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Just How Far Was Andre-Pierre Gignac From Making A Move To Fulham?

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KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 21:  Djibril Cisse shakes hands with Andre Pierre Gignac at a France training session during the FIFA 2010 World Cup at Pezula Field of Dreams on June 21, 2010 in Knysna, South Africa.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 21: Djibril Cisse shakes hands with Andre Pierre Gignac at a France training session during the FIFA 2010 World Cup at Pezula Field of Dreams on June 21, 2010 in Knysna, South Africa. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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Not very.

The French international revealed recently that everything between he and Fulham had been signed, sealed and was ready to be delivered, but Olympique Marseille balked at the last moment.

"We were told about Olympiakos and Fulham. I decided to listen to the London side. We went there and immediately we felt their interest was concrete and serious. We were interested. We spent the evening with coach Martin Jol and his wife.

"On Wednesday we had a medical. It was a wonderful welcome. So on Wednesday it was all okay. Fulham agreed with l'OM.

"At 11:30 pm they called me to say I have to go back to Marseille because my forward replacement would not come! I was in London so called to help l'OM sign a forward, but it could not be resolved."

Perhaps more interesting is what happened after the move deteriorated and the door it leaves open for the future.

"Three minutes after calling me to come back to Marseille, I was called again as there was an opportunity to go to Sunderland. I could not reply yes to Sunderland and no to Fulham, because l'OM just made the decision of a swap deal with Gyan!"

So Gignac, at the last moment, still had a chance to play in the Premiership, but snubbed Sunderland. And the most likely reason why was because it would've seemed like a betrayal to Jol and a club that had made him feel very welcome.

"At Fulham they wanted me. I didn't see anyone at Sunderland. I'm not a mercenary. I'm not angry, but I have a bitter taste in my mouth."

Gignac's words prove flatting for the club and, when coupled with comments made by Muamer Tankovic, a highly regarded Swedish Under-16 international whom the club signed at the last minute on deadline day, show further proof of a club that has developed a positive reputation amongst players.

"Fulham presented the best offer. They felt best too."

It wasn't just that the club paid best, it "felt" best too. Similarly, with Gignac, a raise and Premiership football could have been on the horizon with Sunderland, a club that Steve Bruce has done a tremendous job of making relevant in recent years. Instead, he ignored any overtures because of how well the London club had treated him, how well he felt with the team.

Despite the club landing Bryan Ruiz and Orlando Sa and the former's presumably hefty wages, it's hard to imagine that, if given a second opportunity during the January transfer window, Jol would pass on a forward of Gignac's caliber. Gignac's words give hope that Jol could have that chance if Marseille can find their man.