Ambitious Villas-Boas eager to remain at Marseille but wants transfer assurances

By Sports Desk May 05, 2020

Andre Villas-Boas has eased the worries of Marseille fans who interpreted a recent social media post as a farewell but insists he will not stay at the club if they cannot match his ambitions.

Former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham coach Villas-Boas moved to Marseille at the start of the season, replacing Rudi Garcia after he could only guide them to a fifth-place finish.

An improvement under Villas-Boas was not instant, as they won just four of their first 12 matches of the season across all competitions, but a 16-match unbeaten run followed.

That helped propel them to what would be their final position in the Ligue 1 table, as Marseille were confirmed as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain last week when the 2019-20 season was cancelled.

A recent Instagram post by Villas-Boas saw him pay tribute to his players, the fans and the club's hierarchy for bringing him to the club, which some supporters interpreted as a potential goodbye.

Although Villas-Boas was adamant that was not his intention, he also stressed he will not stay at Marseille if he does not like the project.

"In the world of football there are several good coaches, it is not with this second-place finish that I will become the best coach in the world, nor the worst," he told RMC Sport.

"I remain as I am. I already said at a press conference that you could find me [in a few months] closer to the Dakar desert [competing in the Dakar Rally] than to a Premier League club or elsewhere. I have ambitions that are limitless geographically - I still have to do Japan, I want to discover Japanese culture and Japanese football.

"I say it sincerely, I'm fine in Marseille, I don't want to look for other clubs or other options. I want to play the Champions League with Marseille, but I want to know how much we are economically dependent on our project.

"That means, if we don't have the conditions to do a good job, it is not worth it, I think. It's normal for a coach to seek such assurances. I think Jacques-Henri [Eyraud, Marseille president] will have answers, like Andoni [Zubizarreta, sporting director] and Frank [McCourt, club owner] will, obviously.

"Then, if there are differences between us, Jacques-Henri and I are honest enough to say.

"On my side, I am open, but it is necessary that we have the opportunity with Andoni to have a quality transfer window, in conditions that will not be the best, but that will allow us to be competitive. We are not so naive as to forget the economic situation of the club.

"[I just want to] understand where we are going, understand how much we can make in investments, if the club wants me, or if it does not want me, and in this case no problem."

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