West Ham United confirmed that former talisman Dimitri Payet, has completed his £25m return to Ligue one side Marseille.
Saga comes to a close
It has been one of the more dramatic and long-running transfer saga's of the recent window, but it was finally confirmed early on Monday morning that Payet had sealed a return to the club which he left back in the summer of 2015.
Payet became a firm favourite with the Hammers faithful very quickly, after his excellent performances for both club and country last season and last summer's Euro 2016 tournament.
However, the 29-year-old has failed to replicate such performances in a side that has failed to live up to the expectations of the previous season. The situation was brought to a boiling point when Slaven Bilic confirmed that he wanted to leave the club and his refusal to train and play with the first-team.
His former club were the front runners throughout, having a number of bids rejected, before a £25million fee was agreed on Sunday. Payet leaves the Hammers having scored 15 goals in 60 appearances
For the better of the squad
It was sour end to what had started as a mutual love between club and player, with Payet only accepting a new five-and-a-half-year deal just last February.
Many fans were happy to see the back of the Frenchman as his move was confirmed, and co-chairman David Sullivan stated that though he wanted Payet to stay West Ham's focus is now on climbing the league table.
“The Club would like to place on record," Sullivan told whufc.com. "Its sincere disappointment that Dimitri Payet did not show the same commitment and respect to West Ham United that the Club and fans showed him."
"Particularly when it rewarded him with a lucrative new five-and-half-year deal only last year," he stated. “I would like to make it clear that we have no financial need to sell our best players."
"The decision to allow Payet to leave," the co-chairman stressed. "Was in accordance with the wishes of the manager and the interests of squad unity."
"To be frank my board and I would have preferred for him to have stayed," he admitted. "In order to make an example of him, as no player is bigger than the club."
"We now look forward to building on our recent good run of form with five league wins in the last seven matches," Sullivan concluded. "As we focus on continuing our rise up the Premier League table.”
West Ham United will take on Manchester City at the London Stadium on Wednesday, February 1 with kick-off at 7:45pm GMT.