Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko
According to AS.com Real, who have thus far been quiet during the summer transfer window, are still on the look-out for a midfielder.
Legend Zizou described Payet as 'one of the most important players in Europe' recently, as reported bu the Independent.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane
High praise for Payet
"He (Payet) has always had talent, but now at 29 he is getting the respect he deserves," Zidane said as reported by the Independent.
“There is so much pressure on young players to perform on the biggest stage, Dimitri has shown things don't always have to happen early.
“When he wasn't in the French team he never gave up, and now he is proving he is one of the most important and talented players, not just in the French side, but in Europe.”
Those words have had Hammers fans biting their nails ever since at the prospect of losing their hero following his brilliant first season at the club.
France's Dimitri Payet was a star of Euro 2016
Former Hammer could ensure current Hammer stays
But according to AS.com Newcastle's Sissoko - another star turn for France at the Euros - is now reportedly the 'leading candidate to secure a move' to the Spanish capital.
Given the Magpies' relegation and the fact Sissoko has already made it clear he wants to leave St James' Park - as reported by the likes of Sky Sports - it would be difficult to envisage the move not happening should Real enter the bidding.
Former Hammer Mohamed Diame
The expected arrival of former Hammers midfielder Mo Diame from Hull could expedite Sissoko's departure.
And with Zidane recently admitting his squad is already too big, it would be unlikely the La Liga giants would look to sign Payet too, which will come as relief to Slaven Bilic and West Ham's supporters ahead of their big move to the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium.