We’re getting closer to one of the most exciting transfers at the club since Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano arrived in east London in 2006.
It emerged yesterday that Dmitri Payet was edging closer to signing for the club, with Marseille poised to accept a bid of around €12million for his services.
Some rumours even suggested he was on his way to London already, with a medical and his contract waiting for him at the other end.
And that deal looks like it could be completed imminently after Marseille released a statement this morning that completely outlined the situation and why it has taken so long to be resolved either way.
In essence, they’ve never wanted to sell the France international. But the player and his agent had pretty much told the Ligue 1 side to either better West Ham’s offer of €30million over a six-year contract or accept whatever bid we’d made and allow him to move on.
Marseille need to make €30m by the end of this month to satisfy Financial Fair Play regulations after missing out on Champions League qualification last season, which will have further boosted our chances of completing a deal for Payet.
“Marseille makes it clear that it absolutely does not have the intention of selling its player Dimitri Payet. At the beginning of the month of June, an agreement had been found with Dimitri and his agent. The two parties endorsed at this time that the attacking midfielder would honour the final two years of his contract.
“On the 22nd of June, Dimitri’s agent asked for another meeting with President Vincent Labrune. During this meeting, he announced that he and his player had opened negotiations with West Ham, explaining that the English club were offering a 6 year contract worth €30m over this period for the player. Due to this, the agent asked for a colossal and immediate contract extension so that Payet could stay at Marseille.
“Unable to agree to this demand, Marseille, through the voice of its President, first expressed his surprise that negotiations with another club had been opened without Marseille’s agreement.
“The club then pushed back the reckless demands of Dimitri Payet’s agent explaining that he had agreed to revise contract conditions of the player but only in mid-July, after Marseille had respected its commitments to the DNCG.
The agent, who refuted these claims, asked Vincent Labrune for a quick answer affirming, that if they he didn’t, the English offer would be the one that Payet’s team looks favourably on.
“Surprised by this ultimatum, the Marseille President decided after half a day’s reflection to respond favourably to the English offer whilst reminding the player of his responsibilities. 1) Wait until mid-July for discussions with the President over a contract renewal or, 2) Take the golden deal from West Ham. Marseille obviously wants Dimitri to decide to stay at Marseille next season.”
So, it looks increasingly likely that Payet and his representatives have chose to ‘take the golden deal from West Ham.’
Hopefully we can get a deal officially confirmed by the end of the week. Payet is Ligue 1’s highest assister over the last three seasons, with over 60 to his name. What a signing this could turn out to be for us.