Tuesday 25 October 2016

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Marseille have grudgingly accepted an offer from West Ham for forward Dimitri Payet (below).

Payet, who has played 15 times for France, is expected to arrive at Upton Park on Thursday to undergo a medical and is set to become new manager Slaven Bilic's first major signing since succeeding Sam Allardyce at West Ham.

Marseille issued a lengthy statement saying it is "absolutely not their intention" to sell Payet but that they were forced to accept the bid after a dispute with the player and his agent over a new contract.

The French club also claimed that West Ham have offered Payet a "golden bridge" - a six-year contract worth £21.3million (30m euros) - to play in the Premier League, while appearing to suggest West Ham, whose bid is is said to be in the region of £11million, had approached Payet without their permission.

"Marseille, through the voice of its president, expressed surprise that negotiations had been opened with another club without alerting Marseille," a statement read.

Everton were also reportedly interested in signing Payet, but it appears as though the 28-year-old will now join Bilic at West Ham.

He played 36 times for Marseille last term, scoring seven goals. Payet, who scored in France's 4-3 defeat against Belgium earlier this month, also had the most assists in Ligue 1 last season with 16.

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