Cédric Bakambu (31), who left Marseille to join Olympiacos on 15th September has detailed the lengths that the Ligue 1 club went to this summer in order to ensure his departure.
Despite only arriving at Marseille in January, and despite scoring some important goals for the club during his short time back in Ligue 1, Bakambu was forced towards the exit door this summer. Like Arkadiusz Milik, who left for Juventus on loan, and Bamba Dieng, who eventually remained at the Orange Vélodrome after his move to Nice dramatically collapsed at the final hour, Bakambu was a striker deemed surplus to requirements.
The club had brought in Alexis Sanchez and Luis Suarez and wanted to cash in some of their other attacking assets. The Congolese forward has now revealed the lengths that Marseille went to in order to force his departure. “I wanted to stay. When Luis Suarez arrived, there were lots of forwards. The coach wanted to play with just one striker and personally, I was fed up with playing out wide. So Marseille start trimming: Milik leaves for Juventus, and Dieng almost leaves as well. Me, I’m not playing too much, and when I play, it’s not in my position. It started to become difficult,” began Bakambu in an interview with Zack Nani, transcribed by Daily Mercato.
“Pablo Longoria talks to me about an offer from Celta Vigo. He told me that they wanted to buy me. You have to know that Marseille were looking for funds; they wanted money. But when Pablo bought me, he spoke about two-and-a-half years, and it’s not like me to leave after six months. So I said, ‘no, I don’t really want to leave, I’m staying.’ There is the Champions League project as well. The previous season I had scored important goals as well so it was legitimate for me to be a part of the project,” he continued.
It was at this point that the club started to exert pressure on him to leave. “As the offers came in, we’re speaking around €6-7m, Longoria told himself, ‘he doesn’t want to leave, we’re going to pressure him.’ That’s how I see it. They stopped playing me. They put me on the left. To tell you the truth, in training, I was playing at left-back and right-back when I’m a striker,” Bakambu concluded.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle