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Published: 10:54 | 13/6/16

Bilic: Payet is the best


West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is not worried at the prospect of Dimitri Payet attracting the attention of other clubs after starring for France in their Euro 2016 opener.

Payet was the hero for France as he produced a stunning strike in the 89th minute as the hosts defeated Romania 2-1 in the opening match of the tournament on Friday night.

Bilic contacted the player before the start of the tournament to offer his best wishes and told him that he was the best player at Euro 2016.

"Before France played Romania on Friday night, I texted Dimitri Payet to wish him all the best," Bilic wrote in the Daily Mail. "The text read: 'Enjoy it, you have nothing to prove, you are the best player there.'

"I wasn't wrong, was I? He was fantastic, not only with his late match-winning goal but overall. France were playing everything through him.

"When he was on the left side they attacked on that side - when he went into the middle they did the same.

"It is incredible how, in this strong French team, most of the players, when they had the ball, were looking for Dimitri. It's amazing, particularly because he hasn't been a regular for the French team. He had to prove himself.

"He got his chance because of his brilliant season at West Ham. We are proud he is at our club - and, yes, he has a long contract!"

The 28-year-old signed a five-year deal when he joined West Ham from Marseille last summer but after an impressive debut season in the Premier League he put pen to paper on a new contract which will see him remain with the London outfit until the summer of 2021.

His performances in France could attract interest from other clubs but Bilic is confident he will remain with West Ham for the foreseeable future.

"Some will say it is a double-edged sword for West Ham, and myself and that if Dimitri continues to play like that, there will be other big clubs circling," Bilic stated.

"I don't think about that though. We are so proud to have him and apart from Luka Modric, or someone else from the Croatia team, I would like nothing better than if he was the player of the tournament.

"After that, what happens, happens but we know he is happy at West Ham."

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