News broke on Tuesday morning from Marseille, that Florian Thauvin was the subject of a violent attempted robbery.

The Newcastle winger was driving through Marseille at around 7pm on Monday night when targeted by violent criminals.

Florian Thauvin was stationary in his vehicle when a scooter ran into the back of his car, getting out of his car to investigate the damage, the Marseille loan player was then grabbed from behind in a stranglehold by the pillion passenger, whilst the driver of the scooter attempted to steal a watch believed to be worth around 25,000 euros from Thauvin’s wrist.

The Police said that they believed that Florian Thauvin was specifically targeted by the pair but they were left empty handed, with the player managing to slip out of the stranglehold and do a runner to safety, with the two attackers unable to catch him.

There were no reports of any serious injury to Thauvin and yesterday he expressed his thanks to fans and the general public via his Twitter account, saying ‘Thanks for your messages and your support’.

However, Florian Thauvin has now admitted that he ‘pulled out a few karate moves’ to escape his attackers and told L’Equipe (as reported by GFFN) that he was ‘a bit shocked’ at the time ‘but happy to have good reflexes’.

More worrying, Florian Thauvin says that after breaking free and running away, as the attackers chased him he heard one shout to the other ‘Get the gun out’, though he was too busy making his escape to know for sure whether or not they’d actually possessed a gun.

Crime is a major problem in Marseille and other Marseille players have been targeted in the past.

It was recently revealed that the Newcastle winger had effectively become a permanent Marseille player back in August, with only three appearances being the trigger to make his loan deal turn into a buy.

However, this permanent transfer will then only be processed and the transfer fee become payable at the end of the season, after his loan deal expires.