Dimitri Payet has signed a new long-term deal at West Ham, the Barclays Premier League club announced on Thursday evening.
The 28-year-old French playmaker was only seven months into a five-year deal having joined from Marseille for £10.75million in the summer, but had bee n a reported £38m target for Manchester City and an unnamed Chinese club.
Such has been Payet’s impact for the Irons, the east London club moved to ensure he will not be easily lured elsewhere.
A club statement on the official website read: ” West Ham United are delighted to announce that Dimitri Payet has signed a new long-term contract with the club.
“The outstanding France playmaker, who has made a huge impact in claret and blue since arriving from Marseille last summer, has penned a deal until the summer of 2021…. and is delighted to have pledged his long-term future to the club.”
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic had earlier on Thursday talked of his desire to keep Payet as an integral part of the squad.
“Both parties have the intention to stay at West Ham. When you are playing like he is playing many clubs are showing interest, but we are going to do everything we can to keep him with us,” he said.
“Every player has a price but the good thing is he is happy at West Ham, we are more than happy with him and I hope – and I really think – that he will play with us for a long, long time.”
West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan later posted an open letter on the club’s official website to welcome Payet’s new deal.
The Irons have pledged to retain all of their key men as they prepare to move into the Olympic Stadium from the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
“In line with our normal policy, we review the contracts of players who are doing exceptionally well for the club and reward and extend them when the opportunity arises,” Sullivan said.
“Up to now, Dimitri has been our star player this season and to reward him and to show the supporters our unwavering commitment to building a team we can all be immensely proud of, the board has awarded him an improved and extended contract until 2021.
“His technical ability, his ball skills, his strength, his goals, his assists and his attitude have all combined to give us one of the most exhilarating players I have seen in a West Ham shirt in many, many years.”