West Ham Utd are reportedly rethinking their strategy of splashing out on a marquee signing to unveil at the Olympic Stadium.
The reason: they already have one.
Dimitri Payet has become a national hero over the course of two European Championship games. He has overshadowed his more illustrious team-mate Paul Pogba and his two sublime pieces of footwork have elevated him to one of the most technically gifted footballers in Europe.
France manager Didier Deschamps, has, like the rest of his countryman, taken a while to warm to the diminutive midfielder but now he is full of praise.
He said: “He had a great season and he’s become more consistent and is now putting more into his performances.
“He’s got a lot of self-confidence and now he’s more up for the fight when faced with challenges and one-on-ones.
“He’s more consistent but in going to put him on ice to keep him fresh so that he can maintain his performance levels.”
While Slaven Bilic can dance on the desktop at the fancy feet of his playmaker and accept the “mercis” of the host nation, he must be aware that there is little room for sentiment in the game and when the big club set their sights on the footballer du jour, their tenacity is hard to resist.
Fellow countryman and icon Zinedine Zidane may pose the greatest threat, all some rich home-grown clubs are keeping an interest. Chelsea’s Antonio Conte is right there, watching, caught up in the Payet hoopla.
West Ham cannot offer the top-level international stage, to which the 29-year-old is becoming accustomed, but at least they can make him king of the Olympic Park.
The potential greatest threat to their prize asset – goes the thinking – is that Payet leaves the adulation of France to play second fiddle in Stratford.
Agent Mark McKay, who worked on the deal to bring £10.7million Payet from Marseille said: “You wonder if they need a bigger name going into the Olympic Stadium. He’s emerging as the star of Euro 2016 and West Ham have got the player all of Europe wants.”
This way of thinking may have been shaped by other factors too, making a virtue out of a vice. Firstly, West Ham have been knocked back repeatedly in their attempts to land a big-name frontman and they have finally pulled out of their tortuous wooing of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette with the £40million price tag deemed too much.
And, secondly, the club’s sub-£15million signing policy is going well (as it plainly did with Payet). They have landed Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia and are trying to prise away Matt Richie from Bournemouth for £8million.
It may well be that Bilic’s canny philosophy of last season – a team of all talents – continues into 2016/17 with Payet christening the E20 turf with memorable moments of genius.