English Premiership

Payet expected to remain at West Ham

2016-11-18 16:17
Dimitri Payet (Getty Images)

London - West Ham boss Slaven Bilic expects Dimitri Payet to stay at the club in January, despite rumours of a move to Paris St-Germain.

Payet refused to rule out a move to PSG in an interview earlier this month, with the French international registering two goals and five assists so far this season.

However, Bilic is confident that Payet will remain at the club beyond the January transfer window, with the 29-year-old under contract until the summer of 2021.

"I read it [the interview] but he said nothing major," said Bilic.

"He said he didn't want to close the door to something, he didn't say 'I want to leave' in January or June or whatever so let's not make a big issue.

"I'm quite relaxed. We are not going to talk about it particularly but with every big player there are a lot of rumours and interest. So I don't have to talk to him about it."

The more pressing concern for Bilic is for Payet to reverse West Ham’s current fortunes, with the club lying in 17th spot on the Premier League table, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Spurs.

"We need him a lot in every game, especially when you are playing against a defence that has conceded so far the fewest goals in the Premier League,” added Bilic.

"Of course you need something special to score against them and you are expecting your best players to do it."

The 29-year-old's struggle to rediscover the same form this season has drawn criticism from the fans but Bilic called it back-handed compliment.

"I see Messi or Ronaldo. If they don't score for two games they are criticised..." the Croatian told The Times.

"It's a compliment of course. He (Payet) should be like: 'They are not criticising me, they are expecting much more from me'. Why are they expecting of me much more? Because I am Payet. And because of what I have done last year in the same league.'"

Kickoff is at 1730.

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11 December 2016
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Old Trafford 16:15
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