Jorge Sampaoli wanted Antoine Griezmann and Renato Sanches at Marseille

As reported by L’Équipe, the main reason for Jorge Sampaoli’s departure from Marseille a perceived lack of ambition on the part of the club in the transfer window ahead of next season’s Champions League group stage campaign.

Although the Argentine had returned from his holidays in Brazil this past week and met with his players again on Wednesday to start pre-season, behind the seasons there had been friction with the club for several weeks.

The disagreements between club president Pablo Longoria and Sampaoli, who left after just 16 months in charge, were well known within the club. One of these points of divergence was the lack of game time for striker Arkadiusz Milik, notably after a match against Rennes in May where the Pole warmed up for 45 minutes without ever coming on.

Sampaoli, who has the best winning rate of any Marseille manager in the last 15 years on 54%, also saw the fact that the club wanted him to extend quickly as a show of pressure.

Longoria and newly-arrived director of football Javier RIbalta flew out to Brazil on June 15, as the club were waiting for the green light from French football’s financial regulator to begin their summer window. Longoria had indicated that most of the signings would be coming in August, while the manager wanted almost all of his squad set in place by mid-July so as to have them together for pre-season.

Sampaoli then began to ask for signings which were out of reach for the club, a sign of his ambition for the Champions League campaign. These requests included Antoine Griezmann, who earns €1.8m a month at Atlético Madrid, or Lille’s Renato Sanches, who is set to join PSG.

The friction became clearer on his return to France, and along with Longoria, the two men had a frank and respectful conversation which led to the conclusion that it was best to go their separate ways. A compensation fee was quickly found, with Sampaoli giving up on a large part of the final year of his contract.

The management have also preferred to iron out the situation as quickly as possible, with the Argentine’s temperament meaning he could have also left on the eve of the start of the season. Now, Longoria is looking to bring in Igor Tudor as his replacement.



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