Marseilles beat Premier League rivals to sign Rémy

France striker Loïc Rémy has disappointed a long list of potential Premier League suitors by agreeing to join Marseilles from their Ligue 1 rivals Nice, the French champions said yesterday.

The player later passed a medical and signed a five-year contract for an undisclosed transfer fee. Marseilles, who have lost their first two league matches this season, desperately need a striker to replace Senegal forward Mamadou Niang, last season's Ligue 1 top scorer, who has left for Fenerbahce.

The 23-year-old, who has two caps, scored 14 goals last term. The player, who joins Marseilles for a fee in the region of €15m (£12.3m), recently travelled to Stoke for talks over a move but they came to nothing. He had also been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.

The Marseilles coach, Didier Deschamps, had been chasing Seville's Luis Fabiano but was put off by the prohibitive sums involved. "I'd hoped to bring in a striker of international calibre like Fabiano," Deschamps said. "But when I was told about the figures being spoken about I cannot ask the club to buy."