Payet will stay, says Sul­li­van

West Ham chief plays down Dim­itri exit talk

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - LONDON/

West Ham United are de­ter­mined to keep hold of Dim­itri Payet, co-chair­man David Sul­li­van has said, af­ter me­dia re­ports sug­gested sev­eral clubs across Europe have regis­tered an in­ter­est in the French mid­fielder.

Payet, who signed a five-year con­tract in Fe­bru­ary, made a fine start to his West Ham ca­reer last sea­son as he scored nine Premier League goals and claimed 13 as­sists to pro­pel the club to sev­enth-placed, their high­est topflight fin­ish since 2002.

“Dim­itri has had an out­stand­ing year and has be­come a vi­tal player for France and I am so proud that he is a West Ham player,” Sul­li­van told the club’s of­fi­cial web­site.

“He has played 16 times for his coun­try in 2016, scor­ing seven goals and as­sist­ing five more, and in­spir­ing them to the fi­nal of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship.”

Payet, how­ever, has strug­gled to re­dis­cover his best league form this sea­son, hav­ing scored just once in the open­ing 11 league games as West Ham sit 17th in the ta­ble, a point above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“Dim­itri signed a new long-term con­tract in Fe­bru­ary, pledg­ing his future to this club, and it is very much our in­ten­tion that he re­mains with us for years to come,” Sul­li­van added.

West Ham travel to face London ri­vals Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, who are fifth in the ta­ble, on Satur­day.

Else­where, A 22-year-old man is to ap­pear in court on Monday charged with the at­tempted rob­bery of West Ham striker Andy Car­roll.

As re­vealed by Sports­mail, Car­roll was driv­ing to his home in Es­sex on Novem­ber 2 af­ter a train­ing ses­sion when he was con­fronted in Chig­well by two mo­tor­cy­clists, one bran­dish­ing a gun. They al­legedly wanted his watch.

Car­roll, 27, sped off at speed in his £100,000 Mercedes (Sh12.7m) G-Wagon and re­turned to West Ham’s Rush Green train­ing ground, where he raised the alarm and was helped by the club’s se­cu­rity staff. Celtic striker Moussa Dem­bele un­der­lined his rep­u­ta­tion as one of the hottest young tal­ents in Euro­pean foot­ball by in­spir­ing France Un­der-21s to vic­tory over Eng­land.

The 20-year-old tram­pled all over the English with a fe­ro­cious dis­play of power and ag­gres­sion, scor­ing two su­perb goals ei­ther side of half-time to lead his coun­try to a 3-2 vic­tory.

Dem­bele has been a rev­e­la­tion since mov­ing to Celtic Park in the sum­mer – and his per­for­mance on Monday night is likely to have re­in­forced in­ter­est from English Premier League clubs.

Manchester United and Ar­se­nal both scouted the player last month, with Paris Saint-Germain also thought to be keen on of­fer­ing the young French­man a chance to re­turn to his home­land.

West Ham United’s Dim­itri Payet dur­ing a Premier League match against Stoke City on Novem­ber 5. Sun­der­land manager David Moyes talks with Lamine Kone Reuters dur­ing EFL Cup Fourth Round match against Southamp­ton.

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