Keeping Dimitri Payet this summer is a HUGE statement of intent from West Ham, claims manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic believes keeping star man Dimitri Payet this summer is a display of the club’s ambition to progress to the ‘next level’.

The France international’s shining performances at Euro 2016 earlier this summer saw him linked with a move to some of the world’s biggest clubs, including the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

But the Hammers have managed to keep hold of their star playmaker as they begin life in their new 60,000-capacity London Stadium.

“In keeping Dimitri Payet we have shown the club is serious and trying to get to another level, as much or even more than with the new stadium,” West Ham boss Bilic told Sky Sports News.

“West Ham was always labelled as a club that has to sell its best players, be it Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand or whoever. But we have kept Dimi, and we have shown to everyone that the club is thinking seriously.”

Bilic has also made some eye-catching new additions to his squad including Algeria winger Sofiane Feghouli, Norway midfielder Havard Nordtveit and, earlier this week, Swansea striker Andre Ayew.

Ghana international Ayew cost a club-record £20.5million and Bilic feels the 26-year-old, who scored 12 Premier League goals last season, will have a major impact in east London.

“First and foremost he was [previously] at a big club at Marseille,” added Bilic.

“He’s an international, he’s the captain of Ghana, he’s at his best age and he’s already had a year in the Premier League so it’s nothing new to him.

“Players today make you feel at home after just a few days so I’m sure we can expect some good football from the newcomers straight away.”

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