Marseille winger Mathieu Valbuena could be moving away from the Ligue 1 club with Fiorentina and several Turkish clubs, interested in the 29-year-old. Both Liverpool and Arsenal had been reported to be weighing up the possibility of making a bid for the influential playmaker, yet nothing had been confirmed.
Valbuena has been part of the Marseille team for eight years but was rumoured before the World Cup to be looking for a new challenge. After an outstanding performance against Honduras in Brazil, the playmaker has caught the eye of several clubs.
He signed a new deal with Marseille last February that expires in 2017 but could move away from the south of France for as little as €8 million. His price tag is expected to rise as the World Cup goes on, as Valbuena’s impact on the squad increases.
Fiorentina have the Frenchman lined up in case their star winger Juan Cuadrado moves to Barcelona. However, Barcelona have been linked with a move for Valbuena recently.
The midfielder scored three goals in 41 appearances for Marseille last year. He has made over 330 appearances for the French club and has played 45 for them in the Champions League, scoring 25 times in the league for the 2010 Ligue 1 champions.
The players agent, Jean Pierre Bernes, told Canal+: “The World Cup will be a great showcase for Valbuena. We have serious contact with two or three clubs, including Fiorentina and Turkish teams. For now, however, we are only at the start of negotiations.”
Valbuena would be an interesting signing for Liverpool, as he isn’t the typical player to fit into Brendan Rodgers squad. Despite this, the Frenchman can play anywhere across the front line, tending to enjoy the freedom to roam across the park to find the best possible pass. His Champions League experience would also be a massive bonus to the Liverpool squad that are talented but lack experience in top flight European football.
Valbuena moved to Marseille in 2006 being signed as an amateur after helping Libourne reach Ligue 2 for the first time in its history. He made his first international appearance in 2010 against Costa Rica, and has gone on to make over 35 caps for his country scoring five times. Valbuena has been named in Ligue 1’s team of the year twice, in 2008 and in 2013.
Valbuena feels that he didn’t perform well enough last season, as Marseille finished sixth and their manager Elie Baup was fired at the end of the season. Marcelo Bielsa has been appointed as Marseille’s new manager but the 29-year-old is unsure if he will fit into the plans for the new man in charge and is therefore considering his options.
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