Marseille are the hot favourites to sign want-away West Ham star Dimitri Payet in January but a number of top European clubs could also offer him an alternative escape route.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic revealed on Thursday that the 29-year-old is refusing to play for the London club.
"I have a situation with a player. It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave. He does not want to play for us,” Bilic told reporters.
"This team, the staff, we gave him everything, we were always there for him. I feel let down. I feel angry.”
Although Bilic also insisted that West Ham will not sell Payet, it is now difficult to see the Frenchman having a future in East London.
Here, Goal runs through the most likely destinations for Payet if West Ham agree to cash in on their most valuable asset during the January transfer window.
MARSEILLE: Goal understands that Marseille have already had a £20 million bid for Payet rejected by West Ham. The player is currently in France, having stayed there after attending a charity match in Lille, and is desperate to move back to the Stade Velodrome.
Bankrolled by American businessman Frank McCourt, Marseille have big plans to build a top-class outfit and are ready to spend at least £30 million to take Payet back to the side he represented from 2013 to 2015. Marseille are also the hot favourites to sign Payet with the bookmakers.
MAN UTD: While there has been plenty of talk in the past of Payet joining Jose Mourinho's Old Trafford revolution, the Frenchman no longer appears a great necessity for a side thriving thanks to their extensive stock of forward players.
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney and Paul Pogba all options for the attacking midfield slots behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, even discounting the unsettled Memphis Depay, the only deal United's hierarchy are likely to consider in that department would involve a player at the level of Antoine Griezmann. Nevertheless, given the club’s past interest and wealth, a transfer can’t be completely ruled out.
EVERTON: Manager Ronald Koeman has made it quite clear that “what happens this month” will be crucial for the club’s season, as he urges recruitment to provide much-needed quality and energy at Goodison Park.
Morgan Schneiderlin has joined from Manchester United for £22m, and Payet’s pedigree will no doubt be of interest - with a £30m fee no real deterrent, given the extent of Everton’s part-owner Farhad Moshiri’s riches.
JUVENTUS: The Serie A giants have been under-par in the middle of the park this season following the world record sale of Pogba to Manchester United, and planned to sign two midfielders in January.
Tomas Rincon has already arrived from Genoa, but primary target Axel Witsel snubbed the Bianconeri in favour of a move to the Chinese Super League (CSL). While Juve won’t sign a midfielder for the sake of it, transfer guru Giuseppe Marotta is never one to pass on an opportunity and could look at Payet given Juve’s need for a top-class creative midfielder.
CHINA: The CSL’s transfer activity has been the talk of the football fraternity this January – with a number of huge transfers hitting the headlines around the world. Carlos Tevez has become the highest paid player in history at Shanghai Shenhua on £32m a year, while Oscar and Witsel have also moved to China in blockbuster deals in recent weeks. More big transfers will soon follow.
While Payet is desperate to move back to Marseille, it is almost inevitable that a CSL club will at least try to tempt the Frenchman into moving to the Middle Kingdom with an outrageous salary offer.