2 August 2014 21:23
France attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has ended his long stint with Marseille by moving to Dinamo Moscow on a three-year-deal.
Valbuena has long been linked with a move away from the Stade Velodrome and has now brought an eight-year spell in Provence to a conclusion with a switch to the Russian capital.
France’s World Cup campaign, in which the playmaker featured in four of their five games, helped to build Valbuena’s reputation as he scored and provided an assist in a 5-2 group-stage success against Switzerland.
English sides QPR and West Ham were also said to be interested in the 29-year-old, while Sevilla had also reportedly been in talks to take the diminutive schemer to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
But Dinamo won the race for Valbuena’s signature ahead of their first match of the new Russian Premier League season against Rostov on Sunday.
Valbuena enjoyed notable success in his time at Marseille, helping them to the Ligue 1 title in 2009-10, while also winning three Coupe de la Ligue crowns.
However, Marseille endured a tumultuous campaign last term, missing out on Europe by finishing sixth in the French top flight and bottom of their UEFA Champions League group with zero points.
Elie Baup was sacked in December 2013, with Jose Anigo taking interim charge for the rest of the season.
Marcelo Bielsa has since assumed control at Marseille, but the charismatic Argentinian’s arrival has not been able to convince Valbuena to stay.
Valbuena will now attempt to enjoy better fortune with Dinamo, who qualified for the UEFA Europa League with a fourth-place finish in 2013-14.