Gold moots closing transfer window to prevent players holding clubs 'to ransom'

16 January 2017 11:23

West Ham co-owner David Gold has suggested closing the January transfer window would stop players such as Dimitri Payet becoming unsettled at their respective clubs.

The Hammers have said they will not sell France international Payet despite the fact manager Slaven Bilic revealed last week he is refusing to play.

Bilic said the ex-Lille playmaker would not train with his first-team players but it remains to be seen if the 29-year-old will train alone or with the youth team after the senior squad were given Monday off following an impressive win over Crystal Palace in Payet's absence.

It has been reported that Payet, West Ham's player of the year last season, is angling for a return to former club Marseille despite a recent upturn in results carrying Bilic's side away from the relegation zone.

And, with other top-flight clubs also seeing their leading players linked with moves away in the current transfer window, Gold suggested how he would deal with the situation.

"With a number of top Premier League players holding clubs to ransom is it time to close the January transfer window? dg," Gold wrote on Twitter.

Payet certainly was not missed in the short term as West Ham beat Palace 3-0 on Saturday, with Andy Carroll's acrobatic overhead kick the pick of the goals.

Before the victory over former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, Gold's fellow joint-chairman David Sullivan insisted in his programme notes that Payet would not get his wish this month.

''The board's position is that we do not want to sell Dimitri," he wrote.

"We do not need to sell Dimitri for financial or any other reasons, and we will NOT sell Dimitri in the January transfer window."

Bilic revealed Payet's refusal to play last week and said he felt "let down and angry" by the revelations.

But, after the convincing London derby win over the Eagles, he was more interested in praising those who did turn out.

''Payet is a great player so you are losing quality, but the team showed it is about the team and not individuals," he said.

"This is a great example for that. So let's talk about Carroll, or Darren Randolph, or Mark Noble. Michail Antonio had flu and a temperature of 38.4 last night. He showed brilliant determination, brilliant quality. That's what I want to talk about.''

Source: PA


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