Wednesday 15 April 2015 15:41, UK
The close season scramble for new recruits is almost upon us, with a host of free agents seeking pastures new.
One such player who is out of contract come June is Marseille's Andre Ayew, and the 25-year-old Ghana international has been linked with a move to a host of top European sides.
A left footer, comfortable out wide but equally adept through the middle, Ayew has 64 career goals to his name, averaging one every 3.89 games.
Pace, power and trickery are all key components of Ayew’s game, and his flamboyance and willingness to attack have worried Ligue 1 defences for almost a decade, with enigmatic boss Marcelo Bielsa overseeing a recent resurgence.
Such form has attacted admiring glances from other clubs, but Ayew has a great deal of affection for the club he has been with since the age of 14, and knows departing the idyllic Mediterranean coastal city will be a difficult decision.
“If I am going to leave Marseille, I need to be somewhere I will play, and somewhere I can prove myself," Ayew added.
“I can bring a lot of joy to the league.
"If I have to leave Marseille it will be very difficult. I have been here for ten years.
"It is the club where I grew up, where I have played all my life, since I was 14-years-old.
“I signed my first professional contract with Marseille and since then I have lost titles, won titles and been an important player since I was young.
“I need to prepare myself to leave, even if not this summer. It holds a special place in my heart."
The Premier League is the destination of choice should Ayew bid L'OM an emotional farewell, with Arsenal, Swansea and Newcastle have all been heavily linked with a move for the dynamic forward who is yet to pen a new deal in southern France, with time running out.
But while the Premier League as a whole appeals to the Ghanian, one particular European giant has already captured Ayew’s heart.
"I have had a lot of different offers from different countries, but I will have to discuss with Marseille," Ayew told Sky Sports.
"The Premier League is the best league in the world today, and it would be an honour play there.
“All my life I have been a Liverpool fan.
“When I was young I was watching the Liverpool games.
“Steven Gerrard is my favourite player. It will not be easy to see him leave in the summer, but we all need a new challenge.”
Andre isn’t the only Ayew to become a professional footballer. His father Abedi Pele, nicknamed after the great man himself, is regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever come out of Africa - winning the African Player of the Year award on three separate occasions.
Following in his father’s footsteps has always been a key part of Ayew’s decision making. Abedi found fame with Marseille, and owns Nania FC, where Andre began his career.
Brother Jordan is a former team-mate of Andre, and is still in Ligue 1 with Lorient, while the third Ayew is also making a living from the beautiful game back in Ghana with Asante Kotoko.
Family is key to Ayew, and his illustrious father will be a key advisor to him when he has to make a decision in June.
“I have been very close to my father since I was a kid, and he helps me with every footballing decision. He has played at the highest level," Ayew added.
“He also taught me how to be a man and make my own decisions, and ask advice from the right people who know about the game.
“If I am going to leave then I will have a big discussion with him."
I have been very close to my father since I was a kid, and he helps me with every footballing decision.
Fortunately for Ayew, if he was to earn a move to the Premier League then the transition would be made a great deal easier thanks to his fluent English and the variety of former team-mates already plying their trade on our shores.
And despite having had to come out of international retirement following their controversial exclusion from Ghana's 2013 African Cup of Nations, Ayew already has 64 caps to his name at the age of 25, and he feels that gives him an added edge.
“I have learnt a lot for somebody so young. I have played in two World Cups and four African Cups,” Ayew added.
“I want to play with the best players, and feel I can bring more to a team.”
The rumours will continue, but with the best advice possible from a father who has seen it all, Ayew can choose where best suits him, and start a new adventure, much like his Liverpudlian idol.