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The future of Olympique de Marseille’s Taye Taiwo is as opaque as ever, with a series of vastly contradictory stories circulating around the European press on Saturday morning.

Benfica seem to be leading the charge for the Nigerian left-back, and L’Equipe even reports that a financial agreement has been made between the player and the Portuguese club, leaving only the formalities to be completed before the signing is made official. This news, however, is contradicted by a story in Record on Friday that Lionel Carole, a 19-year-old Nantes player, is being tracked by the Portuguese.

Additionally, The Times has stated that Tottenham Hotspur have thrown their hats into the ring along with Everton in an attempt to lure the powerful defender to the Premier League.

Taiwo is a free agent at the end of the season due to an expiring contract, and the only official statement made in recent hours regarding his future comes from OM sporting director Jose Anigo, who told L’Equipe TV that les Phoceens still hope to keep hold of the player, even if it will be a tough battle.

“We are in discussions,” he said. “They have dragged on for several months. We fight, we fight hard to try to keep him. It’s not easy. There are many big clubs who position themselves, precisely because he is free. It's hard for us.”

If Marseille are slowly resigning themselves to losing the defender, where the 25-year-old starts next season is anything but obvious.

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