Fanni looking forward to Marseille debut
Fanni signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the French champions this morning - after failing to secure a transfer away from Ligue 1 - and coach Didier Deschamps has confirmed his new signing will feature at the Stade Velodrome this weekend.
"He will play at the back in one of two positions [right-back or central defender]," Deschamps told the club's official website.
"We needed a player no matter what happened, but after the injury to Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta], it became even more urgent. It would have been particularly compromising to end the season without a right-back."
Fanni was unveiled by Marseille this morning and cannot wait to get started on the next chapter in his career. "It's a package: the club, its ambition and the Champions League - that's what any player wants to do in his career," he said. "It is a great challenge for me. Everybody knows I'm here and I know all the excitement I have about this club."
The 29-year-old had been desperate to try his luck abroad but has had to alter his mindset after a summer move to Atletico Madrid broke down at the 11th hour. Marseille belatedly stepped in and agreed a deal in principle last night before Fanni put pen to paper on his contract at the south-coast club today.
"I have never hidden my desire to play abroad and that was my first priority," he told L'Equipe. "But when OM stepped in it made me think. Everyone knows I grew up near here, Marseille is a special club for me."
Marseille are just four points off the Ligue 1 summit and have qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. "I have come here to win the title and have a great run in the Champions League," added Fanni. "I have come here with great ambition. If I didn't have that it would have been better not to come."
Fanni, who had been given the number 24 shirt previously worn by Mamadou Samassa before his switch to Valenciennes, is also hoping joining Marseille will boost his France career. "Obviously it can help," he said. "It won't change everything as it is my performance that will determine the final decision but players at Marseille are less likely to be overlooked."