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Bilic says ‘No way’ to moving Payet to Marseille

Hammer boss firmly denies rumors the Frenchman wants to return home

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images

Rumors have been swirling of late that Olympique Marseille, the club that West Ham bought Dimitri Payet from in the summer of 2015, are looking to reclaim the 29-year-old superstar.

Dimitri has put in many a good shift for West Ham since the £10.7M move, and has become quite the world class player since joining West Ham, which has more than tripled the player’s value. It has been stated by a couple footballing sites that Marseille are looking to make a move for Payet sometime this week, and that the French giants could be offering a bid as much as €40M (£34M) to make the deal happen, as well as sweetening the pot with either one of wingers Bouna Sarr or Romain Alessandrini, but it doesn’t seem that West Ham has much interest in either of the wingers as the club is chock full of them.

Of course, as with all transfer rumors, there are going to be conflicting reports. One particular French footballing magazine, L’Equipe, is reporting that Payet is “passionately interested” in a move back to the club, but our gaffer Bilic has vehemently stated for weeks that Dimitri is going nowhere. On top of Bilic’s (most recent) denial, former Marseille defender, Frank Leboeuf, has also denied the rumor, saying:

“I do not believe it for a moment ... When you're in the most prominent championship, you do not want to go back to Ligue 1 ... [Payet] has no interest in coming back.”

It seems at this point that the Hammers are not interested in selling Payet, with relegation fears slowly subsiding, and hopes of finishing in the top half of the table ecstatically emerging. The last thing the Hammers want to do is sell their star man, but it could be that they get an offer they can’t refuse. £34M probably won’t be enough. Numbers we’ve been seeing around the transfer mill have been anywhere from £50M and above for the Frenchman, but even then, Slaven Bilic and Co. have fervently denied for weeks that Payet will be leaving in January.

A move for Dimi in the summer, though, is another story entirely.