Ahead of West Ham’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, Bilic said in his pre-match press conference that Payet has not trained with the club, and he will not play this weekend.
Payet joined from Marseille for a reported fee of £10.7m in 2015 on a long term contract. He was simply outstanding for the Hammers in his first season, and his impressive form also won him back a place in Didier Deschamps’s France squad for Euro 2016 last summer.
Bilic said, as quoted by Sky Sports:
Let’s get serious. I have a situation with a player. It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave. We are not going to sell him.
It started 10 days ago when the window started. I spoke to the club. I spoke to the chairmen. It’s not a money issue. We gave him a new contract. I don’t think he will go this window but it will be hard to keep him happy.
This team, the staff, we gave him everything, we were always there for him. I feel let down. I feel angry. I expect from him to come back and to show commitment and determination to the team like the team has shown to him.
He was handed a fresh contract in February, only seven months into the five-year deal he signed upon joining the club. Bilic has made it clear that the club will not sell Payet in the January transfer window.
We have said hundreds of times we don’t want to sell our best players. He’s definitely our best player. That’s why we gave him a long contract – and then a new contract four months later.
I phoned him with that and he refused to play for us. I have a team to manage. He’s probably been tapped up by some clubs or whatever. That is usual at this time of year.
Until he changes his attitude, he is out of the team and he’s not going to train with us – but we are not going to sell him, not whatsoever.
Payet has been linked with a return to Marseille, while French champions, Paris Saint-Germain, have also shown an interest in him. He has featured 22 times for West Ham, scoring two goals, and has struggled to replicate his form last season. It is a tricky situation for West Ham and Bilic, but in all probability, they will convince Payet to stay put.