Everton reportedly turned down the chance to sign France international Dimitri Payet last summer before he joined West Ham United, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Premier League side were interested in recruiting the former Marseille midfielder, but instead decided to develop England international Ross Barkley by nurturing him in his preferred number 10 position this term.
The 28-year-old, who has 15 international caps for his country and is tipped to make France’s squad for the 2016 UEFA European Championships this summer, has scored a sensational nine goals and provided nine assists in 27 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers so far this season.
Payet, who cost Slaven Bilic’s side a reported £10.7m from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille, has been highly regarded as the Premier League’s signing of the season following his impressive introduction to English football this campaign.
The Frenchman, whose dazzling displays attracted the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City only last month, has hit the ground running so much that the central midfielder has already signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract worth up to £125,000-per-week.