By Will Butcher
Slaven Bilic has revealed that Dimitri Payet has confided during regular text exchanges throughout Euro 2016 that he is “happy” at West Ham.
But the Hammers manager is under no illusions as to the appeal of Payet to the world’s elite clubs in the wake of the playmaker’s sensational last 12 months.
The 29-year-old has continued his excellent form from last season into Euro 2016, where he has scored three goals and made two more in five games.
Bilic says that he would love it if Dimitri Payet was at West Ham next season admits that Europe’s heavyweights are on the trail of the club’s prize asset.
Slaven Bilic wrote in his Daily Mail column that he wants the former Marseille man to score a hat-trick on Thursday evening in France’s semi-final against World Champions Germany, even if it means that Payet will attract more interest.
Europe’s big-hitters have all been linked with a £60million move for the Frenchman, including Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and PSG.
But Bilic remains undeterred in his fight to keep Payet: “I know then that the giant clubs will come but I would love him to stay at West Ham. We have texted each other over the last three weeks and he is happy at the club.
“I have even seen one report suggesting I don’t want him to do well in case it leads to him leaving West Ham. That is not right. I want him to play great. I want him to score a hat-trick and another hat-trick in the final.
“I understand that with his success, all the speculation about his future will follow. He is our player.”
Payet joined West Ham from Marseille last summer for around £12.5 million, and was integral to the Hammers sensational season, scoring 12 goals and providing 14 assists in all competitions.
The former Nantes playmaker signed a new five-and-a-half year contract in January and with this, West Ham fans can remain hopeful that Payet will be wearing claret and blue next season.
In other West Ham news, this former Hammers boss is being linked with the England job.