Marseille attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has signed a new long-term contract at the club, which will keep him at the Stade Vélodrome until the summer of 2017, Sky Sports reports.
Valbuena, 28, had been linked with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Fenerbahce, with reports suggesting that the Turkish giants came closest to winning the race for the Frenchman.
The France international has effectively extinguished any exit rumours by putting pen to paper on a new long-term deal with Marseille.
“I am delighted to sign a contract with Marseille,” said Valbuena.
“Fernerbahce wanted me but they could not agree with Marseille.
“I will play for this great club any time they need me.”
Valbuena, who joined Olympique de Marseille on a three-year deal from FC Libourne-Saint-Seurin in June 2006, has been a vital component of the French giants’ since breaking into the first-team in 2007.
Over the past six seasons, Valbuena has tallied over 30 goals and 30 assists in all competitions for Marseille, while establishing himself as a full France international.
The 28-year-old has bagged four goals and 10 assists for both club and country this season, including two goals and eight assists in 25 Ligue 1 starts.
The France international has been linked with Arsenal on several occasions over the past few seasons, but a move seems extremely unlikely since he has agreed fresh terms with Marseille.
Fiorentina keen on Borini
Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has confirmed the club’s interest in Liverpool forward Fabio Borini amid speculation that the club are looking to add a new striker to their squad before next season, Sky Sports understands.
Borini, 21, has scored just one goal in 15 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool in 2012-13.
His 2011-12 form seems a distant memory at the moment, with the Italy international — who was included in the Azzurri’s squad for Euro 2012 by manager Cesare Prandelli – currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Additionally, Fiorentina have been linked with Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo, who has scored 11 league goals in 19 matches for i Giallorossi this term.
“We seek a striker with a hunger for goals in their DNA, a player who lives for the goal,” Prade told Radio Toscana.
“We like Fabio Borini, but it’s hard to see that Liverpool will let him go.
“Osvaldo? I don’t think Roma would reinforce a direct competitor like us, but you must never say that a deal is impossible, even if now it’s cheaper to buy players abroad.”
In other news, Fiorentina are currently in contract talks with in-form attacking midfielder Adem Ljajic, who netted a brace against Internazionale on Sunday.
The Serbia international has been a consistent performer for Fiorentina this season, and the club are working very hard to negotiate a new deal with the 21-year-old, confirmed Prade.
“This is a time of great growth for him, both as a player and as a man,” said Prade.
“His contract with Fiorentina expires in 2014, but we have talked for two months with his agent to extend it.”