Paper round-up: Diarra linked as speculation continues over Payet and Defoe

Marseille could offer Lassana Diarra to West Ham as part of a deal to take Dimitri Payet back to the French club, L’Equipe claim.

The French publication say former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Diarra, 31, has been earmarked as a possible bargaining chip.

It follows recent reports that Marseille, who sold Payet to West Ham in 2015, are keen to re-sign him.

Meanwhile, The Sun say Jermain Defoe is keen to return to West Ham and make amends for the circumstances in which he left the club.

Sunderland’s former England striker, 34, has been an unpopular figure among Hammers fans since demanding a transfer straight after the club’s relegation in 2003.


The Sun quotes ‘a source close to the player’ as saying: “Jermain still feels terrible about the whole thing. He was badly advised at the time, when he was just a kid. He accepts that.

“He loves Sunderland and is doing his best for them and will continue to do so. But there is an emotional attachment to West Ham.

“If a deal is done and Jermain gets the chance to go back there and score the goals which make sure they stay up and move up the league it would help him heal some old wounds which still hurt him.”

And the Daily Star reports that Simone Zaza’s father Antonio, who also acts as his agent, has said that the striker did not want to join West Ham.

Zaza, 25, has failed to impress since arriving on loan from Juventus and is expected to return to Italy during this month’s transfer window.

His father was quoted in the Italian press as saying: “We’re trying to bring Simone back to Italy because he loves this country. We didn’t choose West Ham.

“No-one forced us, but Simone never wanted to go abroad, he loves Italy and Serie A.

“A series of circumstances led to him going to the Premier League.”


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