West Ham United captain Mark Noble has revealed that he hasn’t spoken to teammate and unsettled star Dimitri Payet for three weeks.
Having made it clear to manager Slaven Bilic that he no longer wanted to play for the club, as revealed by the Croatian tactician in a press conference last week, Payet was left out as West Ham won 3-0 against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Noble has thrown his support behind the way in which Bilic has handled the situation, and has been left stunned at how Payet’s situation at the club has changed so quickly but blames him solely for it.
“I have been here all my life so I find it hard to realise that someone wouldn’t want to play for the club. I had a great relationship with him but I don’t know his reasons,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun.
“I haven’t spoken to him for the last two or three weeks. Dimi was adored here by the fans but football and fans change quickly.”
It’s added in the report that West Ham are now preparing for an improved offer from Marseille, as the Ligue 1 outfit look to re-sign their former star.
Having had an initial £19.1m bid rejected, it’s claimed by the Sun that an offer of around £30m will be required for West Ham to sell.
However, there is also a conflict in reports as the tabloid claims that the Hammers will remain resolute in their decision not to sell this month, while the Evening Standard report that they are beginning to change their mind and are willing to sell before the end of the January transfer window.
Much will depend on what Marseille do and how much they offer, as it looks as though they are now the most likely destination for Payet as his West Ham adventure has now turned into a nightmare.
From Bilic’s point of view, it surely makes most sense to sell and reinvest in the squad rather than keep a player who simply no longer wants to be there.