Dimitri Payet is refusing to play for West Ham United. The Hammers say they aren’t going to sell him.
The situation has reached an almighty impasse.
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Payet, 29, only signed a new lucrative contract with the Hammers in the summer following his heroics for the French national team at EURO 2016, but the playmaker has informed his manager Slaven Bilic he no longer wants to play for the club and he wants a transfer away from the London Stadium.
Speaking to the media on Thursday ahead of West Ham’s big London derby against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Bilic revealed the big news regarding his star player.
“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players but Payet does not want to play for us,” Bilic said. “We are not going to sell him. I expect from him to come back and to show commitment and determination to the team like the team has shown to him We aren’t going to sell him, not whatsoever. It’s not a money issue or anything. We want to keep our best players. I spoke to the chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay.”
Bilic went on to say that Payet had “probably been tapped up by some club” and that until Payet “changes his attitude he’s out of the team.” The Hammers boss added that he was “feeling let down and angry” by Payet and that the “the boys and the staff gave him everything, always there for him.”
Now, it’s been clear for quite some time that Payet has checked out of West Ham who have been embroiled in a relegation battle for most of this season. He has created more chances than any other PL player this season but he’s scored just two goals and added six assists. Last season he scored nine goals and added 12 assists as he led West Ham to a seventh-place finish and on the back of huge admiration from the supporters and Bilic he forced his way back into the French national team.
Yet Payet’s comments about Arsenal a potential move to the Emirates Stadium last month were bizarre and it is clear he wants to be challenging for titles and playing in European competition. What player doesn’t? He won’t get that with West Ham, no matter how integral he is to their team and how much he’s adored by their fans.
His former club Marseille have been linked with a $40 million move for Payet, while Arsenal and even Manchester United have also been reported to be interested in the French international.
West Ham’s fans adore Payet and his song is sung loud and proud each and every game. But even if Bilic insists Payet won’t leave, it’s hard to see him staying with the Hammers beyond the January transfer window.