West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan does not regret signing Dimitri Payet, despite an “acrimonious” end to the playmaker’s time in east London.
Payet, who lit up the Premier League last season following a transfer from Marseille in June 2015, returned to Stade Velodrome for £25million on Sunday, having refused to play as he pushed for a switch back to Ligue 1.
And Sullivan, speaking to radio station talkSPORT, described the fee West Ham recouped for the 29-year-old France international as “a damage-limitation deal”.
“What Dimi said to me is that his family hadn’t settled,” he said.
“He wanted to go back to France. It was very strange what he said after moving.
“I don’t regret bringing him to the club. We finished seventh and a lot of that was down to him. He was player of the season last year.
“It’s ended a bit acrimoniously. Life goes on. In the real world you’ve got to see it all in perspective. It’s a damage-limitation deal.”
West Ham’s on-field fortunes have improved somewhat of late following a poor start to the season, their first at London Stadium after leaving their historic Upton Park home.
According to Sullivan, West Ham do not expect to be heavily active on transfer deadline day, with promising youngster Reece Oxford potentially set to go out on loan, the club having opted against a move for their former striker Demba Ba, now of Shanghai Shenhua, who is continuing his rehabilitation from a badly broken leg.
“[We] don’t expect much coming in today,” he said.
“We might have a couple of young players going out on loan. Reece Oxford might be going to Reading.
“We looked to bring Demba Ba back in this window but were told he was three weeks from playing after recovering from his injury.”
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