By Harry Sykes
Karren Brady has hit out at penny-pinching Marseille as she insisted West Ham will refuse to sell Dimitri Payet at a bargain price.
It was widely reported in the UK that talks between the two clubs over the January transfer of Payet had ground to a halt and that Marseille would not be signing him this month.
However, French publication L’Equipe then claimed that the Ligue 1 big hitters had tabled a new bid of £26million to re-sign the player they sold to West Ham for £11million in the summer of 2015.
In typically outspoken fashion, Hammers vice-chairman Brady hit out at Marseille officials for trying to land Payet on the cheap and pointed them in the direction of Bethnal Green if they were eying a cut-price purchase.
“If Marseille want a bargain they ought to try Roman Road market,” wrote Brady in her weekly Sun column. “They should know that Dimitri Payet, skilled enough to play for Real Madrid as well as West Ham, isn’t going cheap, should we decide he can leave at all.
“Chelsea are in the same boat and holding firm like us. My chairmen and the manager keep repeating they want to keep Payet.
“I can assure you they won’t be bullied into agreeing anything that is not in the best interests of WHU.”
Brady’s update on West Ham’s position is brilliantly entertaining, but not entirely consistent, as she claimed in her column a week previously that it was inevitable that Payet would soon head for the London Stadium exit door.
Extensive discussions over a deal have taken place this week between West Ham and Marseille over a deal, amid reports that the London club are holding out for a fee of £40million.
Payet will almost certainly not be in the West Ham side that travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.
Bilic’s side take on a club managed by Aitor Karanka as they aim not to get drawn into a relegation battle.
West Ham are 12th in the Premier League table with 25 points, nine points ahead of the drop zone.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have agreed a landmark striker deal.