By Will Butcher
West Ham co-owner David Gold has admitted the club could be forced to cash in on Dimitri Payet if the club received a mega offer.
Gold stated that he will fight to keep Payet at the Olympic Stadium, but declared that it would be hard to reject a bid from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
This has put Europe’s heavyweights on high alert according to The Sun, with the two Spanish giants, Chelsea and Inter Milan all ready to pounce.
Payet signed a £120,000-a-week five-year contract in May that made him the highest paid player in the Hammers’ history.
It is believed that a bid of around £45 million will be enough to lure the 29-year-old away from Slaven Bilic’s clutches, with Gold stating that if the player wanted to go it would be hard to stop him finding the exit door.
“We’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure Dimitri pulls on a claret and blue shirt next season,” Gold the the Sun.
“We want to improve our squad and Dimitri is an integral part of what we’re trying to do. But we also must be realistic.
“If Barcelona or Real Madrid made a bid and he wanted to move there, it would be difficult to keep him.”
The former Marseille man has been in brilliant form all season, most recently showcasing his technical ability at Euro 2016 where he has found the back of the net on two occasions.
But with Europe’s big-hitters lurking, Gold was adamant that he will fight to keep his star man and insisted that he doesn’t need to sell him.
He said: “But the phone has not rung yet — although we know there’s a chance it will once the tournament is over. We’re not silly. Yet, let me be very clear, we would not welcome a call.
“The club certainly doesn’t need to sell him so this is not a case of ‘We’ve bought him for £10 million and can now make a tidy profit’.”
The attacking midfielder scored 12 goals for West Ham this season, as well as delighting East London with an audacious array of free-kicks.
In other West Ham news, Bilic wants this man to move across London to join the Hammers.