France won the handball World Cup on Sunday which means L’Equipe haven’t been able to give their front page to Dimitri Payet on Monday, following West Ham announcing the agreement of a deal with Marseille.
It was L’Equipe who launched the potential transfer back on January 2nd, with Payet splashed over their front cover for two days, and Marseille’s intentions made clear. What happened next snowballed everything out of control.
Payet, upon learning of a possible Marseille return, pushed so hard at West Ham that Slaven Bilic went public and the Frenchman was ostracised from the first team squad. His time at West Ham looked very much over, regardless of what the club were saying.
However, Marseille’s first offer was poor. L’Equipe quote a source close to the deal as saying the French club offering €22m was ‘like robbing a bank with a water pistol’.
Marseille at this stage were under pressure. Promises of big spending had been made, and Payet had presented himself on a platter, they just needed to pay the money, and almost certainly much more than they would have liked.
Failure to agree a deal wouldn’t have seen Marseille’s new American owners have the great PR boost they’d have hoped for.
West Ham have announced a fee of £25m, which at today’s exchange rates is about €29.3m
Dimitri Payet will have his official Marseille presentation on Monday, and on Tuesday L’Equipe will be able to do their triumphal front page. The pressure on the West Ham leaver is huge.