West Ham’s pursuit of Marseille number ten Dimitri Payet is thought to be edging towards a successful conclusion after an improved £14m bid was lodged.
Payet is 3/5 to be playing his trade for the east-enders by the close of the next transfer window, with L’OM 7/4 to retain his services.
The moderate success of the Irons’ recent £10m-plus outlays on Enner Valenica and Andy Carroll may give fans reason to fear the value garnered from such a substantial outlay.
Yet a replication of two if his last three seasons, 2012/13 at Lille and 2014/15 in the south of France would see them acquire a fearsome attacking force.
Only three players across Europe’s top five leagues (Kevin de Bruyne, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas) provided more assists than the 28-year-old’s 17 last term.
None could match his average of 3.7 key passes an outing during the same period.
He also contributed seven goals to the cause, yet his final season in Flanders, the one which inspired Marseille to buy him for €9m, was even more prolific.
Allowed undisputed main man status, shared with Andre Ayew at Stade Velodrome, he netted 13 times and set up 22 strikes for colleagues across all competitions, a quite astonishing outlay.
In between came a less explosive freshman year in Provence that the forward, by his own admission, found disappointing.
Having been used more often in the central role behind the striker this term may have had something to with his return to earlier heights.
As for how he comes by such majestic numbers…
An exquisite right foot is conspicuous, whether when guiding uncanny longshots past bamboozled goalkeepers or delivering irresistible crosses and dead balls.
Given such strengths, an uncanny first touch is also to be expected.
Running with the ball at his feet comes naturally, as does acting as the hub for multiple give and goes during the course of a move from back to front.
The biggest question hanging over the Frenchman is his relative paltry return of two assists in 13 outings across his last two seasons in continental competition.
However, given they came in the Champions League for an asset-stripped Lille side and for L’OM against Arsenal, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund, he can be forgiven.