Manchester United are preparing a shock swoop for West Ham United midfielder Dimitri Payet as Jose Mourinho looks for a wide playmaker in the upcoming transfer windows. The Hammers will demand at least £35m ($44m) for the France international, who made his way into the PFA team of the year last season owing to a series of brilliant performances over the course of the campaign.
The Mirror reports that the London-based club are wary that the midfielder's performance this season has not been up to mark as he has been swayed by a move to a bigger club and should United move in with a massive offer, he is unlikely to be dissuaded. Payet has been made the highest paid player at West Ham, but they are no competition to United's financial strength, who can double the midfielder's salary if need be.
The Hammers, who are struggling near the relegation zone, are unlikely to accept any offers in January, but will take a look at the situation in the summer, depending on where the teams finish this season.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese manager is desperate for a creative player and is also keeping tabs on Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco, should they fail to convince Payet to move to Old Trafford.
United are currently sixth in the league, having failed to win in any of their last three home games, including a last minute draw against Arsenal last weekend. However, they have bounced back in the Europa League, where they beat Feyenoord 4-0 and have made a significant step towards making their way into the round of 32.
The Red Devils have their problems in central defence at the moment, with Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling both out for an extended period of time with injuries. However, the manager confirmed that Bailly will be back before the end of the year, but will have to report to international duty immediately with Ivory Coast for the African Cup of Nations.