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Fans React to Payet’s Transfer Request

West Ham fans offer divided reaction to the Frenchman’s potential departure

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West Ham United v Chelsea - EFL Cup Fourth Round Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Payet love affair appears to be over as Hammers boss, Slaven Bilic revealed that the Frenchman has handed in a transfer request to West Ham.

The Telegraph reports that Dimitri Payet has refused to play for the club again after they rejected a £20 million bid from Marseille. The player has reportedly refused pleas from West Ham club to see through the season and help the club climb the table.

Payet joined the Hammers from Marseille in 2015 for an initial fee of £10.7 million that rose to £14 million; and was regarded as one of the best bargains of last season.

Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Slaven Bilic has since stated that the club will not sell Payet and the midfielder will no longer feature in Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace. In a statement on the West Ham website the board has reiterated their commitment to not selling key players during the January transfer window.

Bilic spoke to the media at the club’s training ground on Thursday morning and stated:

“We have a situation with a player and it is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave. The Club, us, as I said so many times before, we don’t want to sell him. We’ve said hundreds of times that we don’t want to sell our best players, we want to keep them.

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.

“We aren’t going to sell him, not whatsoever. It’s not a money issue or anything. We want to keep our best players and I expect from him to come back and to show commitment and determination to the team like the team has shown to him.”

This has all the makings of a bitter transfer saga that could rumble on for months. Fans will be keen to a situation similar to Saido Berahino; who unsuccessfully tried to force a move away from West Bromwich Albion, after the club rejected a pair of bids from Tottenham Hotspur in September 2015. A year and a half later Berahino has only played 4 league games this season, and West Brom are willing to part ways with the striker in a swap deal for Christian Benteke.

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Fans on Twitter have been quick to point out these similarities:

Initial reaction from West Ham fans on social media has been critical of Payet’s attitude and mentality. Some lacklustre performances this season that have led speculation that his heart hasn’t been in at all East London this season:

Even WBC Cruiserweight World Champion, and Everton fan, Tony Bellew has added his opinion on the matter.

Others have pointed fingers at the owners', feeling that they are to blame for Payet’s possible departure.

Of course, referring to West Ham’s perceived low ball bids for transfer targets during the January window.

As with any major social media event, people have been quick on the trigger to add humour to the subject.

Many things are still undecided and it is not at all clear who Payet will be playing for in his next game. The only certainty is that many Payet avatar pictures will be changed overnight.

But before everything gets too emotional, let’s all take a moment to remember the good times.

Read more from Jack Kavanagh at Culture Hash