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03.02.2021 Europe

Marseille hunt for new coach after Villas-Boas sacking

By Paul Myers - RFI
Marseille hunt for new coach after Villas-Boas sacking
LISTEN FEB 3, 2021

Marseille were seeking a new head coach on Wednesday after the abrupt departure of Andre Villas-Boas. This following his disagreement with the sporting director over the choice of transfers.

The 43-year-old Portuguese announced on Tuesday he had offered to quit after Olivier Ntcham arrived on loan from Celtic on Monday.

“I submitted my resignation saying that I did not agree with the sporting policy,” Villas-Boas said. “I don't want anything from Olympique Marseille. I don't want money.”

But rather than accepting Villas-Boas' proposal, Marseille sacked their head coach in response to the open dissent.

A club statement said: “This protective decision has become inevitable given the recent repetition of actions and attitudes which are seriously damaging to the Marseille institution and its employees who defend it daily.”

After an impressive start to the season - including a first victory over Paris Saint-Germain in 20 league and cup games spanning 10 years -  Marseille have slumped. 

They go into their Ligue 1 match at Lens on Wednesday night 16 points off pacesetters Lille though they do have two games in hand.

Villas-Boas, whose relations with club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud and sporting director Pablo Longoria, have soured, had already made it clear he wanted to leave in May at the end of his two year contract and the club was searching for a replacement.

Unacceptable comments
He was unhappy with the loss of Morgan Sanson who was sold to Aston Villa last month. “We ended the transfer window with a new player Olivier Ntcham,” added Villas-Boas. “He is a player that I had said 'no' to.”

The former Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre was among the names touted to replace Villas-Boas. The former Juventus coach Max Allegri is also available as well as the former Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.

Whoever comes in for Villas-Boas is likely to have to take a subordinate role to the sporting director.

“The comments made at the press conference with regard to Pablo Longoria, director general in charge of football, are unacceptable," Marseille added.

"The club's exceptional investment cannot be called into question and was on the contrary welcomed by all during this winter transfer window.”

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