Manchester City are reportedly considering a £30 million transfer for West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet.
According to The Sun, ahead of a major squad overhaul at the Etihad this summer, Payet has been identified as the first target of the Pep Guardiola era.
Since signing from Marseille last summer for just £10.7 million, Payet has proven himself indispensable to manager Slaven Bilic as they chase European football.
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The France international has six goals and four assists in the Premier League already this season, whilst his absence over Christmas caused the Hammers' win percentage to drop to just 14.3% - in contrast, it is over 50% when the Frenchman plays.
Bayern Munich manager Guardiola was confirmed last week as Manuel Pellegrini’s successor after this season and the Spaniard will undoubtedly want a change of personnel in the City midfield.
Yaya Toure has history with Guardiola from Barcelona, whilst Fernando, Samir Nasri and Fabian Delp could all find themselves surplus to requirements.
Bilic stated back in January that: “there is not enough money in the world that would let him (Payet) go”, however, £30 million for a player who turns 29 next month could be hard to refuse.
Considering the new rights deal and their imminent move to the Olympic Stadium, West Ham are not in a position where they have to sell, however, Payet’s personal preference could be crucial in influencing the transfer.
The midfielder is reportedly happy at Upton Park and while the Olympic Stadium and Europa League football would be attractive, the chance of playing in the Champions League could be critical.
Under Guardiola City will not only be favourites to win next season’s Premier League title but they will also finally be equipped with the expertise to challenge in Europe, following their new manager’s two victories with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.
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