Sources close to West Ham United have been reporting this week that the club are moving closer to a deal for Marseille attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet.
It is thus far unclear if West Ham have met the asking price of £12m for the Frenchman, many claiming that Marseille have set the cost too high for the 28 year old.
There is no doubting his quality though, providing 7 goals and an astonishing 21 assists for Les Olympiens last term, but the Hammers have to ask themselves if this is too much to pay for a player of his years?
As part of a clause in their current contracts, Payet and his team-mates are reportedly set to lose a significant wage percentage due to missing out on Champions League Qualification, so a move across The Channel would make financial sense for the player. West Ham are considered to be in pole position, apparently drafting up a four year deal worth £70,000 per week.
The French playmaker is apparently holding out for a little more on the wages front, but it’s unlikely any other clubs that need him will meet his wage demands after the transfer fee.
This is certainly an area of the pitch West Ham need to recruit. We’re still unsure if their current CAM Mauro Zarate has a future at Upton Park, plus it’s unknown where Stuart Downing will be deployed this term, after a reasonably successful campaign at the top of the diamond in a 4-1-2-1-2 formation last season.
21 assists is certainly nothing to be sniffed at and if West Ham really want to make a big push towards the top 6, they have to be spending these sorts of sums on this calibre of player.
Payet will be West Ham’s 3rd signing of the summer if so, following Darren Randolph from Birmingham City and Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria
Writer’s View: Unless there are other proven targets lined up, this is a player that West Ham must have a punt on. At the moment West Ham have a good solid team, but after the departures of Alex Song and the massively underused Nene, the player that you’d label as the ‘creative midfielder’ is Stewart Downing. As well as Downing played for the first half of last season, he doesn’t have enough in his armoury to be a constant threat throughout the season.
Payet would be perfect, his assist record speaks for itself and if you look at his career stats he has either provided an assist or scored a goal in every other game he’s played. That’s better than any West Ham player for a long time.