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Chelsea JOIN RACE for Payet?!

Chelsea are reportedly planning a swoop for West Ham United ‘s wantaway playmaker Dimitri Payet.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic said recently that the 29-year-old has refused to play for the club in an attempt to force through a big-money move away from the London Stadium.

It has been reported that Payet wants to move to Marseille for family reasons, and has already turned down a host of English and Chinese clubs.

Payet’s former side Marseille have reportedly failed with a £19.1m offer for his services and reportedly, league leaders Chelsea are now monitoring Payet’s situation, and considering a bid of their own.

Blues boss Antonio Conte is looking to strengthen this month as he looks to maintain the side’s title challenge in the second half of the campaign, and has funds at his disposal following the £60m sale of midfielder Oscar to the Chinese Super League.

The Italian had been targeting Bayern Munich’s Aturo Vidal in a £38m move but the deal has been ruled out by Carlo Ancelotti who has refused to be pressured into selling one of his key players – something Slaven Bilic is trying to replicate, but reports suggest that West Ham are now willing to let the wantaway Payet leave, for the right price.

With a team like Chelsea sniffing around, fans will be wondering if the temptation of a side in great form, and on top of the Premier League, will be able to tempt Payet to change his mind and opt to stay in London rather than make a move back to France.

So far, Marseille’s president Jacques-Henri Eyraud held high-level discussions with West Ham officials in London in a bid to secure a deal for Payet, who played at Marseille for two seasons before joining the Hammers in the summer of 2015, but West Ham will not consider an offer of less than £30m for Payet, having turned down a £19.1m bid for the France international from Marseille last week.