Marseille want to get rid of me - Strootman

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The French side have told the Netherlands midfielder they cannot afford to keep him after missing out on their target of a top three finish in Ligue 1

Marseille have told Kevin Strootman they will have to sell him in the next transfer window after they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

The Dutch midfielder joined the French side last summer in a €25 million (£23m/$29m) move from Roma to aide their pursuit of a top-three finish in Ligue 1.

But Rudi Garcia's side fell short of their objective, coming in fifth to miss out on a place in the continental competition as well as a return to the Europa League.

Although Strootman was a key player for Marseille, playing 35 games in all competitions, and has a contract that runs until 2023, the club's president Jacques-Henri Eyraud has said they cannot afford to keep him.

"We didn't get European football, while at Marseille they went out for the Champions League," Strootman told Algemeen Dagblad. "So the president said in an open and fair conversation: 'You are an expensive force and without the Champions League it's difficult for us'. 

"They want to get rid of me, is the message. But I signed a five-year contract last summer and Marseille have paid a big transfer fee to Roma, so it's not like clubs can take me for a very low price. We have to wait to see what happens in the market and how it will go."

He added: "In principle I still have four years of my contact to go. You do not sign somewhere for five years with the intention of leaving again after a year. I want to repay the trust and stay and have a better second year, but then again, you have to get the chance. Marseille also has to deal with UEFA's Financial fair play rules."

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Strootman has already been linked with a return to former side PSV, though there are doubts the Eindhoven giants can afford him.

But the 29-year-old is not sure where he will end up, saying he has not thought about going back to his homeland.

"I have not thought of the Eredivisie yet," he said. "My preference is not in a loan move. A sale is preferable." 

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