Amid the elation of yet another fine night for West Ham and their fans in reaching the last 16 of the FA Cup, some unwanted news is bound to temper the celebrations slightly.
Arguably their most prized asset is being targeted by Manchester City.
Dimitri Payet was only brought in to the Boleyn Ground last summer, but such has been the Frenchman’s impact in east London, the tabloids report that City will be rolling out the chequebook at the end of the season in a bid to lure him to the Etihad Stadium.
The Sun newspaper suggest it is incoming City boss Pep Guardiola himself who has earmarked Payet as his primary transfer target when he takes the reins shortly.
Although the tabloids are known to embellish the odd detail here and there, a fee of around £30m has been mooted for a player who has taken the Premier League under his spell this season.
With six goals and four assists to his name during a dazzling debut campaign, Payet is on course to be shortlisted for many of the individual accolades handed out in May.
At 28, Guardiola knows he would be getting a player at the peak of his powers, who comes with the added assurance of thriving in the Premier League already.
Having only cost the Hammers a sum in the region of £12m, turning such an enormous profit within in the space of barely a year is surely something the club’s owners would be forced to consider.
On the flip side, with the imminent move to the Olympic Stadium for the start of next season in mind, selling such an asset would be the polar opposite message to West Ham’s ambitions moving forward.
This will be especially true if Slaven Bilic’s men manage to secure European football for 2016/17.
As it stands, the Irons are sixth in the table, eight points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and given a 4/1 chance of remaining in the top six spots by Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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