Euro giants ‘make contact’ with Payet as West Ham stand firm

Date published: Tuesday 3rd January 2017 8:35

Dimitri Payet: Asked to leave West Ham

Dimitri Payet: Heading back to Marseille

West Ham have once again insisted that Dimitri Payet is going nowhere this month after Marseille reportedly made contact with the France playmaker.

French newspaper La Provence claim Marseille are pushing hard to re-sign the player and have already made contact with his agents to see if they can organise a deal this month.

In addition, another French newspaper, L’Equipe, also suggests Marseille are ‘serious’ about landing Payet and have made him their top priority this month.

Payet last year signed a £125,000-a-week contract at the Hammers to all but close the door on him moving away on the cheap.

West Ham value Payet, 29, at around the £60million mark and there are doubts, however, that they could afford such a deal – let alone to match the wages the player is currently on at the London Stadium.

However, after seeing his stock rise to unprecedented highs following his exploits at Euro 2016, Payet stayed at West Ham this season – despite being linked with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

But the France international has endured a mixed campaign so far and was substituted in Monday’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United.

That has led to further questions about his future, but manager Slaven Bilic was quick to dismiss claims he would leave when he said:  “We said that he started the season and we are moving up and forward and we want to keep our best players.

“He is definitely our best player and we want to keep him. He’s playing well, playing good. Recently he’s playing really good. He worked really hard today.

“Don’t forget we put in this amount of energy two days after a game [Saturday’s loss away to champions Leicester].

“He showed his quality and energy for the team. He had to defend a lot, very deep against [Antonio] Valencia. He doesn’t look troubled [by the speculation].”

However, reports about Payet’s future are refusing to go away, with the player recently admitting he wasn’t closing the door to anything.

In a recent interview with French TV station SFR Sport, Payet said: “I am not closing the door to anything.

“Marseille have a new project which seems interesting.

“Aside from that, we are obviously waiting to see the first few things that the new owners do, but Marseille knows how attached I am to the club.

“When I talk about it, I say the best possible things, because that is what I think, so why not.”

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