Are West Ham preparing for Dimitri Payet's departure with contract extension?

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Football News

Dimitri Payet once again proved instrumental for West Ham as the Hammers progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup in emphatic style last Sunday.

The Frenchman scored twice and set up another during the 5-1 rout of Blackburn Rovers, with manager Slaven Bilic singing his praises in the aftermath: "I have to get poetry lessons to describe his importance to us."

And he's not wrong - the 28-year-old has been spectacular since his unprecedented and somewhat low-key arrival in East London last summer, becoming a fan favourite at Upton Park with his flair, creativity and ability from set pieces.


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While at former club Marseille, Payet demonstrated all the necessary skills and attributes to succeed in the Premier League, yet only West Ham seemed interested in him.

However, the faith shown in him has duly been rewarded, with the midfielder recording an impressive 82% pass completion rate thus far and scoring seven league goals, assisting a further five.

His impressive statistics are comparable to that of Mesut Ozil, Yaya Toure and David Silva's, who are regarded as amongst the Premier League's finest midfielders - not bad for a £10.7 million signing.


As a result of such form, Payet's position at West Ham took an unprecedented leap earlier this month, signing a new five-and-a-half-year deal to eclipse the original five-year contract he signed last summer.

Great news for the midfielder and Hammers fans too, who will be hoping the contract extension will secure Payet's long-term future at the club - but all may not be as it seems.

The Frenchman's market value will have undoubtedly increased as a direct result of his impressive form and new deal. Put into context, after signing for £10.7 million, it's likely he could command a transfer fee in the region of £20-25 million this summer - if West Ham were willing to sell of course.


Therefore, given finances always play a role for clubs in West Ham's position, Payet's new deal was likely struck for one of two reasons: either to ensure the midfielder's happiness and longevity at the club, or to restructure the terms of his contract, whereby the Hammers would be able to demand more from potential suitors.

So, whether his new deal was to ensure he stays or simply ensure West Ham gain maximum benefit from any potential sale is a matter of conjecture.

One thing is certain, though - Payet has played a vital role in the East Londoners' lofty position of seventh in the Premier League, and if such form continues, interest will inevitably increase from Europe's elite.

And if the day eventually comes that the mesmerising midfielder leaves the club, West Ham might at least be able to enjoy a tidy profit and some long-lasting memories if he can steer them to any silverware.

Premier League
Paulo di Canio
Europa League

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