A Chinese club wants to continue the nation’s growing habit of paying huge fees for European stars by signing West Ham’s Dimitri Payet for £38 million.
According to Kaveh Solhekol, chief news reporter for Sky Sports News, an unnamed club is prepared to put in a mega bid for the 28-year-old.
The news comes on the day the BBC report that Payet is in discussion with West Ham to sign a new deal, despite signing a five-year contract in the summer.
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Reports have suggested the Frenchman has demanded a new contract, which have been denied by the club. Payet tweeted his plan to stay at West Ham "for many years" on Monday.
West Ham fans will no doubt be chuffed at Payet’s words but £38m is a huge sum of money to turn down should they reject the proposed offer. The former Marseille man has been one of the Premier League’s best players this campaign but West Ham would be in line to make a £28m profit on a player they signed less than a year ago.
According to Solhekol, the Chinese side are prepared to give Payet wages of £135,000-a-week after tax.
China's road to domination
It’s just another case of China’s growing influence in football. Chinese clubs have already spent close to £200m this winter - Premier League spending hit £175m - and the Chinese transfer window doesn’t close until February 26.
Alex Teixeira (£38m to Jiangsu Suning), Jackson Martinez (£31m to Guangzhou Evergrande) and Ramires (£21m to Jiangsu) have all joined the Chinese Super League this winter.
Payet could be next player to join them.