Midfielder Payet happy to stay at West Ham United


Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines (France) (AFP) – Attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet played down reports of a possible move away from West Ham United on Saturday, saying that he is likely to stay in east London.

“Journalists have been announcing me everywhere, but I’ve had no contact for now and I signed a long contract with West Ham. So it is very likely that I will still be here next season,” Payet said.

He joined the Hammers from Marseille last summer and went on to score nine goals and provide 13 assists in the Premier League season, before being nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award.

The former Lille player signed a contract extension to keep him at the club, who finished seventh in the Premier League last term to qualify for the Europa League, until 2021.

The 29-year-old was speaking after training with the French national team ahead of the start of the European Championship.

The hosts have plenty of attacking options, but Payet’s stunning form over the past two seasons with West Ham, and previously at the Velodrome, helped him force his way into Didier Deschamps’ squad and he wants to keep pushing for more.

“These last two seasons have been my best, but I hope that I have not reached my maximum,” he said.

“We can always learn, and I am working hard to improve. We have been speaking of potential for many years before getting to where we are today, but we must forget the past.”

France open the tournament on June 10 at the Stade de France against Romania, before their other Group A matches against Switzerland and Albania.

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