Florian Thauvin could be about to end a nightmare spell at Newcastle United by returning to former club Marseille on loan.
The 22-year-old only joined the Magpies in August in a £13million deal involving Remi Cabella going the other way, but L’Equipe and La Provence both report he is “in talks” to return to Ligue 1 far sooner than expected.
Thauvin appeared to be set for a promising career at St James’s Park after starring in a 4-1 League Cup win over Northampton in August, but he has started just three games in the Premier League as Newcastle have battled to escape relegation concerns.
However, Newcastle boss Steve McClaren vowed to ‘stick by’ Thauvin earlier this week after he was booed by a section of the club’s travelling support at Watford, saying: “When [you are booed] by your own fans it knocks your confidence.
“That is how Florian is. We all have sympathy for him, for that kind of reaction he got.
“It’s a tough one for the individual, but we’re sticking with him and by him.”
One Newcastle player who certainly appears to be headed back for France is Yoan Gouffran after Lille boss Frederic Antonetti confirmed their interest in the player.
Gouffran was a regular in the Magpies side under former boss Alan Pardew, but has been reduced to a bit-part role since the summer and it is unlikely they will look to stand in his way.