Payet responds to West Ham return talk as he drops Marseille hint

Date published: Tuesday 4th February 2020 3:35 - James Marshment

Dimitri Payet has admitted he was as surprised as anyone to see his name linked with a return to previous club West Ham during the January transfer window – but admits he could look to leave Marseille at the end of the season.

Payet, 32, developed into one of the Premier League’s most talented midfielders with the Hammers between 2015-17.

The French schemer hit 12 goals and grabbed 15 assists in 2015/16 to help West Ham to a seventh place finish.

Payet left for Marseille for £25million in January 2017 after Slaven Bilic revealed the player did not want to play for the club and was pining over a return to France.

He even admitted he knew how to be a “d***head” after securing his controversial release from the club.

However, the controversial star was linked with a return to the London Stadium last month after seemingly finding his crown as Marseille’s golden boy slipping and the former Hammers favourite has admitted he found the speculation somewhat surprising.

“I read it, just like you. Everyone knows my attachment to the club [OM], so it’s not really an issue,” Payet told Foot Mercato [via Sport Witness] in a press conference to preview Marseille’s clash with St Etienne.

And while a West Ham bid for Payet was never forthcoming anyway, the mercurial playmaker has, however, admitted he could be tempted to seek a new challenge away from OM at the end of the season.

“I think it’s rather clear in my head. Everyone knows why I came back. The goal is to get Marseille back in the Champions League. Qualifying for it is good, playing in it is better. If it’s to qualify and not have the team to play it in good conditions, I will ask myself the question to see if I stay or if I go look elsewhere, ” he added.

 

“I spoke about it with the manager, of course, but not with the president. It’s not exactly an exceptional reflection. It’s just common sense. Qualifying and having a good go. I’m not speaking of winning it, but getting out of the group stages would already be exceptional, but for that you need a squad.

“Right now, in terms of numbers, we aren’t capable of doing that. The right questions will need to be asked. Who does what and take your responsibilities during the next transfer window.”

Payet has scored nine goals and weighted in with five assists in 21 outings for Marseille so far this season.

West Ham, meanwhile, have confirmed plans to install two new tiers of seats closer to their London Stadium pitch in time for the 2020-21 season.

 

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