Ex-PL player thought hard about Leeds switch after Bielsa talks, decision already made - report
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa held talks with Dimitri Payet as he aimed to sign the attacking midfielder before he committed his future to Marseille, according to Le10Sport.
Payet, 33, signed a two-year contract extension with Marseille in June but it wasn’t a straightforward decision for the ex-West Ham player.
French news outlet Le10Sport claims that Bielsa spoke to Payet on the phone before he penned that deal and that gave the 38-times France international a lot to think about.
Bielsa managed Payet during his spell in charge at Marseille so the two of them must know each other well.
During his one and only season at Stade Velodrome, Bielsa saw Payet register an astonishing 21 assists in his 36 Ligue 1 appearances while also chipping in with seven goals.
On Sunday, Payet showed that he still has it by assisting the only goal of the match in Marseille’s unexpected 1-0 win against star-studded reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Payet is a talented player but you cannot help but notice his age when you look at his profile.
Leeds have Pablo Hernandez and he is arguably the most popular player that the Whites have had in this century.
But we cannot see how two ageing playmakers would work in the midfield of a newly-promoted team – even some fans admitted 35-year-old Hernandez struggled against Liverpool on Sunday.
Payet would have more than likely demand a big sum of money in order to join Leeds, too.
But he’s got his wish of being able to spend the rest of his career with Marseille while Bielsa still has enough quality in himself and his own midfield options to be able to keep the Whites in the Premier League this season.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites have set their sights on this Portuguese attacker.