Three senior West Ham players round on Payet as they deliver the ultimate snub - reports
By Harry Sykes
Three senior West Ham players have spearhead a squad-wide snub to Dimitri Payet as the fallout of his strike continues, according to a report.
Skipper Mark Noble, defender James Collins and midfielder Pedro Obiang have led the outcasting of wantaway Payet by deleting him from the squad’s WhatsApp group and refusing to invite him to a club night out.
The Sun detail information revealed by club insider ExWHUEmployee on a sports podcast on Thursday.
Noble and James Collins used the communication app to tell the striking France international he was no longer considered part of the inner circle as he tries to force a transfer from to ex club Marseille during the January window.
Then group administrator Pedro Obiang deleted Payet’s number from the conversation in what was the ultimate snub from the Hammers first team.
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“The team are all part of a WhatsApp group and they were all messaging each other to arrange going for dinner at the start of this week,” ExWHUEmployee told the Sun. “Then one of the players said, ‘Actually, thinking about it Dimi, we don’t want you to come’.
“Another player then told him he wasn’t invited because none of the players are happy with what he was doing to the club.
“Then the admin came out and told him he wasn’t wanted and didn’t belong in the group, before deleting him.
“It was Noble and Collins who spoke up, then Obiang who removed him from the group. They basically don’t want anything to do with him.”
The Frenchman’s teammates are unhappy that he effectively went on strike last week and does not want to play for the team.
They see no way back for the 29-year-old and this is likely to push West Ham chiefs into negotiating a sale with Marselle before the 31 January cut-off.
It has been widely reported that the Hammers have rejected two bids for Payet – the second worth £22million – as they are holding out for £35million for the playmaker, who came second in the PFA player of the year awards last season and was also named the Hammers’ player of the year.
With negotiations between the Premier League and French club ongoing, Payet has been ordered by the West Ham coaching staff to train separately from the first team and has been undertaking sessions with the development squad in recent days.
The free-kick specialist has been omitted from the West Ham team for their last two matches, an FA Cup drubbing at the hands of Manchester City and a 3-0 Premier League win against London rivals Crystal Palace.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have been installed odds-on favourites to sign a Premier League midfield goal machine this month.