Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has urged the club to sign West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet. The France international has been among the stand out performers during the 2015-16 season, showings which saw him nominated for the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year award.
Payet lost out to Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez but was named in the PFA Premier League team of the season after netting 12 goals and making 11 assists as the Hammers have put themselves in with a chance of qualification for the Champions League. The 29-year-old's form has seen him force his way into the France squad in time for European Championships and has naturally led to rumours regarding his future.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has insisted that Payet is not for sale but that has not stopped an unnamed Chinese club bidding £38m for the player, accompanied with a salary offer for £135,000-a-week which would double his current wages, according to Sky Sports. Despite the club's stance, Chelsea stopper Begovic believes Payet would be an ideal signing.
"I would go for Dimitri Payet at West Ham," he told Sky Sports. "He's a fantastic player, a fantastic talent, he's someone who I'd like to sign, possibly." Incoming new manager Antonio Conte is yet to make any firm decisions regarding Chelsea's transfer strategy with his focus remaining on preparing Italy for the European Championships, and it is unknown whether he is plotting wholesale changes or minor adjustments.
The west Londoners have endured a haunting campaign which saw Jose Mourinho sacked in December and their title defence fail with a whimper. Chelsea have surged into the top half following a late flurry of wins but interim boss Guus Hiddink is under no illusions that anything other than a radical overhaul is required.
"It is not a small job," Hiddink said in February, according to The Independent. "I don't want to open up too much, but everyone has to make good analysis about the strength, and weakness of the squad. They have to react in making the squad stronger for next season. That is not a small job."