Florian Thauvin to Marseille: Lille's €11.5m Profit on Star Who Never Played

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterSeptember 2, 2013

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Getty

It's not always easy to make money in the transfer market, but Lille might have pulled off a pretty sweet deal after selling Florian Thauvin to Marseille.

Lille bought Florian Thauvin for €3.5m and are about to sell him to Marseille for €15m before he's even played for the club. #GoodBusiness

— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) September 2, 2013

Translation: "Welcome to Florian Thauvin, the new Marseille recruit. Interview to follow on the club website."

It's an extraordinary story. Attacking midfielder Thauvin, 20, was signed up by Lille in the January window from Bastia.

Rather than fast-tracking him into the team, they opted to loan him directly back to his former club—where his fabulous finish to the season saw him bag seven goals in 13 Ligue 1 games. Bastia went on to finish 12th in the division.

Thauvin, meanwhile, travelled on to the U20 World Cup in Turkey, and became part of France's first title-winning squad.

All of which has proven enough to bump his value up, so just as Lille prepared to utilise him, Ligue 1 giants Marseille swept in and made an offer they couldn't refuse.

On a day when Kaka appears to have sealed a free transfer return to AC Milan four years after he joined for £56m, then there's no doubting that it's a pretty decent return.

For Marseille, the hope remains that at €15m they will still get their money's worth. Either that, or at this rate they can sell him on without him playing for €30m in January.