• Premier League

Gignac disappointed after Marseille block Fulham move

ESPNsoccernet staff
September 2, 2011
Andre-Pierre Gignac will have to rebuild his career at Marseille © Getty Images

Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac has revealed his frustration at being prevented from completing a deadline-day switch to Fulham, which broke down after Amauri refused to move to l'OM.

Gignac, 25, had agreed terms and had a medical with the Cottagers on Wednesday but half an hour before the transfer window closed, Marseille informed him that he would have to return to the club as they had been unable to convince Italy forward Amauri to leave Juventus.

Marseille then attempted to offload Gignac to Sunderland, but the Wearsiders rejected a swap deal involving Asamoah Gyan, leaving the France international to return to the Stade Velodrome.

"Last Tuesday I was asked by the club to come and talk with my agent," Gignac told L'Equipe "We were told l'OM wanted to sign a forward so they would then be listening to offers for me.

"We were told about Olympiakos and Fulham. I decided to listen to the London side. We went there and immediately we felt their interest was concrete and serious. We were interested. We spent the evening with coach Martin Jol and his wife.

"On Wednesday we had a medical. It was a wonderful welcome. So on Wednesday it was all okay. Fulham agreed with l'OM. At 11.30 pm [CET] they called me to say I have to go back to Marseille because my forward replacement would not come.

"I was in London so called to help l'OM sign a forward, but it could not be resolved. Three minutes after calling me to come back to Marseille, I was called again as there was an opportunity to go to Sunderland. I could not reply yes to Sunderland and no to Fulham, because l'OM just made the decision of a swap deal with Gyan.

"At Fulham they wanted me. I didn't see anyone at Sunderland. I'm not a mercenary. I'm not angry, but I have a bitter taste in my mouth."

Despite enduring a chaotic deadline day, on which his club tried desperately to get rid of him, Gignac insists he is happy to stay at Marseille after holding clear-the-air talks with manager Didier Deschamps.

"I've already talked to Didier Deschamps," Gignac said. "He knows what I'm thinking. We spoke like two adults without resentment or hostility, even if what happened is not great.

"I have no problem. They couldn't sign a forward, but I am happy to be at Marseille. I know my worth. I will set the record straight. I am not useless as I've read. I have desire to show I am the forward they looked for."

Marseille sporting director Jose Aniga confirmed that the club had agreed terms with Fulham before having to pull the plug on the move after Amauri's snub.

"With Fulham, there was an agreement but it was not resolved. It was close to the deadline," Anigo told RMC. "We did not take risks; we stopped the negotiations and Andre-Pierre Gignac returned to Marseille.

"He was fine to go to Fulham. That seemed to please him. But he returns with good intentions. We talked and he intends to continue his career, making his merry way. It is clear that Amauri would have blocked Gignac [from taking his place in the side]."

Fulham managed to swoop for FC Twente's Costa Rica forward Bryan Ruiz before the transfer window closed, while Portuguese striker Orlando Sa and Swedish teenager Muamer Tankovic also moved to Craven Cottage.

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