Following West Ham manager Slaven Bilic’s revelation that Dimitri Payet wants to leave the club, French publication L’Equipe, this morning, have reported that Marseille have reached an agreement with the Frenchman.
Payet has reached an agreement with Marseille pic.twitter.com/hzJz353yiY
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) January 13, 2017
The 29-year-old attacking midfielder had a blistering start to his career in England, capped off by an international call-up to the Euros. He, however, has found life harder this season, caused, in part by West Ham’s struggles to maintain their great form from last year.
“He’s definitely our best player and that’s why we gave him a long contract. We are not going to sell him,” Bilic said during his press conference on Thursday morning.
A bold statement of intent by the club, in line with the ambitions they seem to have developed. Keeping Payet may be easier said than done, though, as history shows that players who request transfers almost always have their way. Bilic’s public declaration may also have inadvertently undermined the East London club—it effectively deals an interested club a better hand in negotiations.
With Simone Zaza already back to Italy and signings Sofiane Feghouli and Jonathan Calleri getting ready for moves away, a Payet move would leave West Ham severely lacking in terms of firepower. Only time will tell, but one thing is sure—the events of this saga will have far-reaching effects.