Multiple reports in England claim that West Ham and Olympique Marseille have agreed to a deal to return Dimitri Payet to his old club. The reports say Payet is headed to France for a medical, to join Marseille imminently.
It’s an awkward conclusion to an awkward situation, with Payet set to return to the club he forced his way out of just a year and a half ago. Now, he returns having forced his way out of West Ham, burning bridges at the club where he dazzled England and built his international career to new heights. According to many reports, Payet took a pay cut to return to the club he initially left due to an inability of the club to meet his huge salary request.
With West Ham in the bottom half of the Premier League table, Payet refused to play for the club, leaving manager Slaven Bilic furious, with the Croatian forced to bring up his anger unprompted in a press conference that caught everyone off guard. It got so ugly at one point that West Ham was forced to place security in front of Payet’s image outside the stadium.
Now, the tumultuous standoff has come to a conclusion, with the 29-year-old robbing the Premier League of his technical brilliance and incredible goal-scoring abilities.
Reports say Payet will cost Marseille anywhere between $31 million and $37 million, nearly three times what the French club received for Payet just 18 months ago. It’s little consolation for the Hammers who would much rather keep their best player, but to return three times the investment on a player is always a business success.
Now, Payet must return to the club he made 83 appearances for, but more interestingly, he must rectify relationships he seemed to have destroyed when he left, including that with the fans, who were infuriated by his actions a year and a half ago. At the time, the club claimed in a statement, “his agent demanded a huge and immediate revaluation of the player’s contract to remain at Marseille,. Marseille was unable to meet this demand, and the president expressed his surprise that negotiations were opened with another club without warning to OM.”
UPDATE: Dimitri Payet posted a picture of an airplane with the caption “going home” on his official Twitter account.