Arsenal will not launch any January bids for Dimitri Payet after Arsene Wenger insisted he has no need for the wantaway West Ham United playmaker. Payet has seen his previously stellar reputation at the London Stadium drop from hero to zero after Slaven Bilic revealed last week that he is refusing to play for the club.
A reunion with Marseille is the most likely outcome for the 29-year-old, who has apparently rejected lucrative overtures from Chinese Super League (CSL) side Hebei China Fortune as he seeks a return to southern France for family reasons. According to Sky Sports, the Ligue 1 outfit, taken over by former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in October, are set to make a third offer for his services having failed with a second bid worth approximately £20m ($24.6m) earlier this week. West Ham are said to value their charge at around £30m.
Arsenal have previously been linked with a possible move, with Payet claiming before Christmas that a technical player "could only have fun in that team". He also said Wenger considers him the missing piece of his team.
Updating reporters on the Gunners' January transfer plans in a press conference held before Sunday's (22 January) Premier League visit of Burnley, the manager said: "I expect it to be a very quiet period because we have [Danny] Welbeck coming back offensively, we are very strong, we have many players who can come in, overall I don't expect to do anything special.
Specifically addressing Payet, who was pictured training with West Ham's U23 team on Wednesday, he added: "I don't need Payet, we have so many creative players. I rate him, but is not an area I am looking at. We have many players offensively who can play in this position. There has to be a need and we have no need in this domain."
West Ham initially appeared determined not to cave in over Payet's exit wishes, with co-chairman David Sullivan reiterating in his programme notes before last weekend's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace that the club do not want to sell and are under no financial pressure to do so. Bilic has also reiterated that such a departure is not yet inevitable, although he will surely want the dispute resolved as quickly as possible as he continues to search for adequate replacements.