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Jun 28, 2013

Payet bound for Marseille

Marseille and Lille have struck a deal "in principle" to take Dimitri Payet to the Stade Velodrome in a switch the France international hopes will keep him in the frame to play at the 2014 World Cup.

Dimitri Payet joined Lille from Saint-Etienne	in 2011
Dimitri Payet joined Lille from Saint-Etienne in 2011

"I can announce to you that I'll be at Marseille next season. Thank you LOSC for two superb years," Payet tweeted on Thursday after the two clubs reached agreement on a move that has been in the pipeline since Lille missed out on European football on the final day of last season. Completion of the deal is still dependent on the player passing a medical.

The former Saint-Etienne attacker, who contributed 12 goals and as many assists as Lille finished sixth, will bring much needed funds - an estimated €8.7 million plus bonuses of around €1 million - to the northern club, who are seeking to offload a number of their highest earners in order to compensate for the lack of additional revenue a Champions League or Europa League campaign usually provides.

In return, Payet hopes to benefit from playing in continental competition for last season's Ligue 1 runners-up and one of France's most popular clubs to keep himself at the forefront of the thinking of national team boss Didier Deschamps as the former OM coach draws up his plans for next summer's global tournament in Brazil.

"Its history speaks for itself. OM has a past, a history full of titles and emotions. The club is a monument of French sport," Payet told Marseille's official website. "The French team and the prospect of the 2014 World Cup were deciding factors in my thinking, but not only that. I wanted to stay in France. Throughout my career, I've favoured the sporting aspect of things.

"It's good to think about 2014, but OM also means experiencing the Champions League, playing in a quality squad and achieving lofty objectives in the league. It's a good challenge, and exciting."

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