Dimitri Payet was paid a £1 million ‘loyalty’ bonus only last September, Telegraph Sport can reveal, as his agent prepares to meet club chairman David Sullivan today to try and force a move back to Marseille.
he French international has effectively gone on strike at West Ham, refusing to play for the club again, according to manager Slaven Bilic, and is not training with the first-team.
Payet’s agent, Jacques-Olivier Auguste, in is London for talks with Sullivan with West Ham determined not to sell the 29 year-old until the summer. West Ham have pleaded with Payet to stay until then but he has said he wants to go this month.
A bid of just under £20 million – plus a bonus of £2.5 million if they qualify for the Champions League – has been made by Marseille but rejected by West Ham who consider Payet to be worth around £40 million.
A sale is possible if a bid closer to that valuation is met, especially if Payet continues to behave the way he has done.
Payet signed a new five-year deal with West Ham only last February – making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history on around £120,000-a-week – but has been unsettled since Euro 2016 where he starred for France.
The play-maker wanted to leave then, with his agent demanding another pay rise, but West Ham were adamant he could not go and did not receive any offers. But Payet has remained unsettled even though the club tried to appease him – hence the bonus – with Bilic, who has worked hard to keep him happy, again revealing his frustration.
“I would only add this,” Bilic told the Evening Standard, as he prepared his team for Saturday’s league clash at home to Crystal Palace for which Payet is not in the squad. “This situation with Dimitri has been developing for a little while now. Two days ago, he and I had a meeting. I won’t disclose what was said, but I was left in no doubt as to his intentions.
“Yesterday, just before the normal pre-match press conference, I asked Dimitri one more time: ‘Are you standing by what you said a couple of days ago or have you thought more about it?’ He replied that he was standing by his decision, so that was that. The right thing to do then was to tell the supporters and the players what was happening and I informed the squad later that morning, before we began training.”
Bilic added: “It has left me sad, angry, but at the moment Dimitri has said he will not play for the club, so I have no alternative but to plan for Saturday’s match without him. He will not train with the rest of the squad and the club’s position remains consistent, which is that he is not for sale.”