An exasperated Slaven Bilic declared to the media this week that his side's biggest star, Dimitri Payet, is refusing to play for West Ham. The 29-year-old Frenchman is seemingly interested in pushing for a move elsewhere and has since informed the manager and the club’s hierarchy that he’s willing to leave the side this month.
The winter transfer window is ongoing and the Frenchman has a host of potential suitors both in England and abroad but West Ham – and Slaven Bilic – have both reiterated that the former Marseille man isn’t for sale.
Payet was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year last season for his contributions to the club but he isn’t the only top player to refuse to play for their club. There have been many like him in the past and here are five such players:
#5 Sebastien Squillaci – Sevilla
With strong interest from Premier League side Arsenal, Frenchman Sebastien Squillaci refused to play for his then-club Sevilla in an effort to push through the move – and to ensure he could represent the Gunners in the UEFA Champions League; something he couldn't have done should he have played for the La Liga side in the competition.
Squillaci was even included in the first-team of the UEFA Champions League game his side were to play that evening but the team later found out that he'd pulled out of the squad to seal his move to the Emirates stadium.
His teammate, Julien Escude, summed it up best. “When the coach gave his team talk, Sebastien was starting, then, I do not know what happened, with the coach or Monchi [Sevilla’s sporting director], but there was a change in the line-up. Later, we knew Sebastien refused to play. I am personally a little surprised, but these are things that happen in football. I guess he wanted to leave”