The reasons for the break: “There was friction”
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Longoria first explained why Marseille and Sampaoli ended their collaboration. Divergences of point of view on the transfer window were notably mentioned in the media. The president of OM has generally confirmed them.
To prepare for a season, we started working. It’s a project, everyone must go in the same direction. There were professional frictions, not personal ones. (…) It’s a matter of timing. We decided it was the best decision to part ways to protect the club. You have to think ahead. We must have hope. You have to give everything and continue to grow the project.
The transfer window: “I don’t think we lack ambition”
Pablo Longoria returned in more detail to the dispute with Sampaoli regarding the transfer window. The Argentinian technician wanted him ambitious in order to allow OM to do well in the Champions League. Even if the Marseille market is slow to start, despite the arrivals of Samuel Gigot, Isaak Touré, and the permanent transfer of Matteo Guendouzi, Longoria is convinced of his ability to strengthen the Olympian squad.
Everyone has the same ambition, it’s a matter of time… The transfer window, we’re still waiting for Christmas presents… There are already 100 names that have come out. There is the desire to play C1. I don’t think it’s a lack of ambition. It’s a question of time, how to get there… (…) What allows us to play the C1 is economic stability.
This is an important question. We have a solid owner. The level of ambition must be high in this club. We are in a coherent project. We have more resources than last season, revenues are increasing with the Champions League. We can retain the important players in the squad. For the transfer window, we must be patient because it is a strategic transfer window.
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The terms of Sampaoli’s departure: “Enormous respect”
Longoria obviously did not need to negotiate Sampaoli’s departure conditions for long. The Argentinian technician fully assumed his responsibility when leaving Marseille and was careful not to ask anything from his management. A state of mind welcomed by the president of OM.
He waived all his contracts. He left as a gentleman, as he arrived. He had enormous respect for the club. All the people who arrived with Jorge took the same methodology. Villas-Boas had done the same thing. We must thank them.
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Who to succeed Sampaoli? “We have a candidate in mind”
This is now the question that everyone is asking: who will be the next Marseille coach? Several rumors have already come out, and the name of Roberto De Zerbi has been mentioned in particular. The Marseille leader did not confirm. But the president of OM assured that he was already working hard on the file, that he already had his idea of the identity of the Argentine’s successor, and that he hopes to be able to announce it quickly.
We have already started working on the sequel. We have conversations with candidates. We have a candidate in mind, it is the track that we will favor. We want to give character. We must give a development plan. The team begins its preparation on Monday. Our goal is to have the coach by the weekend.
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The reaction after the earthquake: “There is sadness”
It’s a page that suddenly turns on the Canebière after Sampaoli’s 18-month mandate, culminating in a second place in Ligue 1, synonymous with qualification for the Champions League. But Longoria will remember much more than that from his collaboration with the fiery Argentinian technician. The Marseille president did not hide his sadness when he saw this adventure come to an end.
It’s not an easy day. We decided to separate by mutual agreement. I thank Jorge for the very good football and human moments that we experienced together. It is a friend. He was honest until the end. The reaction of Frank McCourt (owner of OM, editor’s note)? This is everyone’s reaction. A reaction of sadness.
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