Payet will stay, says Sullivan
West Ham chief plays down Dimitri exit talk
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.