Lille director Frederic Paquet has reiterated that Marseille have no chance of signing France youth international Florian Thauvin before the close of the transfer window.
Thauvin, 20, joined Lille from Bastia in January but the creative midfielder is in high demand after a successful loan spell at his former club and a starring role as France won the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey last month.
On Monday the player reported for training at Lille after two weeks off, prompting the northern club to once again insist that he was not for sale.
Marseille reportedly had a bid of €5.5 million turned down last month and Lille president Michel Seydoux delivered a scornful response to their interest.
Lille director Frederic Paquet told the club website on Monday evening that there has been no change in their position.
“We’ve always been very clear – his departure has never been either considered or conceivable,” he said.
“Florian has just arrived at the club, he’s 100 % a Lille player and we’re very happy about that. We’re counting a lot on his talent to enable the team to perform.
“Since our last update, we haven’t had any contact with the Marseille directors.”
According to L’Equipe, Marseille offered to triple Thauvin’s salary but Paquet said that Lille would discuss the possibility of giving the player an improved contract.
“From our point of view, Florian is a young player with a lot of potential, who has quickly enhanced his reputation.," he said.
“Naturally he’s pondered his choices this summer. That’s normal.”
Speculation about the player’s future had increased over the weekend after Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo hinted that a move was still feasible.
“Yes, it’s possible I think,” he told Canal+, at half-time during Marseille’s friendly with Sampdoria on Saturday. “It’s a question of means and desire.”
Meanwhile, Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda says that last season’s runners-up can challenge big-spending Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco this year.
“OM have a duty to reach the top of the table,” the 28-year-old told Le Parisien. “Two clubs have bigger budgets but that’s on paper. Football isn’t played on paper.
"We’re going to try to finish in the top three. I’d like for us to follow up last season and that we might do as well if not better.
“Monaco are playing their first season at the top level,” he continued. “We know what that’s like – you have to adapt.
"PSG have an advantage because the players know each other already and they’ve kept the bulk of their squad. But we believe in our chances.”
The French international says he is not concerned about trying to shut out the likes of PSG strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, as well as Monaco star Radamel Falcao.
“That will be one of the motivating factors this season,” he said. “You want to show that you’re on a par with these players.”