ANGRY WESTHAM BLAST PAYET: YOU ARE GOING NO WHERE! AS STAR PLAYER ASKS TO QUIT CLUB
West Ham are adamant Dimitri Payet will not be sold in this transfer window — despite the Frenchman refusing to play for the club again.
Payet, 29, was sent to a back specialist on Thursday after claiming he was injured and could not train.
West Ham are sceptical about the timing of the fitness issue, although determined to ensure it is investigated thoroughly. Co-owner David Sullivan will meet the player’s agent Jacques-Olivier Auguste on Friday to discuss the next step.
Manager Slaven Bilic broke the news at a press conference on Thursday, and Payet is not expected to feature in Saturday’s crucial home match against Crystal Palace.
Bilic said: ‘I have a situation with a player. It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave. He has refused to play for us. We are not going to sell him.
‘I have a team to manage and he is probably being tapped up by some clubs. Until he changes his attitude he is out of the team. He is not going to train with us. It’s not a money issue. I feel angry.
‘We gave him everything. Of course I am feeling let down and angry. We want to keep our best players and I expect him to come back and show commitment and determination to the team — like the team has shown to him.’
By making clear they will not budge in January, West Ham aim to prevent their star player becoming further unsettled by offers from clubs at home and abroad.
The hope is that when Payet sees he is still a West Ham player on February 1, he will relent and play until the end of the season. In the meantime, he will be fined every time he fails to fulfil a contractual obligation.
Payet returned to France last week and Marseille have twice been in contact in recent weeks, but their interest has been rebuffed.
Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with Payet, as have Arsenal and Manchester United. But West Ham insist there is no offer good enough to buy Payet this month, even though Bilic’s decision to make the affair public could drive a wedge between player and fans.
Payet signed a £125,000-a-week, five-year deal in February but told Bilic this week he wished to return to France for personal reasons, only for club executives to ask him to wait until May. Although reluctant to sell, it is believed West Ham will listen to offers then, if he still wants to leave.
Bilic conveyed this message to Payet earlier this week but the player insisted he would not play for West Ham again.
It was after that he reported for training saying he had a back injury.
Bilic said: ‘It started 10 days ago. I spoke to the chairmen. We have said hundreds
that we do not want to sell our best players. I am disappointed. I can understand that the players are being ‘tapped up’.
‘I have to look after my team who are very committed. I cannot let it happen. No way.
‘Let’s be honest, Dimitri Payet, when he is in that form … it is hard to replace his quality. But we will put a player there who has the character, the desire and the quality to help us replace him.’
Payet’s form has dipped this season, despite him being the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
After Payet’s impressive performances at the start of the European Championship this summer, his agent asked to renegotiate the deal for a figure in the region of £165,000.
This was flatly refused. Payet did receive a signing-on fee of £1million in September, however, which the club believe entitles them to ask for loyalty at least to the end of the season.