Belfast Telegraph

West Ham stand firm by rejecting £20m offer for wantaway Payet

By Mark Staniforth

West Ham continue to remain firm on the future of wantaway playmaker Dimitri Payet after turning down an improved offer from his former club Marseille.

It is understood a fee, believed to be just over the £20m mark, was rebuffed by co-chairman David Sullivan yesterday afternoon.

Payet shocked the Hammers last week by declaring his desire to leave the London Stadium, despite having only signed a fresh deal last February after shining in his first season in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old quickly established himself as a fans' favourite following his signing from Marseille, and was named as West Ham's player of the year for their final campaign at Upton Park.

This season has not been as impressive for either Payet or Slaven Bilic's side as a whole and the West Ham boss revealed last week that the France international is now refusing to play.

Despite his stance, both co-chairmen Sullivan and David Gold have expressed they have no financial need to sell the former Lille man and are refusing to be bullied into a quick sale.

Bilic announced the news at his press conference ahead of Saturday's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, saying he was "let down and angry" at Payet's decision.

The first team were given yesterday off following their impressive display against the Eagles but it is understood Bilic has followed through on his threat to banish Payet from training - and he will now practice with the Under-23 side instead.

Payet certainly was not missed in the short term as West Ham beat Palace on Saturday.

Before the victory, Sullivan insisted in his programme notes that Payet would not get his wish this month. He wrote: "The board's position is that we do not want to sell Dimitri.

"We do not need to sell Dimitri for financial or any other reasons, and we will NOT sell Dimitri in the January transfer window."

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