Dimitri Payet has hinted that he would not turn down a move to Arsenal should the Gunners come knocking
Payet has glittered for West Ham since joining the Hammers for a fee of £10.7 million from Olympique de Marseille. The Frenchman was one of the stand-out players in the league last year, so it is no surprise that he was linked with a move away from West Ham despite having only played one season for the Londoners.
Reports emerged earlier this month that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had opened talks with Payet over a potential move to Old Trafford while Arsenal were also said to be interested in signing the playmaker.
And, it is Arsenal that attract the Frenchman more, if his comments are to be believed :
“I read that Wenger considers me the missing piece of the Arsenal’s game, but he’s never told me that,” he said, according to RMC Sport.
“We conceded five or six at home against them. When you see them playing, as a technical player, you could only have fun in that team. They’re candidates for the title every year.”
Payet also added that his club’s poor form was affecting him but that he had left no stone un-turned in terms of effort. He did admit that he wanted to play in the Champions League, however, and stressed that he wasn’t closing the door on a potential move :
“The situation at the club affects me, but I’m an ambitious person. I’m in a fight with my club and I’m giving everything for them, to get out of this difficult situation, but I’m not closing the door to anything.”
“I miss the Champions League. I’ve got some great years ahead of me and I want to enjoy them by playing in important competitions.”
At 29 years of age, Payet is at his peak and probably doesn’t have more than 3 years left at the top level. It is understandable that he would want to make the most of his career and play for a club in the Champions League.
Payet signed a new long term deal in February, 2016 and his contract only expires in 2021. This leaves West Ham in a strong position with regards to any negotiations over a sale and they will not be forced into any situation where they have to part with the player for any fee that is not exorbitant. Although West Ham have struggled, Payet has been in decent form. Hence, it is no surprise that other clubs will be looking to capitalise on the situation.
It is unlikely Wenger will spend big on a player who is already 29 years of age but Jose Mourinho could yet be tempted to prize Payet away from West Ham.