West Ham: Bilic's future unclear; Payet prioritised; starlet stalls on deal
Slaven Bilic’s future at West Ham could be on the line after a poor start to the season has seen them pick up just three points from a possible 15, conceding 11 in their last three games alone. The Mirror claim that ‘the two Davids’ have now shelved talks over a new deal for the Croatian manager after the Hammers enjoyed a successful last season at the Boleyn Ground, as they now fear that Bilic could turn out to be a one season wonder.
The idea of the move is to ensure that Bilic’s focus is 100% on turning around the poor form that the club is in. With a number of injuries piling up, it may be harsh to put the blame entirely on Bilic’s shoulders, particularly after a summer where many of the clubs top targets failed to materialise. The former Croatian national manager is said to have demanded a top quality striker and had to settle for Simone Zaza on loan late in the window, with Andre Ayew also picking up a serious muscle injury keeping him out of action.
Reports in the Bleacher Report go even further, suggesting that Bilic could be sacked as the club fears that should the poor form continue and cost the club a place in Europe, it will force Dimitri Payet to leave the club, with PSG interested. Bilic brought Payet to the club last summer and built much of his side around the attacking playmaker, but the Irons are not prepared to risk losing one of Europe’s best players in order to retain a manager who has failed to inspire since the start of the season.
Club bosses believe that by sacking Bilic they may be able to persuade the Frenchman that the club will soon turn things around and delay a move, even if they cannot do enough to prevent him leaving. Whilst Payet is yet to have made his feelings clear either way, Bilic did get the very best out of him last season and it remains to be seen how he would feel about his future at the club already in doubt regardless of the situation of the manager.
There are also new doubts over the future of young starlet Reece Oxford as the under-21s captain stalls on a new deal, with both Manchester clubs said to be showing new signs of interest. The Daily Mail claim that the 17-year-old is said to be relaxed about the delay in signing a new deal, despite his current contract being set to expire at the end of next season. However, the club see tying his future down as vital for the long term future of the club.
However, talks have hardly progressed since the summer, with the England youth international demanding a first team wage and the club being reluctant to pay him such an amount. Oxford is yet to feature in the Premier League this term, though he has made two Europa League appearances, and the central defender will want some clarity on his future before too long.
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