By Harvey Byrne

Dimitri Payet has said that Joe Cole “spoke from his heart” about West Ham when the duo were at Lille together.

The midfield pair were team-mates in Ligue 1 for one season during the 2011-12 campaign.

Cole, 35, broke through the Hammers academy and played in 168 encounters for the club after making his senior debut in 1998.

He has since played for six different teams and even returned to West Ham in 2013.

Now, talking to FourFourTwo, current Hammers star Payet has revealed that he learned about the club from the former England international.

“At Lille I was lucky enough to play with Joe Cole,” Payet said. “He used to speak from the heart about West Ham. You could tell he really loved the club and that the fans were really passionate about it.”

Payet, 29, has become the star of the West Ham team since his £10million move from Marseille in the summer of 2015.

The attacking midfielder has featured 57 times for the club, scoring 17 goals and providing 23 assists.

He won the West Ham player of the year award following his debut season and was also shortlisted by the Premier League for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award.

However, given the Hammers’ poor showing in England’s top flight, which sees them currently sat in 16th place, they are in danger of losing the French star.

The club are now reportedly readying a new £125,000-a-week contract to ward off interest from Manchester United.

In other West Ham news, the Hammers are preparing to table a £20million-plus offer for this Premier League ace.