West Ham United will hold talks with Marseille over the potential £30m sale of Dimitri Payet, according to Sky Sports.
What’s the word?
Since manager Slaven Bilic broke the sensational news that Payet has refused to play for the club, there have been constant rumblings over the playmaker’s future.
Bilic made it clear that the Frenchman will not return to the squad until he changes his attitude, and he was not part of the group that earned a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.
It has been heavily mooted that Payet could return to his former club Marseille, who sold him to West Ham in 2015 for a reported figure of £10.5m.
Sky Sports claim that club officials will meet with Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud this week to discuss a deal, but the East London outfit are not prepared to accept anything less than £30m.
The broadcaster adds that an initial deal involved Payet finishing the season on loan at West Ham, but due to the fans’ negative reaction to the midfielder’s snub, the club are looking to cut ties completely.
Should West Ham sell now or wait?
If the Hammers refused to sell this month, it is possible that Payet will apologise and work his way back into Bilic’s good graces for the remainder of the season.
However, there is also a chance that he will continue refusing to play, which would mean the club having to pay out wages for nothing.
Players want to move on all the time, but it is Payet’s conduct that has got under the skin of a lot of fans.
Having a negative aura around the dressing room can only disrupt the team. Plus, if Payet is made to stay, all the attention will be on his potential return as opposed to matters on the pitch.
The Hammers are already having a tough season, given that they reside 12th in the Premier League table after winning just seven of their 21 games.
All their focus should be on climbing up the standings, and while it is obvious that they lose a quality player in Payet, it seems as though he has already made a decision on his future.
With that in mind, barring a complete U-turn from the player, it is best for West Ham to cut ties and try to get the best deal.