Breaking news out of East London today as Slaven Bilic has revealed that Dimitri Payet wants to leave West Ham United. Speaking to reporters in his pre-match press conference Bilic said: “I have a situation with a player. It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave.”
This news may or may not be shocking given the constant rumors surrounding Payet’s future with this club since Euro 2016. Payet has been linked with multiple clubs this January, most recently liking a tweet telling him he should return to Marseille. However, it is becoming clear that the club is ready to call Payet’s bluff with Bilic adding: “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...We are not going to sell him.”
SB: "We have said we don't want to sell our best players but @dimpayet17 does not want to play for us. We are not going to sell him.— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 12, 2017
SB: "I spoke to the Chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay.— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 12, 2017
SB: "We aren’t going to sell him, not whatsoever. It’s not a money issue or anything. We want to keep our best players."— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 12, 2017
SB: "I expect from him to come back and to show commitment and determination to the team like the team has shown to him."— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 12, 2017
And the club hierarchy have seemingly greenlighted a show-down with the Frenchman as well: “I [Bilic] spoke to the Chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay.”
Bilic himself is upset: “This team, the staff, we gave him everything, we were always there for him. I feel let down. I feel angry.”
The fact the club are upset is understandable considering they gave Payet the platform to make his star turn. Payet’s performances for the Hammers last season drew the attention of France manager Didier Deschamps, including him in his Euro 2016 squad. Payet took advantage of that opportunity, becoming on of the stars of the tournament in the run to a second place finish. While West Ham have been inconsistent this season, the rumors surrounding Payet’s future surely have not helped. For such a key player to be keen for the exit has to be demoralizing for the rest of the squad.
This is a developing situation, please keep your eyes on Brace The Hammer for new details as they emerge.
Bilic refuses to let Payet play or train with the team, saying the situation is a distraction: “I have a team to manage and he has probably been tapped up by some clubs, or whatever, which is usual in this part of the year, in the transfer window. Anyway, until he changes his attitude, he is out of the team. He isn’t going to train with us.”
Multiple sources report West Ham have rejected a £20m bid from Marseille. It seems that the rejected bid is what started Payet’s strike. This is obviously bad news for the Hammers as it has now become clear Payet is serious about moving on. While a £20m bid represents roughly double what the side paid last summer to bring him in, the team obviously rate him well north of that bid.