Dimitri Payet: West Ham reject Marseille’s improved bid


West Ham have rejected a second bid from Marseille for France forward Dimitri Payet.

The improved offer from the Ligue 1 side – reported to be £1m higher than an initial £19m bid – was turned down by Hammers chairman David Sullivan.

The chairman is said to be taking a tough stance and refusing to be bullied into a quick sale, with the club having no financial need to sell.

Manager Slaven Bilic says Payet, 29, no longer wants to play for the club.

Payet is not currently training with the first team and will continue to work with the under-23s.

The Premier League club said they would prefer Payet to apologise to supporters and return to first-team training.

Payet’s decision ‘disgusting’

The club’s former striker Dean Ashton, who was forced to retire at the age of 26 through injury, said Payet’s refusal to play was “disgusting”.

“I can’t play anymore and to see the way Payet is acting, I can’t tell you how angry it makes me,” Ashton, 33, told Talksport.

“West Ham love him, they absolutely adore him – they wouldn’t dream to think he would go and do this. He is so many kids’ favourite player.

“It is disgusting what he is doing in refusing to play.”

Analysis – will West Ham sell their star man?

Payet, who signed from Marseille for £10.7m in June 2015, excelled in his first season with the London club, scoring 12 goals and earning a nomination for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.

In February 2016 he signed a new contract running until the summer of 2021.

MOTD2 Extra pundit Alan Shearer says West Ham should hold out for the biggest transfer fee they can get for Payet.

“It is quite clear Dimitri Payet is refusing to play for the club,” he said on Sunday’s programme.

“You have to get as much as you can and sell him. The dressing room is far more important.”

Mark Schwarzer, the former Chelsea, Fulham and Middlesbrough goalkeeper, added on the programme: “Payet is a commodity – you have to get as much money for him. Then they can bring in players to improve the team.”