Only regret of Dimitri Payet exit was the fee, states David Gold

West Ham United co-owner David Gold has stated that his only regret of the exit of forward Dimitri Payet was the fee that he left the London Stadium for.

Worth more than that

January proved to be a hectic month for the Hammers, with the period been marred by Payet stating his intentions to leave the club and refusal to play or train with the first-team.

Marseille were the only club in for the 29-year-old, with many bids been rejected before finally completing his return to France for a fee of £25million.

It was clear an exit was imminent with the situation going beyond repair, but Gold insisted that the only regret was the fee that the Frenchman went for.

"My only regret I suppose is that he was sold for £25m," Gold told Sky Sports. "I think he was worth more."

"I think in an open market he would have fetched £30-35m," he stated. "I think the fans feel a bit cheated and that they didn't get full value."

"He insisted on only going to Marseille," the owner stressed. "It was one club bidding, so that depressed the price."

"It was £25m instead of maybe £35m," he conceded. "I don't think he handled it very well. Does anybody?"

"I suppose the answer is we are disappointed but we have to move on," Gold concluded. "There is life after Dimitri Payet."

There to train

Life has gone on after the exit of Payet, with no FA Cup duties this weekend the Hammers have jetted off for warm weather training.

Slaven Bilic's side have traveled to Dubai ahead of next Saturdays' clash with Watford, but Bilic insisted that it is no holiday and his side will be training harder than ever.

“To be fair," Bilic told "I told the Chairman [David Sullivan] that we’re going to train more there than we should do if we stayed here.”

“So, we’re going to go there for four days and we’re going to train hard," he stressed. "So we’re going to raise our fitness for the remainder of the season."

"But also the players have to recharge their batteries and all that so it’s a mixture of both," Bilic concluded. "We’re going there to train.”

West Ham United will take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday, February 25 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.