“I’m 100 per cent staying at West Ham, I love the club. I can tell the Hammers fans that.”, Payet revealed during his interview for The Sun. “I’ve heard about all the interest and I’m flattered, but I love West Ham. We had a fantastic season and I can’t wait to play in the Olympic Stadium.”
The 29-year-old had been linked with with a move away from the London club after he confirmed a number of impressive performances for West Ham in the 2015-16 season by doing the same for France in Euro 2016.
Payet seems to be one of the few players keen to play in the Olympic Stadium next season as West Ham struggle to sign big players and have so far had to resort to signing players such as Soufiane Feghouli, Havard Nordtveit, Gokhan Tore and Ashley Fletcher. West Ham haven’t yet made a big signing in this transfer window and it’s possible they won’t make one at all, so Payet staying is the best possible news for the Hammers.
Apparently, Payet is old enough and wise enough to stay with the club that made him a player, under a manager who made him a player. Staying at West Ham obviously appeals to Payet more than having to redo everything all over again at some new club. Plus the West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan were determined not to let their star go, indicating he’s worth £100m but that they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep him in the club.
Payet signed for West Ham in July 2015 from Olympique Marseille for £12.75m.
West Ham season starts on July 28 as they play in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. The first leg is played on the Olympic Stadium, and the return leg is scheduled for August 4. West Ham will face either Belarusian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk or Slovenian outfit NK Domžale. The first leg in Belarus ended 1-1.
The Hammers are looking to join Manchester United and Southampton in the group stages of Europa League, which is what they’ll achieve if they win in the third qualifying round and then also win in the play-off round where 44 teams will fight for 22 spots.