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Sep, 9, 2010

Marseille tried to sign Drogba before deadline

Marseille have revealed they tried to bring Chelsea striker Didier Drogba back to the Ligue 1 club before the transfer deadline, despite a breakdown in relations between the coach, Didier Deschamps, and the sporting director, Jose Anigo.

Club president Jean-Claude Dassier has revealed Deschamps and Anigo fell out over the club's transfer dealings - including the controversial exit of Hatem Ben Arfa to Newcastle United - and have only now patched up their working relationship.

But those tensions did not stop the club launching a bid to sign Drogba, the player they sold to Chelsea for £24 million in 2004, and they could try again in the near future.

"We even tried to bring in Drogba, but this has not been possible," Dassier said. "We'll see, you should never give up in life."

Dassier revealed that Deschamps and Anigo had met for clear-the-air talks after a testing summer.

"This helped dispel some of the misunderstandings," he said. "They said what they thought of each other, it's good. The tensions are behind us. Today they are working together again after a complicated month."

Dassier revealed the two men disagreed on the departure of top scorer Mamadou Niang, who left for Fenerbahce after asking to be sold due to the arrivals of Andre-Pierre Gignac and Loic Remy, while the club's attempt and failure to sign Alou Diarra from Bordeaux also led to disagreements. Ben Arfa, who went on strike to force through a move to Newcastle, also caused problems.

However, Dassier insisted Deschamps was still the club's first choice to remain in charge throughout, and they never stopped looking to the future, as evidenced by the attempt to bring Drogba back to the Velodrome.

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