Ismaïla Sarr’s impressive form for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations has caught the attention of Villarreal, who are managed by former Marseille coach Marcelino.
Sarr has been in fine form for the defending champions, scoring a goal in the 3-1 win over Cameroon in the group stage. He is now set to face Ivory Coast in the last 16.
Villarreal are looking to strengthen their attack in the January transfer window, and Sarr is one of their top targets. The 25-year-old is known to Marcelino, who coached him at Marseille earlier this season.
Marseille are keen to sell Sarr for a fee close to his €13 million purchase price. However, Villarreal are only prepared to offer a loan deal, according to RMC Sport.
Sarr’s start to the season at Marseille was disappointing, but he has been in good form for Senegal. He has also seen his playing time decrease under Gennaro Gattuso, who has switched to a 3-5-2 formation.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria said on Thursday that there have been no official offers for Sarr, but that the club is open to selling him.
“There are a lot of rumors, but nothing concrete yet,” Longoria said. “He is a player who is penalized by the 3-5-2 formation because he is a winger. We are very happy with his performances, and we believe in him. But the circumstances are not the same as when he arrived.”