An impressive end to the season ensured Marseille have a chance of reaching the Europa League group stage next season.
Rudi Garcia’s side went unbeaten in their final 11 matches, winning side times, to finish fifth, a long way behind champions AS Monaco but enough for a spot in the Europa League qualifying round.
Dimitri Payet’s return in January was one of the biggest storylines of Marseille’s season.
The 30-year-old’s arrival from West Ham United lifted the spirits around the Stade Velodrome. Marseille will probably expect more production out of the France international next season; he scored four goals and provided three assists in the second half of the campaign.
Payet, who left Marseille for England in 2015, insisted he was sold by the project at the Ligue 1 club.
“It was not difficult to leave the Premier League,” he told Canal+, per the Mirror.
“Already, I've come back to Marseille, a place I know well, I like the coach, with a new project.”
Does Marseille's 'project' include Balotelli
Part of that project could include signing one of the most controversial players around.
According to Mino Raiola, Marseille have expressed an interest in his most enigmatic client, Mario Balotelli.
"Balotelli trusts me," Raiola said to Corriere dello Sport, via Goal.
"I am picky and he knows it. Will he remain at Nice? We will see. He is wanted by Borussia Dortmund and Marseille.
"His performances at Nice have been positive, though Mario has to give much more because he doesn't have many more chances.
Indeed. And one man who might not have too many more chances is Rayan Lhery.
Marseille fire 16-year-old prospect
You’ve probably never heard of Lhery. He’s a 16-year-old youth prospect who spent time at Paris Saint-Germain’s youth academy and was on the books at Marseille, until he was sacked by the club.
That’s right. Marseille have sacked a 16-year-old.
Watch the video that resulted in Lhery being sacked
And you can understand why. A Snapchat video of Lhery shouting obscenities and threatening to burn his Marseille polo has surfaced on social media.
Check it out below.
Imagine completely throwing away the opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Some players just aren't worth the hassle, which makes Marseille's apparent links to Balotelli all the more surprising.
Lhery has apologised on his Facebook page, according to Foot 7, simply saying he was laughing with a friend.
Were Marseille right to fire Lhery? Let us know in the comments section below!
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