Marseille confirm agreement in principle for Azzedine Ounahi transfer
Marseille have announced an agreement in principle to sign Morocco international Azzedine Ounahi from fellow Ligue 1 club Angers.
Ounahi burst onto the scene as one of the Atlas Lions' main stars in their run to the 2022 World Cup semi finals. A number of clubs had been tracking the midfielder in the previous year and their interest grew thanks to the 22-year-old's sterling performances against the likes of Spain and Portugal.
Leicester opened talks with Angers but their offer of around €28m wasn't enough to land the Foxes the midfielder. They were soon joined by Napoli and Leeds in making bids, but Marseille have gazumped the lot of them and announced the deal.
Their statement reads: "Olympique de Marseille announces an agreement in principle with Angers SCO, for the permanent transfer of Azzedine Ounahi to the club."
22-year-old Ounahi has made 17 appearances for Morocco, scoring two goals. His towering performance against Spain drew particular praise from Luis Enrique, who said: "My God, where does this guy come from? I was pleasantly surprised by their number eight. I don't remember his name, I'm sorry."
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He only played once for Angers following the conclusion of the World Cup. The French side had been keen to hang onto Ounahi for the rest of the season, with manager Abdel Bouhazama recently confirming offers had been made this month.
"We have important and strong requests for Azzedine Ounahi," he said.
"If he is sold I'm just a coach, so I just want to be informed: if we sell him and the club that buys him can lend him back to us, I'd be very happy."
Once the transfer is rubber stamped, Ounahi will join a Marseille side whose recent excellent form has seen them come back into the Ligue 1 title race, with Paris Saint-Germain losing two of their last three games. They are third behind leaders PSG and surprise package Lens.