Florian Thauvin will see out the remainder of the season in the familiar colours of Marseille, just five months after leaving them for Newcastle United.
Steve McClaren labelled the 23-year-old as one of the best young players in Europe when he spent £12million of his budget to lure him from the Stade Velodrome in the summer, but the winger has struggled badly in England. Thauvin made 16 appearances for the Magpies, with his only goal coming in the League Cup win over fourth-tier Northampton Town in August.
It was unlikely that he would be given more opportunities in the coming months following the arrival of Andros Townsend who joined the Tyneside club from Tottenham Hotspur, for a similar fee, last week. This has allowed Marseille to take Thauvin back for the rest of the campaign, although the former France Under-21 international is set to return to St James’ Park next season.
An official club statement read: “Florian Thauvin has returned to Marseille on loan until the end of the season. The 23-year-old arrived on Tyneside from the French club last August, but has headed back to the Stade Velodrome for the remainder of the 2015/16 campaign. There is no option for purchase within the deal, so Thauvin will return to Newcastle at the end of the loan.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle are closing on a deal to sign Seydou Doumbia on loan. The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international joined Italian giants Roma last January after twice finishing as the top goalscorer in the Russian Premier League for CSKA Moscow, but he struggled to find anything like his best form in Serie A and has spent the last few months back on loan at his former club.
McClaren could also add Saido Berahino to his options before the transfer window shuts. The talented striker has been widely tipped to leave West Bromwich Albion since last summer, and Sky Sports claim the Magpies will battle Stoke City in a race to sign him for £12million. Bafetimbi Gomis, out of favour at Swansea City, is the alternative option should the 22-year-old prove evasive.