Newcastle United were among the clubs that showed interest in Duje Ćaleta-Car in the last window.
Marseille were in favour of sanctioning the defender’s sale since they were in need of funds.
L’Equipe state the Ligue 1 side received ‘concrete offers’ from the Magpies and Valencia in the summer, but a deal never materialised because the 25-year-old ‘refused to leave’, despite ‘several hours of negotiations’ carried out by Marseille president Pablo Longoria.
The French club initially decided to punish the player, but then changed their minds as they were made aware of legal issues.
This step lowers the centre-back’s valuation, which could have been ‘counterproductive’ for Marseille, since then plan to place him in the market again in shirt term. His contract expires in 2023.
Jorge Sampaoli has now included Ćaleta-Car in his plans and the Croatian has grabbed it, turned things around for him, just weeks after refusing a ‘concrete offer’ from the Tyneside club.
Ćaleta-Car starred for Marseille in their goalless draw against Paris Saint-Germain. Sampaoli is delighted to have recovered the defender, who could become ‘important’ for the club in the future.
“We have recovered a player with international experience, who may be important for us in the future,” Sampaoli said.
“In football everything goes very quickly, as we know, there will be players who are very good at times, less at others, the states of form will change. There will also be distractions around the players, they can sometimes get lost a bit, which is why it is important to have a group where there is competition.”
Despite the manager’s comments, L’Equipe suggest Ćaleta-Car is ‘expected to be placed in the market again in the short term’.
Newcastle, now backed with considerable funds from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, could be given a second chance to sign him after summer’s disappointment.