Dimitri Payet has burst onto the scene over the last 12 months as a West Ham and France sensation, but it could have all been very different.
Tottenham's former director of football Damien Comolli claims, as per the Evening Standard, that he came close to signing the star for the Lilywhites, but he left the club before a deal could be completed.
To make matters even more agonising for Spurs fans, who have had to endure watching his electrifying performances for their London rivals, they could have got him on the cheap.
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One that got away
“When I was at Spurs the Saint-Etienne president telephoned me one day and said, ‘Listen, we’re on the point of signing this player, Dimitri Payet, from Nantes for €4million", said Comolli.
“That was an enormous amount of money for Saint-Etienne. He said, ‘I wondered if you’d be interested in buying him for Tottenham in two years’ time for €10million’.
“I said ‘yes’. I didn’t think the player was ready at that point to play for Tottenham but I thought that after two years at Saint-Etienne he would be ready — so I said it was something that I’d be interested in. As I left Tottenham and ended up at Saint-Etienne it never materialised."
If Payet does leave Upton Park this summer, it will be for a lot more than €10million.
The Frenchman has been one of the standout performers at Euro 2016, scoring the hosts' opening goal.
Of course, some fans will question Comolli's comments as he has a bit of a reputation for talking up his importance.
A few years back, according to The Guardian, Arsene Wenger poured cold water on Comolli's claims that he'd recommended Thierry Henry and Robert Pires to Arsenal, when in fact, Gael Clichy was the only player signed on his advice.
Yet, if what he says is true, Tottenham must be kicking themselves.
Will Payet be a West Ham player next season? Have your say in the comments.
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