By Harry Sykes
Karren Brady has admitted that it is inevitable that Dimitri Payet will soon be leaving West Ham.
The Hammers’ vice-chairman made the huge transfer admission as she spoke publicly for the first time on the controversy that has infuriated club chiefs, as well as their considerable fan base.
Manager Slaven Bilic delivered the bombshell news on Thursday that Payet wanted to quit the London Stadium this month and has refused to play for the team.
Bilic insisted the France playmaker would not be sold in the January window as West Ham battened down the hatches in an attempt to fend off potential suitors.
In her weekly newspaper diary, Brady became the first West Ham senior official to admit that the club are facing a losing battle to hang on to their star player.
She also claimed it would be in the best interests of the club not to have a demotivated player, whose bad attitude could rub off on the other players, in the ranks.
“Slaven Bilic reports angrily today that the French star is refusing to play,” Brady wrote in the Thursday dispatch of her Sun column. “And with this attitude I suppose that probably sooner rather than later he will be on his way.
“We have already made him our highest-paid player but there has been plenty of evidence recently of his lost motivation. We will carry on trying to keep him, of course, but his attitude will affect the whole team unless it changes radically.
“Personally I would not sell him for any price. After all if every player did not respect the validity of their contract, the result would be chaos.”
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have agreed a landmark striker deal.
Payet will almost certainly not be in the West Ham side that hosts Crystal Palace in a London derby on Saturday afternoon.
Bilic’s side take on a club managed by former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce as they aim not to get drawn into a relegation battle.
West Ham are 13th in the Premier League table with 22 points, seven points ahead of the drop zone.