Marseille have offered coach Andre Villas-Boas a two-year contract extension, the French club announced on Tuesday, amid widespread reports that the Portuguese is set to leave after just one season in charge.
A Marseille statement said the club wished to put right “erroneous” media reports about a new contract offer and confirmed Villas-Boas — whose existing deal runs until the end of next season — had been offered the extension which would tie him to the Velodrome until 2023.
It would also carry the option of a further season if they qualify for the Champions League in that campaign.
It comes after the 42-year-old led the former European champions to second place behind Paris Saint-Germain in the Ligue 1 season which was ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marseille, who are owned by American tycoon Frank McCourt, are therefore set to feature in the Champions League next season for the first time since 2013/14.
The statement said the contract offer showed “the club’s willingness to create stable conditions without which nothing solid can be built for the long term” as well as the “confidence of the club in the qualities of Andre Villas-Boas as a coach”.
However, the announcement comes when Villas-Boas has been widely expected to quit in the wake of the departure of Spanish sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, to whom he had tied his future.
“I came here, one, due to the size of the club, and, two, for Andoni Zubizarreta. I have already said that my future is intimately linked to his future,” said Villas-Boas in January.
The former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur coach has also expressed concern about the club’s ability to invest in new signings for next season.