West Ham have made a “huge statement of intent” by securing the future of Dimitri Payet, according to Tony Cottee.
Since moving to Upton Park from Marseille in a £12million summer deal, Payet has proved to be one of the signings of the season, scoring seven goals and registering five assists.
The France playmaker’s form caught the eye of Manchester City, while reports suggested a Chinese club made a £38million bid for the 28-year-old.
Payet signed a new deal which made him the club’s highest earner last week, and former Hammers striker Tony Cottee believes it is a sign things are changing at the east London club.
“There a lot of football supporters that complain about the huge wages that the players get these days, but I can’t imagine any West Ham fan moaning about the salary of Dimitri Payet now he has signed a new deal,” Cottee wrote in his column for London24.
“It is a huge statement of intent by the board and full credit to them by securing the talents of our best player for the next five years.
“Everything is changing with the Hammers. As they move into a new stadium they are moving to a different level and that means keeping your best players.
“Over the last 50 or 60 years, West Ham have been a selling club, but this is now changing.
“Everyone has their price and I expect there may be a huge buy-out clause in his new contract, but with a five-year deal and that means any team will have to pay an absolute fortune to get him.”