West Ham United’s French midfielder Dimitri Payet / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK /
French international Dimitri Payet’s refusal to play for West Ham has led to his car being vandalised according to English tabloid ‘The Daily Mail’ on Friday.
The 29-year-old — who along with his wife Ludivine are keen to return to the south of France and are demanding he be allowed to join former club Marseille — has also been effectively closed out by his team-mates who have deleted him from the team’s WhatsApp group.
He has also been barred from team-bonding sessions and dinners effectively being sent to ‘Coventry’ — the English term for shutting someone out and refusing to engage with them.
“The team are all part of a WhatsApp group and they were all messaging each other to arrange going for dinner at the start of this week,” club insider ExWHUEmployee told The Sun.
“Then one of the players said, ‘Actually, thinking about it Dimi, we don’t want you to come’.”
Payet’s car was apparently damaged outside his home with the perpetrator hurling a brick through the window.
Last Saturday after Hammers manager Slaven Bilic revealed Payet wouldn’t play for the team a steward had to guard the photograph of him outside the Hammers stadium.
Fans at the match with Crystal Palace also changed the words to the laudatory chant they used to greet him with inserting more colourful and abusive language — West Ham made light of his absence with one of their best performances of a troubled season strolling to a 3-0 win.
Payet — who has been sent to train with the Under-23 squad — joined West Ham from Marseille for £10 million ($12 million) in 2015 and signed a £125,000 per-week five-year contract last February.
West Ham are believed to have turned down offers for Payet — who had a sensational first season, scoring 12 goals and supplying 12 assists — of £19million and another one of £20million.
According to British media Marseille are prepared to make a third bid, this time for £25million which even though co-owner David Sullivan said last Saturday he wouldn’t allow him to leave might persuade the club to free themselves of a troublesome influence.