At Olympique de Marseille, the last few months have been particularly hectic. And a lot of rumors have appeared. Questioned at length by AS on the sidelines of the Europa League round of 16 first leg between Marseille and Villarreal (this Thursday, 9:00 p.m.), Pablo Longoria – for whom this season is “an emotional elevator” – took the time to answer, without ambiguity.

The Spaniard, among other things, spoke about his future, which some sources say is (completely) uncertain: “I have the determination to build a project here. A stability project, a project that allows us to have this managerial stability and to have a well-defined idea of ​​the game. A club project to improve the infrastructure, the stadium, the training center… Thinking that everything that happened gives you the determination and strength to sustain it, with a long-term game model,” he assured. Before specifying: “The stadium must be maximized, because in terms of the stadium, we have been full at every match since last season. We can do more. Create recurring revenue to invest in talent and ensure continuity to ensure stability. »

SEE ALSO – Europa League: Marcelino returns to Olympique de Marseille this Thursday evening (9 p.m.)

This interview was also an opportunity for the young Marseille manager (37 years old) to cut short (once again) the recent sales rumors which have continued, for several years, to poison the life of the Canebière club. “These are rumors. They are part of this external narrative of destabilization,” he told our Spanish colleagues. The Olympian president also returned to the Jonathan Clauss “affair”, which has sparked controversy in recent weeks.

“The Clauss chapter must be considered closed. This happened at a time when the team has many players in the African Cup, many players injured and the basis of January had to be the maximum commitment of all of us who were around the team, he explained. I talk about commitment because in difficult times, primary values ​​must emerge. But these are situations that have already been resolved internally and the only thing we want is the maximum performance from Clauss to achieve the collective goals that we have and his personal ones, to go to the Euro. »

And inevitably, a few hours before the clash against Villarreal, Pablo Longoria could not avoid the subject of Marcelino’s departure last September after a more than stormy meeting with certain representatives of the supporters’ groups: “I believe that this week- there, the conditions were not met to be able to work normally, and this is what I conveyed to Marcelino. Especially since the threats, within a football club, should not exist like those which existed in September,” he first indicated. Before adding: “I completely understand Marcelino’s reasons. At the same time, he understood that my reasons for having to continue as president are much greater than his, because at that time the responsibility of a president and that of a coach are completely different. I felt a duty of responsibility to make a change.” The Marseille president does not think that the reception at the Vélodrome for Marcelino, this Thursday evening, will be “very pleasant”. Response from 9:00 p.m.