London (AFP) – France international Dimitri Payet’s long drawn out transfer saga ended on Sunday as Premier League side West Ham agreed to sell him to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for a reported £25million (29.3m euros, $31.3m).
The 29-year-old — who starred for the Hammers last season scoring 12 goals — had effectively gone on strike at the beginning of the month.
He said he would not play for the club again and his and his wife’s priority was a return to France and his former club.
However, having turned down two earlier bids — reported to be £19m and £20m — West Ham changed their tune with the higher offer and also having signed Scotland international Robert Snodgrass from Hull.
“West Ham United can confirm that a £25m fee has today been agreed for the transfer of Dimitri Payet to Olympique de Marseille,” tweeted the club on their Twitter page.
Payet, who also starred for France in last year’s Euro 2016 championships where they lost to Portugal in the final, had been demoted to train with the Under-23 side as he was frozen out by Hammers manager Slaven Bilic and his team-mates after his refusal to play.
He was erased from their WhatsApp team conversations and excluded from team dinners.
Payet, who joined West Ham from Marseille for £10 million in 2015 and only last February signed a new £125,000 a week five-and-a-half-year contract, had also attracted the ire of the fans.
His photograph outside the ground had to be guarded by a steward at home matches and the fans normal laudatory chant of him was replaced by more abusive terms.