Rennes' Niang not on our list of players to buy - Marseille coach Villas-Boas

M’baye Niang - Rennes 2019-20
The Senegal forward is rumoured to be of interest to the Olympians, but the Portuguese tactician has discarded such claims

Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas has stated the club are not interested in M’baye Niang, insisted he is not among their transfer targets.

The 25-year old has been talked about for some time now about a possible move to the Stade Velodrome. There have however not been any concrete discussions about such a deal materialising.

Villas-Boas however did acknowledge there had been previous interest in Niang, with ex-Marseille sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta having contact with his agent.

“I don’t know why the Niang name has come out,” Villas-Boas told La Provence.

“We contacted his agent in February because Andoni [Zubizarreta] had a good relationship with him. We made our interest known about a transfer at the end of the year.

“His profile is interesting, but on the one hand we don’t have the money required and on the other hand, we did not put his name on the list of players to buy.

“It started to gather momentum and I do not know why, to the point where the player was in contact with certain members of our squad.

“I let the player’s entourage know that we are not in for him, we have not made an offer. We have neither the means nor the interest in bringing him in.

“I wish him the best. It is not because he does not have quality, but because we don’t have the capacity and we are looking for a different profile.”

Rennes previously stated there was interest for Niang no official bid has been made for him of which Marseille are among.

“We received a lot of expression of interest, but no offers,” Rennes chairman Nicolas Holveck said.

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“No agreement as I have heard on some platforms, with Marseille in particular. We didn't even get a phone call from Marseille. M'baye is here today. He has expressed his wish to develop under different skies, but not as vehemently as the press reported it.”

Niang scored 15 goals in all competitions with Rennes finishing third in Ligue 1 after 28 matchdays and making it into the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

A new Ligue 1 season will begin on August 23 with Julien Stephan’s men travelling to a Lille side which finished just a point adrift of the final Champions League berth.