West Ham £12m loan-to-buy transfer on hold until decision made on attacker - report
By Matt Farr
West Ham are to wait until the Dimitri Payet saga is sorted before deciding whether to allow Sofiane Feghouli to leave the club this month, according to a report.
Feghouli has been attracting interest from AS Roma, and according to Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the Italian club had an initial approach to land the Algeria international on loan rejected by the Hammers.
Roma remain keen on bringing Feghouili to Stadio Olimpico this month and the player wants to move, but the Evening Standard understand that no decision will be made by West Ham over his future until the situation regarding Dimitri Payet is resolved.
It was also reported that the deal on hold is a loan move with an option for a £12million deal.
Payet declared his intention to leave the east London club last week, sending Hammers fans into a frenzy. The France international is refusing to play for the club, and has since been demoted to training with the Under-21 side, but West Ham have reiterated they have no desire to let him leave.
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Marseille, one of Payet’s former clubs, had a £20million bid rejected for the attacking midfielder on Monday, with West Ham only looking to sell him for the right-price.
With Payet exiled from the first-team until he either leaves or apologises, West Ham have stalled negotiations over the transfer of Feghouli to Roma.
Slaven Bilic does not want to lose another attacking player, with Andre Ayew absent at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana, and Payet unavailable for the foreseeable future.
Feghouli, who arrived on a free in the summer, struggled to establish himself in the Hammers first-team at the start of the season, but has since been granted an opportunity to impress.
The 27-year-old marked only his second Premier League start of the season on Saturday with a goal against Crystal Palace, and looks set for a regular run in the coming weeks despite speculation over his future.
Football Insider verdict
West Ham are suffering after Dimitri Payet’s bombshell this week and his outburst has had a knock-on effect on Sofiane Feghouli too. He’s keen on a move but with Payet in limbo it’s looking more likely that he’ll have to stay in east London. That’s good news for the club and for the fans. He is a good player, and the Hammers need him on board at a time when their attacking options are limited. He showed what he can offer in the victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend after a slow start to his Hammers career, and fans will be hoping for more of the same in the coming weeks.
In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers are set to rival Southampton for this Champions League defender.