By Will Butcher
Newcastle’s Florian Thauvin is set to enter talks over an extended stay with Marseille at the end of the season, according to a report.
French outlet Foot Mercato claim the 24-year-old will sit down with his agent in order to thrash out a longer stay beyond his current loan from Newcastle, which has seen him shine in Ligue 1.
Thauvin has spent the last 18 months on loan with the cash-rich Ligue 1 outfit from Newcastle, after first moving to the Toon in August 2015.
However, a disappointing first six months at St. James’ Park saw the fleet-footed attacker return on loan to Marseille for the second half of the 2015-16 campaign.
Thauvin extended that deal for the entire 2016-17 season and is now expected to leave the Toon after starring in Rudi Garcia’s side as the club’s most creative attacker in the final third.
Scoring 15 goals in his 42 league and cup encounters, Thauvin has also provided his side with 11 assists and his sparkling form has even seen him earn a call-up to the France squad.
Although he did not earn a cap with Didier Deschamps’ side, Thauvin has come on leaps and bounds since leaving Tyneside and is now expected to remain in France with talks scheduled.
Marseille’s ownership has recent changed hands to American businessman Frank McCourt, the former owner of the LA Dodgers and he is expected to stretch into his deep pockets to secure a permanent Thauvin deal.
The former Bastia and Grenoble ace has three years to run on his contract at St. James’ Park, and it remains to be seen how much Newcastle will charge for their on-loan ace.
Football Insider verdict:
Thauvin has been in breathtaking form in his home country and Newcastle must do whatever they can to convince the versatile attacker to give English football a second chance. His form has seen him become renowned as one of the best attackers in France’s top tier, and if he did agree to try again in the Premier League then he could hold the key in keeping Rafa Benitez’s side in the top flight of English football. With the Magpies likely to have less possession or attacking chances, possessing players that can create something out of nothing will prove vital and Thauvin holds the ability to do just that.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez has agreed a deal to sign this Premier League speed machine.