Dmitri Payet has claimed to Le 10 Sport that prior to signing a contract extension with Marseille he received a phone call from Marcelo Bielsa who wanted to take him to Leeds United.
The French playmaker signed a contract extension with the Ligue 1 outfit in June, extending his stay at Stade Velodrome until 2024 (Goal).
Payet was originally due to see his contract expire next summer and Bielsa had been keen to sign the player ahead of Leeds’ assault on the Premier League.
The 33-year-old enjoyed a solid two years at West Ham between 2015 and 2017, becoming a firm fan favourite among Hammers supporters.
In 60 appearances in East London, he scored 15 goals and registered 23 assists with his strikes typically brilliant.
Payet clearly made an impact on Bielsa during the 2014/15 campaign when the Argentine was his manager at the Ligue 1 outfit.
Leeds added Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch during the close season, with several young players also added to the club’s ranks.
Payet would have perhaps been a decent addition for Leeds and he would have given them something different in their attack.
The man with 38 caps for France typically operated on the left-wing during 2019/20, scoring 12 goals and claiming six assists from 27 appearances.
Payet is something of a set-piece specialist with 22 of his 112 career goals coming from dead-ball situations.
One that got away?
He’s also claimed plenty of assists from his wicked delivery into the box and with that in mind, he might have proved useful to Leeds.
Leeds won themselves lots of admirers for their performance in Saturday’s 4-3 opening day defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
The Whites didn’t claim three points but in scoring three against the champions they will surely be looking forward to the rest of the campaign.
Payet’s experience and ability might have made him a useful signing, although Bielsa won’t dwell on it and will instead move onto his next target.