The departure of Florian Thauvin in August was maybe the most predictable part of a busy summer of trading by Newcastle United.
A disastrous Graham Carr/Mike Ashley buy, the winger was packed off for an initial loan back at Marseille in January after only three Premier League starts for Newcastle.
The second loan agreement in August was for a year – but included a trigger for a permanent deal, back to Marseille and Ligue 1.
Friday morning has seen La Provence reveal the actual trigger clause in the contract for a permanent deal, with it turning out to be only three matches in Marseille colours this season.
Clearly the deal suited all parties – the two clubs and the player – so only a nominal number of matches had to be included.
Arguably Marseille’s best player this season, Florian Thauvin has now played 12 times already this season and actually passed that contract trigger number of games in the same month he left Newcastle. A 2-0 win over Lorient on 26 August 2016 being his third appearance.
Despite the clause being confirmed three months ago, the transfer fee will only become payable in summer 2017, with La Provence confirming it to be 11m euros, which at today’s rates is around £9.8m.
The French newspaper also confirm that a larger (12.5m euros after an initial loan) offer was made by Lazio but with Florian Thauvin determined to go to Marseille, the lower figure was accepted to allow him to return to France.