Football

Bilic: Payet apology not needed

Slaven Bilic insists Dimitri Payet does not owe West Ham fans an apology.

Payet is public enemy No. 1 with the fans for refusing to play for the club as he engineered his move back to Marseille.

The France international finally completed the £25 million (S$44.1m) transfer on Sunday.

Yet, rather than condemn Payet's actions, Bilic has thanked the 29-year-old - one of the stars of the English Premier League last season - for his efforts in claret and blue.

"Does he owe an apology? No. I wouldn't say that," said the West Ham boss.

"Players are always moving and I'm not going that deep into what he should say or shouldn't. He is gone, he went home, that was his wish and I will not forget how good he was for us.

"He was brilliant. I was so happy and proud, with my team, my staff, to help him achieve what he did. What he achieved with us was a great story for West Ham, for the Premier League and for France.

"I ain't going to forget it just because he moved. I really wish him well."

His earlier insistence that Payet would not be sold at any price is just "part of the tactics", he added. - PA SPORT

eplWest Ham United