What’s the story?
According to reports in The Sun, Chelsea are keen on landing the services of West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet. West Ham boss recently confirmed that Payet has offered a transfer request to the club and seeks a move elsewhere.
Chelsea have a pocketful of cash after their sale of Brazilian midfielder Oscar to Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG and it is believed that Antonio Conte is ready to cash in to bring the Frenchman to Stamford Bridge.
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Dimitri Payet was the star of West Ham’s camp last season as the Hammers finished a commendable seventh on the Premier League table. However, Slaven Bilic’s side sit on the 13th spot currently with Payet himself not having an especially good season.
Payet handed in a transfer request to West Ham which Slaven Bilic confirmed yesterday saying that Payet did not want to play for the London-based club. Bilic said, “Let’s get serious. I have a situation with a player. It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave.
“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players but Payet does not want to play for us,” he added.
The heart of the matter
Several clubs were reportedly interested in the 29-year-old Frenchman in the summer after good performances in Euro 2016. However, Payet had signed a contract extension which would keep him at the club until 2021. Therefore, a move, especially to a Premier League rival, would have cost a fortune for the suitors.
The situation has changed, however, with Payet handing in the transfer request. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is on the lookout for a midfielder after Oscar’s departure and after failing to lure Arturo Vidal to reunite with him at Stamford Bridge, the Italian manager is reportedly readying a bid to bring Dimitri Payet to the Bridge.
It is also understood that Michy Batshuayi or Ruben Loftus-Cheek could serve as bargaining chips and loaned to the other side in order to have Payet play for the Blues.
There are several reports claiming that West Ham have already rejected a £20m bid from his old club Marseille with the Hammers expected to want a fee in the region of over £25 million from the suitors. A transfer request usually means that talks between the club and the player have broken down and Slaven Bilic might not be able to convince the France international to stay on until summer.
Chelsea have been linked with almost every player that is in the market and Dimitri Payet rumours don’t come as a surprise. However, if he were to join Antonio Conte’s men at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s immense depth in attack would become a force to be reckoned with.
For the Hammers, however, it is a major blow as they are set to lose out on a star player and will find it hard to find a player of Payet’s quality. Payet there or not, this season doesn’t look very bright for Slaven Bilic.