Marseille striker wants out

Niang determined to seal Fenerbahce move

August 4, 2010

Marseille forward Mamadou Niang has told the French champions he wants to join Fenerbahce, despite president Jean-Claude Dassier stating his wish to keep the player at Marseille for at least another year.

Marseille's Mamadou Niang (L) celebrates with Lucho (R) after scoring against Nancy
GettyImagesThere has been little interest in Niang since he announced he wanted to leave Marseille

Dassier had hoped to convince Niang to stay, but the Senegal striker remains committed to leaving the Stade Velodrome, after initially announcing earlier this summer that he was ready for a new challenge after five years at the club.

Reports in Turkey have suggested Fenerbahce are closing in on Niang and now the former Strasbourg striker has made clear his desire to join the Istanbul outfit.

"It's a career choice,'' Niang explained in L'Equipe. "It has all been clear since the end of last season. I always said that if a sufficiently exciting challenge presented itself, I'd be interested.

"This challenge has existed since the weekend. Fenerbahce is a great club, very popular in Turkey. Issiar Dia said that the facilities were superb, the staff is good.''

Senegal team-mate Dia made the move to Istanbul from Nancy last month and if Niang does indeed join him in Turkey, he admits it will be with a heavy heart.

"I have never cheated,'' Niang said. "I always gave the best of myself. Sometimes I clenched my teeth to play when I was wounded, to help my team. I gave everything - my soul, my heart.''

"I have always left (previous clubs) on good terms. I will be Marseillais until I leave and, when I go away, half of my heart will remain here. I will have much trouble going away. When my career is over, I will live here.''

Niang, who is under contract until 2014, was the league's top goalscorer last season with 18 as he fired Marseille to their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years.