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Dimitri Payet accused of manipulating Marseille teammates into helping him sign long-term contract
An incredible story is originating from France and specifically the club of Marseille containing the former West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet. The former French international has been accused of manipulating teammates into rejecting a wage cut, proposed due to the coronavirus pandemic’s financial implications on the club, in order to earn himself a long-term deal.
Dimtri Payet accused of manipulating the Marseille squad into refusing to take COVID-19 salary cuts in March 2020 so that he could negotiate a long-term extension through strong-arming the OM board. https://t.co/hvRleW82o9
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 27, 2021
The story sparked because of a feud between both Payet and Marseille team mate and former Newcastle winger Florian Thauvin. French media reported that the pair went for each other during a post-match meeting after the defeat to relegation battlers Nimes.
In the meeting, Thauvin accused Payet of manipulating his teammates to earn himself a long-term contract with the club which now expires in 2024. Payet was accused of speaking with several members of Andre Villas-Boas’ squad to convince them not to agree to any salary cuts.
It is alleged that Payet then negotiated a long-term deal on reduced terms which the club would accept due to a lack in desire of his teammates to take cuts themselves.
So far, neither the club or the players have publicly responded to the allegations.
Andre Villas-Boas has had to deal with the loss of one of his key midfielders after Morgan Sanson joined Aston Villa on a permanent deal. The Portuguese coach was reportedly not too happy with the fact that information had leaked about a possible deal before the approach by Villa had even been made.
This in turn affected Sanson and he was made unavailable for Marseille’s match with Monaco.
“I asked him if he had the mind to play. He told me it was difficult for him. He therefore left the group in the morning to go to Villa. I don’t know if he will be replaced. You have to ask Pablo (Longoria, Managing Director of Marseille),” he said.
Marseille sit in 6th position in the Ligue 1 table with the opportunity to go just 4 points off 4th place if they win their game in hand.
Villas-Boas has faced criticisms this season for not maintaining pace with the title chasing pack and a poor Champions League group stage effort, but the former Chelsea coach has said that he is willing to step down should the executives feel he is the problem.
“The moment that the board thinks that it is me (who is the problem), I will not stand in their way. I am totally at the board’s disposition. I made myself at their disposition last week. It is not a problem,” he said.
Marseille play Rennes on Saturday, the side one place above them in a pivotal match which could be telling for the future of Villas-Boas.