Belfast Telegraph

West Ham stand firm on Payet

By Mark Mann-Bryans

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

It's understood a fee, believed to be just over the £20million mark, was rebuffed by co-chairman David Sullivan.

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 star is now refusing to play for the club.

Bilic said he felt "let down and angry" at Payet's decision.

Despite Payet's stance, both co-chairmen, Sullivan and David Gold, have said they have no financial need to sell.

Gold said: "With a number of top Premier League players holding clubs to ransom is it time to close the January transfer window? 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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