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Bilic - Payet left me in no doubt

Filed: Friday, 13th January 2017
By: Staff Writer

Slaven Bilic says he was forced to go to the media after Dimitri Payet twice refused to play for West Ham ever again.

Bilic, speaking in his weekly column for the Standard revealed that the situation had been developing for some time before Payet finally notified the manager of his intention to leave.

And upon being asked 24 hours later whether he would reconsider, Payet reiterated his desire to return to France.

"This situation with Dimitri has been developing for a little while now," said Bilic. "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."

Yet despite having effectively frozen himself out by refusing to play, Payet's immediate future remains still in the hands of West Ham, who are maintaining their stance and currently refusing to sell.

"It has left me sad and angry," added Bilic, "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.

Many times over the years, clubs have lost quality players but gained a team. There is no point in saying we won’t miss Dimitri Payet because we know that he is a great player.

"It would be much, much better however if this had not happened and that he had remained committed to West Ham, but that is not the case, so life goes on."

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