West Ham senior players make sensational plea to club chiefs, transfer to be fast-tracked - Times
By Alex Stevens
West Ham senior players have sensationally told club chiefs they do not want to play with Dimitri Payet again, according to a report.
The Times claim the first-team delegation have pleaded with the Hammers top brass for a quick end to the saga that is engulfing the club.
It is said that the players’ move will be a major factor in fast-tracking Payet’s exit from the club this month rather than wait until the summer.
The Times report that the France international’s teammates are unhappy that he effectively went on strike last week and does not want to play for the team.
It is a remarkable move for the players to go behind the back of a colleague in this way in order to get him out of the club and demonstrates the discord behind the scenes.
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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.
The Times report that the Ligue 1 outfit have had two bids for Payet rejected, with the second amounting to £22million.
West Ham 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.