Marseille's Andre Villas-Boas Hints at Dimitri Payet Sale Amid West Ham Rumours

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2020

Marseille's French forward Dimitri Payet celebrates after winning the French cup football match between Trelissac and Marseille on January 5, 2020, at the Beaublanc stadium in Limoges, central France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas has said he can't rule out a transfer for Dimitri Payet after reports linking the player with a switch back to West Ham United.

According to FootMercato (via Sport Witness), the Portuguese manager said Payet remains one of his most important players, but he doesn't know if the former Hammer will return to the Premier League:

"Dim is not transferable. He knows it, we have a special relationship, he also knows the importance he has for the team. After that, it's not only the position of the club, that of the player also counts. I read what came out in L'Equipe and in England today. I don't know if it's true, we have to be ready if it happens. There are a lot of parameters to take into account: the offer for the club, for the player... I don't think it's going to happen. We will wait."

Jon Super/Associated Press

Payet became a cult hero during his 18 months at West Ham before embarking on a second spell with the Olympians.

Marseille have recently appointed former West Ham chief executive Paul Aldridge as an advisor to club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud. Aldridge has been reportedly tasked with selling players to English sides, per Sport Witness.

According to Jordan Seward for Mail Online, Villas-Boas said he learned of Aldridge's appointment in the press and was not consulted by Eyraud.

Villas-Boas arrived at Marseille last May after 12 months with Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League.

TalkSport presenter Adrain Durham said Payet would improve West Ham's current squad:

Sky Sports reported on Thursday the rumours of a potential transfer for Payet back to West Ham are inaccurate, stating there has been no contact between the two clubs.

The Hammers dismissed coach Manuel Pellegrini in December, replacing him with former boss David Moyes. The club are flirting with the relegation zone and are 17th on goal difference above Bournemouth.

Payet, 32, surprised many with his performances in England, but West Ham fans remember the circumstances of his departure in 2017.

West Ham openly criticised the France international after agreeing to sell him to Marseille for £25 million. Payet said he no longer "felt well" at the Hammers, prompting his decision to exit, per BBC Sport.

Moyes needs reinforcements in January in order to direct his team to safety. Three victories in their last 10 in all competitions suggests there's potential to exploit, but consistency has been a recurring issue at the London Stadium.

Payet might be a useful short-term addition, but West Ham need a creative spark beyond the current campaign.  

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