After signing for Newcastle United, Florian Thauvin has published an open letter to the Marseille fans he is leaving behind.

Thauvin says that he is emotional to be leaving the Ligue 1 club but at the same time he is ‘proud to wear the number 20 shirt for Newcastle’.

United’s new signing says that the atmosphere at the Velodrome (Marseille’s stadium) will be ‘forever engraved in my heart’ but also wants to discover the ‘exceptional atmosphere at St James Park’.

Florian Thauvin’s open letter:

‘To all Marseille fans,

I am writing these few words with considerable emotion. My adventure with OM finished today. It did not finish the way that I had hoped it would and I cannot leave in any case without saying goodbye. My football experience at OM was not as wonderful as it was in my dreams or in our shared hopes.

I do not regret the efforts that I had to make to join this great club that is Olympique de Marseille. I met some fantastic fans who always supported me. I will keep in my head the memories of meetings with you after the wonderful victories of last year, a season that deserved a better ending.

I will miss the Velodrome for the rest of my life. The atmosphere and your support will be forever engraved in my heart.

I discovered the passion that reigns true over this club, this fervour which brings you together each weekend at the Velodrome and I shared the love that this town has for the Marseille colours.

I have always given. I have never cheated and every day I was proud to wear your colours.

Today, I keep in my heart the marvellous moments that I shared with you, the Marseillais, fans of OM and I think of your many displays of support.

I warmly thank all of those who have always believed in me, those who have always been behind me and have supported me throughout my seasons with OM.

I want to thank all of my teammates, the medical staff, the technical staff and notably the club stewards, the President, Jose Anigo, Elie Baup and Marcelo Bielsa.

I wish that the club quickly picks itself back up, that it has a great season because the town and you, the fans, deserve to have a great team.

I will never forget the Velodrome, I will never forget Marseille, I will never forget you.

With all my heart, once again, thank you to you, the Marseille fans.

Today, I begin a new adventure with Newcastle, an emblematic Premier League club that already has a great history.

I am anxious to discover the passion of the English fans and the exceptional atmosphere at St James’ Park.

I hope that together we will have wonderful seasons and experience many victories.

I am proud to wear the number 20 shirt for Newcastle, I am anxious to experience English football.

Florian Thauvin.’