Brought in over the summer and labelled a major coup for Crystal Palace, it’s fair to say the Steve Mandanda experiment hasn’t exactly gone to plan.
The France number two, who had decided to end his Marseille career after eight years with the Ligue 1 club, started under Alan Pardew before injuring his knee in November.
Since then, the Eagles undergone a managerial change, with Sam Allardyce taking over as manager, and Wayne Hennessey appears to have secured the number one spot in Mandanda’s absence.
Now back in training, it remains to be seen if the Frenchman will ever regain his old job at Selhurst Park, which has led to rumours of a return to France since December.
Marseille’s new project, intent on bringing international players to the club (Evra, Payet…), has changed the way many look at the club, and Mandanda himself admitted himself back in February he would be open to a return to the south of France if it presented itself.
That now appears to be the case.
According to FootMercato in France, talks have taken place over the past few weeks between Marseille and Steve Mandanda, with both parties agreeing on a three-year deal with an option for a fourth, as well as the possibility of converting into a staff member when the player brings his career to an end.
However, while this is all well and good (and not exactly 100% legal), Crystal Palace remain the big obstacle, as it seems unlikely Steve Parish, who declared Mandanda ‘the signing of the summer’, will want to see his prized goalkeeper leave so soon.
Of course, if Palace get relegated, he probably wouldn’t have a choice.