestic front have not appeared so easy.
Valbuena was included in the French squad for Euro 2012, though he failed to make a single appearance during the competition. New boss Deschamps put him back in the team and he appeared in all 10 qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
He had a good tournament in Brazil – setting up a number of goals as the French reached the quarter-finals before being narrowly defeated by a strong German side.