Marseille have abandoned their pursuit of wantaway West Ham United star Dimitri Payet, according to Sky Sports.
What’s the latest?
By all indications, the midfielder has had his heart set on a return to Marseille ever since he informed Hammers manager Slaven Bilic that he no longer wants to play for the club.
His desire has been so strong that he has even rejected offers of around £500,000-a-week wages from Chinese Super League clubs, reports the London Evening Standard.
It appears Payet may not get his wish, though, as Sky Sports claim that Marseille have given up on signing him in this window.
The broadcaster states that West Ham are demanding a £30m fee for the Frenchman, but after having multiple bids rejected, the Ligue 1 club are refusing to pay more than £25m.
It could prove to be a negotiating ploy, but Sky Sports claim that as it stands, Payet will not be going to Marseille this month.
What happens now?
West Ham hold the cards given that Payet’s contract does not expire until 2021, so they have the right to command whatever fee they choose.
If a suitor does not meet their desired figure, then it makes sense for the Hammers to hold out until someone does.
The problem with that scenario is that they now have to keep a player who is desperate to leave for another four months.
Payet is on strike and has been banished to the Under-23s, and at the moment, he is no closer to making a first-team return.
For that to happen, the midfielder will likely have to apologise, but even if it is accepted by Bilic and the team, it may be difficult for him to repair his relationship with the fans.
From Payet’s point of view, if reports are to be believed, he only wants to go back to Marseille, but waiting until the summer could severely hamper his form considering that he will be lacking match fitness.
It is a big mess for all concerned, but there are still 11 days left in the window, so anything could happen.