Marseille president Pablo Longoria reveals details on signing of Ruslan Malinovskyi

Ruslan Malinovskyi, Marseille’s most recent signing, had been one of the club’s transfer targets since January 2021, as revealed by club president Pablo Longoria in a press conference today.

Through patience, and a little persuasion, it seems that Longoria’s wishes were finally fulfilled three days ago. For €10m plus €3m in potential bonuses, Malinovskyi has signed a loan deal with a mandatory purchase option to move from Serie A’s Atalanta to Les Phocéens in Ligue 1.

Speaking at the midfielder’s unveiling, Longoria provided some intriguing details on the transfer from behind the scenes. He said of Malinovskyi: “He is sought-after. We have been able to continue discussions that started last summer. He is exactly what we need.”

Longoria noted that OM’s first encounter with the Ukrainian international had taken place after Marseille’s Morgan Sanson had transferred to Aston Villa two years ago. The Olympiens made several approaches to the Bergamo club; Atalanta continually turned them down. It would appear that persistence is key, as Longoria relaunched negotiations with La Dea for a move this month.

“In recent weeks, we have kept in touch with [him] and his entourage. We have a very good relationship with Atalanta. Negotiations accelerated after the departure of Gerson [to Flamengo],” he said.

The 29-year-old played for Marseille as a substitute last night, as they beat Troyes 2-0. It is hoped that his arrival can help to boost Marseille’s chances of reaching next season’s Champions League group stages, with the club sitting third in Ligue 1 – just two points behind RC Lens in second.

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