The sale of Dimitri Payet has unexpectedly become the biggest transfer saga of the January transfer window.

After the player downed tools earlier in the month in an attempt to force a move back to Marseille, the two clubs have been battling it out over a transfer fee that suits both parties.

Of course, West Ham holds all the power here. After his incredible season last term and then the performances he put in for France during the summer at Euro 2016, Payet’s value has grown rapidly.

And then when you factor in the £125k-a-week contract he’s on, it’s little wonder West Ham are playing hard ball in their attempts to get as much as they possibly can for him

Marseille is the only club Payet will sign for but until they agree to meet the demands of the Hammers, there will be now deal. So far they’ve submitted offers way below the club’s asking price, which some believe to be nearer to £30m.

Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol tweeted on Monday evening that Marseille’s latest bid was just £22.5m, which West Ham have rejected. He goes on to claim that Marseille have now given up in their pursuit of Payet and will move on to other targets, though he also believes that might be a bluff in order to force West Ham’s hand…

It’s a strange one. West Ham don’t have to sell him this month, regardless of Payet’s claims that he no longer wants to play for the club.

The 29-year-old is still on a long contract and will not lose much value between now and the summer transfer window, which is clearly the way the club sees the situation. If Marseille don’t meet their valuation this month, they’ll have until the summer to raise the funds for a transfer to go through. Though you could probably get good odds with that he won’t be a West Ham player come the end of January.

It’s a much more difficult situation for Payet, though. He seems to be desperate for the move but has now relinquished all the power he may have had by seemingly going on strike.

His decision to do that has essentially given West Ham even more reason to be stubborn with their asking price; they’re effectively making an example of Payet by refusing to entertain negotiations until they’re absolutely happy.

Perhaps they will have been more lenient had Payet not behaved in the way he has done. Either way, West Ham have dealt with this situation superbly so far.

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