West Ham United have put out an official statement denying reports Dimitri Payet has demanded a staggering pay-rise to remain at the club and turn down interest from Chelsea and Arsenal. However, the club has admitted to opening talks with the Frenchman over an improved deal, while the player has also committed his future to the club via a Twitter message.
The 28-year-old playmaker has been one of the sensations of the current Premier League season since moving from Marseille in the summer for £10.7m ($15.4m), scoring six goals and providing four assists in 18 appearances.
The Sun recently reported that he had caught the eye of Chelsea and Arsenal, and the player had thus demanded a £125,000 a week deal to commit his future to the Hammers. This would mark a significant boost of his current wage, £65,000 a week with a £10k bonus for each appearance.
But West Ham have now denied those claims, saying their talks with Payet are amicable and not the results of demands from either the player or his agent.
"Following reports in today's media, West Ham United would like to clarify that at no time have Dimitri Payet or his agent made any demands to the club over a new contract," the club stated.
"However, the club can confirm that due to Dimitri's outstanding impact since his arrival at the Boleyn Ground, they have initiated amicable and productive talks about an improvement and extension to his contract. Those talks are progressing well and it is hoped they can be concluded shortly.
"Dimitri would like to make clear that he is very proud to play for West Ham United and he appreciates the support he has received from the Board, manager and fans since he joined the Club in the summer."
Payet, meanwhile, has took to his Twitter account to reiterate he wants to remain at West Ham for the long term.
"I say & I repeat I'm proud to wear the shirt of west ham. My future is here and I hope for many years..." he wrote. "Media can try to force a wedge between us but our love will always prosper #DimitriForever"