Marseille have accepted a 15 million euro ($16.7m, A?10.6 million) offer from Premiership side West Ham for French international midfielder Dimitri Payet, the club announced on Thursday.

But the club have no intention of selling one of their chief assets and are trying to force the player’s hand, a statement explained.

Marseille have decided “to react favourably” to the offer “in order to make the player face up to his responsiblities”, the statement said.

“Olympique Marseille insist we have absolutely intention of selling our player Dimitri Payet”, the club said but wanted to face Payet with an “ultimatum”.

Payet, 28, and Marseille reached agreement “at the start of June” that the player would honour the last two years of his contract, but his agent announced “that he and his player had opened negotiations with West Ham, indicating that that the English club had offered him a six-year contract worth 20 million euros for the player”, the club said.

“Due to this, the agent demanded a massive and immediate revaluation of Dimitri Payet’s contract for him to stay at Marseille.”

The club said they were not opposed to a reasonable revaluation of the contract, but would not open negotiations until mid-July, according to the French federation’s financial guidelines.

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However, the agent demanded a quick reply, leaving the club with no option but to issue the ultimatum: “to stay at a club he claims to love and wait until mid-July to discuss terms with the president (Vincent Labrune ) … or choose ‘the golden path’ offered by West Ham”.

By AFP