Marseille have singled out a West Ham United player as their replacement for Loic Remy.
Maiga has been relatively secure in his first season with West Ham appearing in 18 matches and scoring just four goals.
A move to Marseille may tempt the Malian who has struggled with the pace and physical nature of the Premier League and English football.
He could also be tempted because Marseille are in a position to offer him constant first team football as opposed to staying at the Hammers where he is not first choice.
It’s difficult to see the move happening until at least the summer and even then the Hammers may be reluctant to let him leave as they have only just signed him, with Sam Allardyce seeing his arrival as a long term investment.
However, Marseille are in a position where they could come in with a decent sized bid which may force West Ham’s hand.
He does have the technique and the style to do well in French football. His touch and control are both superb and he could benefit from having more time on the ball which isn’t always possible in the Premier League.
Personally he may feel as though he has a point to prove which could delay any move to the French giants.
He may feel as though he is suited to the way West Ham play and he could be more determined to fight and prove himself than he is to seek a move away from East London, so early on in his career at the club.
The overwhelming factor in this whole story is the fact he’s only started two matches in the Premier League for Sam Allardyce and could easily be growing tired of warming the bench every week.
His goal tally for Sochaux in the two seasons before he moved to West Ham read 24 goals so he is still highly valued in France which is why these rumours have started to bubble at the surface.
The ball seems to be in Marseille’s court over whether they want to make any formal approach for the player.
Hammers fans, would you be happy if Maiga left?
image: © Matthew Black