While some observers have expressed their disgust at Dimitri Payet's tactics in seeking a move from West Ham, in reality there is a massive threat looming over European soccer with clubs in the Chinese league willing to pay as much as five times the going rate for player services here in Europe.
The Chinese have obviously learned from the experiences of the North American Soccer League and realise that taking past it players simply serves to undermine the growth of their own product and instead are looking to tempt away top stars who, like Oscar, Hulk and Diego Costa, are still in their prime!
All of which makes one wonder how they might value Dimitri Payet? Unlike most of the players who have made the transition to Chinese football, Payet would come with baggage that would be unattractive to many Chinese folk as they value honour as a key attribute and avoid shame whenever possible.
As such, the manner of Payet's departure might make him considerably less attractive to suitors in the Chinese league. Already, sources are claiming that an unnamed Chinese club have expressed interest in the unsettled player but with Payet now playing the family are unhappy card its hard to see a switch to China as especially family-friendly. One suspects that even our opponents in the Premiership might baulk at taking on a player with such a bad odour around them but as Gary Lineker highlighted yesterday on twitter - clubs can be pretty ruthless if it suits their needs.
At this stage one suspects that Messrs Gold and Sullivan would be only too delighted to offload Payet for the right price - including to China if a suitable club put a bid in. He is of little value to West Ham apart from resale value. Moreover, the longer these negotiations are drawn out the less time is available to sort out the many problems with our current squad - yes, we do still need a striker, right back and another centre back. Now that Payet will be departing you can add a midfield playmaker to that list. Busy times indeed for the board!