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Bielsa: I did not decide to sell Valbuena

The Argentine has made it clear that he would have preferred to hold on to the versatile attacker and has rejected suggestions he has a conflict with the media.

Olympique de Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa has stressed that he did not make the decision to sell Mathieu Valbuena and let go of Souleymane Diawara ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.

The duo played a combined 489 games for Marseille, but Valbuena was allowed to join Dynamo Moscow, while Diawara signed for Nice on a free transfer.

The departure of Valbuena was a particular disappointment for Marseille's fans, with the 29-year-old having spent eight seasons with the club, and Bielsa has underlined that he would have preferred if the France international had stayed.

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"Valbuena was the best Frenchman at the World Cup," the Argentine coach said at a press conference. "I am aware of his career. It's not me who decided his departure. Nor was the exit of Souleymane Diawara my call."

Bielsa also rejected the suggestion that he has a problem with the media and made it clear that he is happy to speak to the press whenever he sees fit.

"My presence here at this press conference proves that I have no problem with the media. I will be here twice a week, as the rules state as established by the league: before and after every match. I am not in conflict with the media. The public is informed via the media, so there is no problem.

"Speaking to the media allows me to clear up any misunderstandings and transfer important messages to the public."

The former Athletic Bilbao and Chile coach then stressed that the club's passionate fans were one of the main reason for his decision to join OM and he's keen to guide the club back to the top.

"First of all, I joined because of the players at the club and the atmosphere inside the Velodrome when it's full. Marseille is a city of diversity that advances as one. For me, I like the idea of giving this diversity a common goal.

"It is a great challenge to try and place the club among the leaders in Ligue 1. My players are 100 percent professional and I haven't experienced that so many times in my career."

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