English Premier League

France international Dimitri Payet wants to leave West Ham United, says Slaven Bilic

Frenchman, 29, joined from Marseille in 2015 and is linked with a return to the Ligue 1 club and has been asked to stay away from training

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 January, 2017, 7:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 January, 2017, 7:11pm

West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet has informed the club of his desire to leave and no longer wishes to play for them, manager Slaven Bilic revealed on Thursday.

Payet, 29, joined West Ham from Marseille in a reported £10.7 million (HK$102m) deal in 2015 and had a sensational first season, scoring 12 goals and supplying 12 assists.

But with West Ham lying 13th in the Premier League table and amid speculation linking him with a return to Marseille, the France international has decided he wants out.

“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players, but Dimitri Payet does not want to play for us,” Bilic said. “We are not going to sell him.”

Bilic has asked Payet to stay away from training and said he would not feature in Saturday’s home game with Crystal Palace.

Payet is reported to be the top January transfer target for Marseille coach Rudi Garcia, who previously worked with him at Lille between 2011 and 2013.

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The Frenchman’s departure would be a major blow to West Ham and their fans, for whom Payet has become a terrace darling.

After a seventh-place finish last season, West Ham have struggled to adapt to life in their new London Stadium home, formerly the Olympic Stadium, and were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup last Friday.