Marseille have reportedly given up on their pursuit of West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet in January, leaving the Frenchman stuck with the Hammers.
Slaven Bilic revealed last week that the 29-year-old had informed him that he no longer wanted to play for the club, and so in turn it led to speculation linking the French international with various moves.
As reported by Sky Sports, Marseille appeared to be the most likely destination, as they had two bids rejected by the Hammers but were expected to return with an improved third offer.
As noted in the report, West Ham are holding out for £30m for Payet, but Marseille were not willing to go above £25m and so it has led to a breakdown in negotiations.
That third offer isn’t coming this month as it’s claimed that the Ligue 1 outfit believe that it will be too difficult to sign Payet in this transfer window and so they have been forced to look elsewhere at other targets before it’s too late.
In turn, Payet will have to wait until the summer if he wishes to return to his former club, or there is of course still the possibility that another club comes in and rescues him from the London Stadium before the deadline.
Sky Sports add that he has rejected offers from China with reported wages of £500,000-a-week as he was desperate to get back to his homeland and was even willing to take a pay cut.
That isn’t happening now though and so it remains to be seen whether or not he perhaps even informs his representatives to open up talks with the Chinese Super League clubs again.
Further, it may well even be a clever ploy from Marseille as part of a strategy to pressure West Ham into letting him go for less as they will be keen to offload him if he has no desire to stay.
Payet was absent in the win over Crystal Palace last weekend and will not be in the squad for Middlesbrough this weekend. With under two weeks to go until the deadline passes though, there will be nervous faces all round.