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Marseille coach Villas-Boas: Sanson had Aston Villa offer - I asked him to play

Olympique Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas admits he wanted to play Morgan Sanson on Saturday night.

The midfielder's move to Aston Villa is yet to be rubberstamped, though both Villas-Boas and his counterpart at Villa, Dean Smith, admit only minor details now need to be agreed.

Indeed, the Portuguese has revealed he wanted to start Sanson against AS Monaco on Saturday night in a game which could affect his own job future. Monaco eventually won 3-1, heaping more pressure on former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Villas-Boas.

And after the Ligue 1 defeat, AVB revealed via Le 10 Sport: "We lost Sanson who didn't have the mind to play.

"The club decided to let him go. It's hard.

"I asked Morgan if he had his mind to play, because the offer was on the table. Sadly he said 'Mister, honestly, this is difficult for me'.

"I told him I would let him out of the game, he was no longer focused with Aston Villa's offer."

For Villa, the negotiations remain on track, with it reported that Sanson was due to be flying into the Midlands early this week to complete his move. The 26 year-old is to sign a four-and-a-half-year contract. The fee is mooted to be set at £15.5m.

Sanson helped Olympipque Marseille finish runners-up to PSG in last season's Ligue 1, scoring five goals and creating five assists.

- updated January 26

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