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Florian Thauvin on leaving Marseille: “I was on the verge of extending my contract.”

Following his free transfer to Mexican side Tigres, French international and 2018 World Cup winner Florian Thauvin spoke to L’Équipe about his departure from Marseille last summer. The 29-year-old also discussed the impact of compatriot André-Pierre Gignac, who has been with the Mexican club since 2015.

On his contract:

I was on the verge of extending my contract. Pablo Longoria did everything and I still thank him for it. He would have deserved my renewal, given his investment. But I had done my time at Marseille. I would have had to have been 100% in my head to stay at OM. That was no longer the case. My motivation was no longer total. I felt it internally. I was being called elsewhere. I needed a change at 28 years old. I had already made my dream of playing for Marseille come true. It’s also good for the club to turn over a new leaf.

On the influence of André-Pierre Gignac:

The management knew that I was at the end of my contract at Marseille. They wanted to look into it. Dédé [Gignac] initiated the contact. I still hadn’t made my decision and it was getting close with AC Milan and OM were still there. There were regular exchanges with Milan since October. The negotiations had developed a long way but they took time. Dédé told me that his president absolutely wanted to recruit me. Deep down, I think I was waiting for an experience like this. Dédé opened my eyes to Mexico.

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