By Harry Sykes
Karren Brady has shared more information about Dimitri Payet’s unseemly exit from West Ham by claiming he had lost his appetite to play for the club in early December.
Payet joined Marseille for £25million two days before the transfer window shut after effectively going on strike to push through a move back to France.
West Ham senior figures, including manager Slaven Bilic and the co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold, have consistently stated Payet had made it clear in the January window he wanted to quit the London Stadium.
Now Brady has gone a step further by insisting that the France international had lost interest in playing for the team nearly two months ago.
In a fascinating explanation of why the club had no choice but to offload its prize asset at below his market value, Brady wrote in her weekly Sun column: “Payet would have become a legend to every Hammers supporter. But he’s a dead loss instead.
“It would be unfair to say he hasn’t been trying this season but the manager knew in the weeks before Christmas that his heart wasn’t in it.
“Once Slaven Bilic realised the damage Payet was inflicting to morale, we did the only thing that made sense. We sold him for as much as we could, to the only club who wanted to buy him.
That was £25million to Marseille, representing 250 per cent of the original price we paid to them 18 months ago.
“On paper, good business; in reality, bad business. But other than treat a man like a naughty schoolboy — and with no legal right to force him to play — we took the only sensible option available.”
West Ham secured a series of impressive results while Payet was frozen out of the team and training with the Under-23s, but came crashing back to earth in midweek when they were hammered 4-0 by Manchester City at the London Stadium.
Bilic’s side travel to Southampton on Saturday aiming to make up some ground on the top half of the table against an equivalent placed team.
West Ham are 11th in the Premier League with 28 points, while Southampton are one place and one point behind with 27 points.
In other West Ham news, Bilic has welcomed Frank Lampard back to the club.