In a strangely worded official statement released on Thursday, Newcastle United have officially confirmed a double move to Marseille.
Both Florian Thauvin and Remy Cabella had been training with the Ligue One club ahead of the new season but with no official rubber stamping of the deals.
The Remy Cabella case especially strange, as the winger/playmaker was widely reported to have played the requisite number of matches on loan for Marseille to trigger a permanent deal as long ago as late in 2015.
Even if it was a case of Cabella seeing the full loan season out before the permanent arrangement was announced, it was assumed that would happen as soon as this summer’s transfer window opened.
In their official statement, Newcastle don’t give any reason for the delay and simply say that last week a deal was agreed for Thauvin and ‘the paperwork has now been completed’.
Whilst with Remy Cabella he has simply been tagged on the end of the Thauvin announcement, NUFC saying ‘..Remy Cabella, whose own loan switch to Marseille has become permanent ahead of the 2016/17 campaign’.
It has been no secret that Marseille have experienced severe financial problems, the absence of Champions League football leading to wholesale departures of their star players in recent transfer windows, many of them to the Premier League including Florian Thauvin.
Their last real star player, Michy Batshuayi, signed for Chelsea last month in a deal worth well over £30m.
Putting everything together, it must be a fair guesstimate that the hold-ups on confirming the deals may well be down to not having the money to complete the deals on Cabella and Thauvin, with potentially the Batshuayi money now having come through to finance the deals for the two Newcastle players.
It has gone pretty much down to the wire as Marseille kick off their league season at home to Moussa Sissoko’s old club Toulouse on Sunday.
Newcastle United Official Statement:
‘Florian Thauvin has completed his season-long loan move to Marseille, with the French club having an obligation to make the move permanent.
Last week, a deal was agreed between Newcastle United and Marseille for the winger, and the paperwork has now been completed, meaning Thauvin is available for selection for their Ligue 1 opener against Toulouse on Sunday.
The 23-year-old arrived on Tyneside from L’OM 12 months ago, but headed back to the Stade Velodrome in January on loan for the remainder of the 2015/16 season.
Returning to the North-East this summer, Thauvin featured in four of United’s five pre-season friendlies and he leaves the Club having made 16 competitive appearances, five of which were starts, and scoring one goal.
Thauvin’s move sees him join up with former Magpies’ teammate Remy Cabella, whose own loan switch to Marseille has become permanent ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.’