LONDON (Reuters) - West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic said he was “sad and angry” about Dimitri Payet’s refusal to play for the club and added the situation had been developing “for a little time now”.
Bilic went public about Payet’s desire to leave West Ham at a news conference on Thursday, outlining how the France midfielder had gone on strike in an attempt to force a move.
Writing in his Evening Standard newspaper column on Friday, Bilic gave more details about the dispute and said Payet would definitely not play against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.
“It has left me sad, angry, but at the moment Dimitri has said he will not play for the club, so I have no alternative but to plan for Saturday’s match without him,” he wrote.
”He will not train with the rest of the squad and the club’s position remains consistent, which is that he is not for sale...
“There is no point in saying we won’t miss Dimitri Payet because the fans know -- we know -- that he is a great player.”
Bilic added that Payet had refused the chance to rethink his decision.
“This situation with Dimitri has been developing for a little while now,” Bilic wrote.
”Two days ago, he and I had a meeting. I won’t disclose what was said, but I was left in no doubt as to his intentions.
”Yesterday, just before the normal pre-match press conference, I asked Dimitri one more time: ‘Are you standing by what you said a couple of days ago or have you thought more about it?’
“He replied that he was standing by his decision, so that was that. The right thing to do then was to tell the supporters and the players what was happening and I informed the squad later that morning, before we began training.”
The club have said Bilic will not be sold in the January transfer window despite British media reports of a 20 million pounds ($24.36 million) bid from his former club Olympique de Marseille, who he left in 2015, and interest from another French club Paris St Germain and Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Payet received a significant pay rise when he signed a new contract in February 2016 that runs until 2021.
Although many believe his form has declined this season, statistics show that the Frenchman has still created more chances, 74, for West Ham, than any other Premier League player this season. The next best is 55 by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
($1 = 0.8209 pounds)
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Toby Davis