Dimitri Payet refusing to play for West Ham and wants to leave

Manager Slaven Bilic said in his press conference that he is angry and feels let down

Dimitri Payet has told West Ham he wants to leave the club. Photo: Getty Images

Dimitri Payet has told West Ham he wants to leave the club. Photo: Getty Images

 

Slaven Bilic, the West Ham manager, says he feels “angry” and “let down” by Dimitri Payet after revealing his star player has expressed his desire to leave the Premier League club. At his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Bilic also said Payet is not training with the club and will not feature against Crystal Palace this weekend. The West Ham manager said he feels his “best player” has had his head turned by other clubs sounding him out and has probably been “tapped up”.

West Ham moved quickly to tie the France international down to a fresh contract in February, only seven months into the five-year deal he signed upon joining the club. The 29-year-old signed fresh terms on a long-term contract until the summer of 2021, after a stellar first season in the Premier League following his £10.7m switch to the club from Marseille. Payet’s impressive club form also won him back his place in Didier Deschamps’s France squad for Euro 2016 last summer.

“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players but Payet does not want to play for us. He wants to leave,” Bilic said. “He’s definitely our best player and that’s why we gave him a long contract. We are not going to sell him. This team, the staff, we gave him everything, we were always there for him. I feel let down. I feel angry. I spoke to the chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay.

“We aren’t going to sell him, not whatsoever. It’s not a money issue or anything. We want to keep our best players.”

Payet has been linked with lucrative moves to China and some of the biggest clubs in Europe but Bilic has always remained confident of retaining his key asset and previously said he was “relaxed” about the playmaker’s future. Payet has also been linked with a return to Marseille, as part of American businessman Frank McCourt’s ambitious plans for the club, as well as the Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite the situation between the player and Bilic, the West Ham manager is adamant Payet can return to the team. “I expect him to come back and show commitment and determination to the team, like the team has shown to him,” Bilic added. “He’s probably been tapped up by some clubs or whatever. That is usual at this time of year. But until he changes his attitude he is out of the team and he’s not going to train with us. I have a team to manage. But we are not going to sell him, not whatsoever.”

Although Payet has struggled to replicate his form from last season, which culminated in him being nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, the West Ham manager would be loth to sell the forward. Payet has featured 22 times for the club this season, scoring two goals.

(Guardian service)

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