By support

3rd Dec, 2016 | 10:26am

West Ham braced for January midfielder bid - report

By Dominic Toner

Arsenal are lining up a January move for West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet, according to a report.

The Sun claim that the Gunners are preparing a deal for the 29-year-old in the January transfer window if they are still in the hunt for the title.

The report details that Arsenal will make their move if West Ham are fighting relegation after their poor start to the season.

Payet is currently under contract with the Hammers until 2021 after agreeing a long-term contract at the beginning of the year.

West Ham are currently 16th-placed in the Premier League and are just a point above the relegation places.

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The Hammers were expected to be competing for the European spot this season and have struggled since their move to the London Stadium, but Slaven Bilic’s side have also missed the goal threat of Payet.

Payet has scored just two goals in 14 appearances this season across all competitions and West Ham have certainly missed his contribution.

In comparison, the French international scored 15 goals in 44 appearances last season and was pivotal to their seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.

The attacking midfielder has still created seven assists this campaign and looks the most likely player to drag West Ham out of a relegation fight, but the club will need to find a solution to their current forward problem.

Arsenal are currently just three points off the league leaders Chelsea and are regarded as serious title contenders this season.

Payet would add some extra quality to Arsene Wenger’s midfield and he would be competing with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a starting spot.

Football Insider verdict:

West Ham must keep hold of their talisman Dimitri Payet in the January transfer window as they could find themselves in serious trouble without him. The attacking midfielder is the most talented individual in the squad and his quality is sure to shine through during the season. Arsenal’s interest shows how highly-rated Payet is and it would be a devastating blow if they were to sell their star player. West Ham’s move to the London Stadium should mean they can attract bigger names and they should keep Payet at all costs. The Hammers should have enough quality to steer away from the relegation places, but a potential Payet departure would have a huge negative impact on the side.

In other West Ham transfer news, Bilic is set to axe four summer signings in a January reshuffle.