Slaven Bilic defends his West Ham exit as Dimitri Payet refuses to play

Slaven Bilic defends his West Ham exit as Dimitri Payet refuses to play

Slaven Bilic has told Dimitri Payet there is a right way and a wrong way to leave West Ham, defending his own exit as a player.

Payet refused to play against Crystal Palace last week in a bid to force a move away from the Hammers.

The France star wants to return to former side Marseille, but West Ham have turned down two bids and are believed to be holding out for £30m.

Slaven Bilic, who is feeling “let down and angry” at Payet’s antics, has been accused in some quarters of having a short memory having himself secured a big-money move from West Ham to Everton in 1997.

But the former defender believes he proved his loyalty to the club by insisting he stayed on until the end of the season to help them avoid relegation.

“I don’t mind players moving and all that, nowadays players move,” said Bilic.

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“But it’s about how you move, how you go about everything. Especially the big players, they should respect themselves in the way they go.

“I wouldn’t like to compare it but I can tell you my story with Everton. If anything I have a good memory, to be fair.

“The fact is I was at West Ham and I wanted to go to Everton, and they didn’t want to sell me. But the way it happened was very, very loyal.

“I had a clause in my contract – I think £4.5million – which was extremely high for a 29-year-old, a world-record fee for a defender.

“It was March, when you had the old March deadline, and Everton approached West Ham and wanted to talk to me.

“I went there and said ‘okay, I can talk for summer, but not now’. They said they needed me now. I said I was not going to come, I was going back to West Ham because we have to stay up.

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“And although they had injuries and needed me then, they liked that. So we shook hands on it and made an agreement for June.

“I came back to West Ham, I played until the end of the season and I was happy that we stayed up.

“The way I had done it, I think, I showed loyalty. That is what the core of the fans know and that is one of the reasons why I think they trust me and they like me.”

Payet will once again be absent when West Ham travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Bilic hopes Andy Carroll, Sam Byram, Winston Reid and Sofiane Feghouli will shake off minor knocks and be available.

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