30.07.2017: Olympique de Marseille have today confirmed the signing of Colombia international Edwin Cardona from Ligue 1 rivals Stade Rennais for a fee believed to be in the £12 million region. This fee though could rise to around £16 million if the winger meets criteria set out in the deal between Marseille and Rennes. Cardona arrives on a five year contract believed to make him the highest paid player at the club although Marseille nor the player have commented on this speculation.
When asked how he felt about signing for last season’s runners up the midfielder stated: ”I am delighted to be here. This club had a fantastic season last year and came close to winning a lot of trophies. Hopefully now that I am here, I can help them achieve a lot more. There is a fantastic squad here with some brilliant new signings already made and I can’t wait to get started as we approach the new season.”
138.com have today released their final odds for the upcoming Ligue 1 season and who they think is most likely to win the Ligue 1 crown come the end of the domestic season on the 12th May 2018.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Paris Saint-Germain side are by far and away the favourites to win the title, with odds of 4-5 after another summer of big spending after over £70 million pounds on the likes of Alvaro Morata from Arsenal and Balde Keita from Lazion. 138.com also predicts AS Monaco to finish second this season after spending £60 million, including the transfers of Jordan Amavi and Ayoze Perez as well as stealing Abou Diaby on a season long loan from Olympique de Marseille. Diaby’s parent club are ranked as 6-1 favourites after a summer of heavy spending which saw them sign players such as Edwin Cardona and Islam Slimani in deals that Christophe Galtier will hope can fire them to another title challenge.
Olympique Lyonnais are 12-1 favourites after a poor season last time round, whilst AS Saint-Etienne, who finished third and qualified for the Champions League last season, and Stade Rennais are priced at 33-1 to win the league title this year.
Asier Riesgo, Free Transfer. Riesgo is an experienced Spanish goalkeeper signed to be our backup/third choice goalkeeper behind Brice Samba and the recently promoted Julien Fabri. With Samba set to be the club’s first choice this season, we needed a third goalkeeper after Begovic’s departure and Riesgo was available on a free transfer having been released by Eibar at the end of last season.
Islam Slimani, Sporting Lisbon, £5.5 Million. Our squad was in desperate need of another striker to provide competition for Michy Batshuayi and to score goals and Slimani comes with a great record, and was in great form last year having scored 14 goals in 22 league appearances for Sporting. Picked up an injury after the Anderlecht game meaning his Ligue 1 debut most likely won’t come until September.
Charles Aranguiz, Bayer Leverkusen, Loan. A player who is familiar with the club having spent the second half of last season on loan at the Stade Velodrome. After injuries to Lemina and Dembele in pre-season, Aranguiz was signed to provide us with more options in the midfield role and is a quality player so could force his way into the first team if he plays well enough when called upon.
Vlad Chiriches, SSC Napoli, £6.5 Million. After talks with another Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly broke down, we moved quickly for another. Vlad Chiriches joins Marseille having failed to make an impact at both Napoli and his previous club before the Italians, Tottenham. Still possesses the ability and potential to be a quality player for us and will fill the void left by Adil Rami in our squad.
Ibrahima Sissoko, Stade Brestois, £1.9 Million. A youngster signed by my Head of Youth Development. Possesses a lot of potential and could be a solid player for us in the future but has been loaned out immediately to Real Sociedad, and his progress will be watched very closely this season.
Edwin Cardona, Stade Rennais, £12 Million. A quality player, bought in to provide us with more options out wide after Remy Cabella’s departure to Atletico Madrid. Joined at the end of pre-season so didn’t have time to get up to speed in terms of match fitness and as a result will most likely have to wait to make his Ligue 1 debut.
Abou Diaby, AS Monaco, Loan. Consistently complained at the lack of first team football last season despite playing a decent amount of football. In the end though we decided he wasn’t up to scratch with the rest of the squad anymore and tried to offload him, with Monaco swooping in to sign the player on loan and provide them with more cover in their midfield.
Mauro Zarate, Nottingham Forest, £1.3 Million. Unfortunately for the player he never really hit it off at the club because of a long term injury, meaning he spent a long time on the sidelines. By the time he returned he wasn’t capable of reaching the heights he initially hit at the start of his first season at the club. Returns to England again this summer and hopefully he can have success at Nottingham Forest.
Remy Cabella, Atletico Madrid, £27.5 Million. Unfortunately for us, after his amazing season last year, the big clubs were sniffing around him and we weren’t going to stand in his way of a big move. At Atletico he’ll be competing with the very best and after the two seasons he’s had for us he deserves that chance. We are still a selling club and as such we are going to have to build again, although from the players we’ve bought in, hopefully we have done that well now.
We’ve had a great pre-season and picked up some very good results. This is my first pre-season at the club that has given me a lot of confidence going into the season and hopefully we continue our fantastic form from pre-season into the Ligue 1 season and have a good start to the season. In my previous two seasons at the club, our start has been relatively slow and as such it might have cost us from achieving something really special, but if we can make a good start after a good pre-season, we might be capable of achieving something this season. In terms of signings, we are very happy with the players we have bought in because they are quality players that are going to add a lot to this club, and despite Remy Cabella leaving we have been able to keep hold of our best players although there is time for clubs to come back in for them. We didn’t want to stand in the way of Remy’s career because he has been unbelievable for us in his two seasons at the club and if given the chance at Atletico he can really help them do something incredible in his time there.