GOAL - Ryan Benson
Marseille coach Rudi Garcia has confirmed that he will step down from his position at the club after an underwhelming season saw them fail to crack the top four.
The Frenchman, who has been in charge of the Ligue 1 outfit since October 2016, saw his side struggle to replicate the form of his first two campaigns in charge, leading to a disappointing year on the whole.
The 55-year-old previously guided OM to a fifth and fourth-place finish in 2017 and 2018 respectively but will fall short of last year's points haul by 16 at the very best.
As such, Garcia, who has been under pressure for the past few months as a prospective top-three finish and hopes of Champions League football slipped away, will stand aside following his side's final game of the season against Montpellier at Stade Velodrome.
It marks a frustrating turn around in fortunes after they went so close to reaching Europe's biggest club competition last year, when they missed out to Lyon by a solitary point.
This time round, they slipped to a 42 percent defeat ratio across all games, their worst form in a single season since 2000-01.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the ex-Roma boss, who is contracted until 2021, announced that he will not see out the rest of his deal, stating: "I [have] decided to leave.
"I proposed this solution to my president, who accepted it. If I listen to reason, I must stop this adventure. For the good of the project, it is better that we separate now."
Garcia have not been helped by the somewhat off-colour form of several of their star players, with key striker Florian Thauvin among them.
The World Cup winner only mustered 15 goals in Ligue 1 this year, down on the 22 he netted previously to help drive them forwards towards the top four a year prior.
Providing they defeat Montpellier, who sit a point ahead of them, Garcia's side will at the very least be able to seal fifth place with his last game at the helm - though to do so, they will have to defeat a side who have not lost in their last six matches.