English Premiership

Payet close to signing new deal - Bilic

Cape Town - Influential West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet is very close to agreeing a new contract with the club, manager Slaven Bilic said on Thursday.

Payet signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the English Premier League club when he joined from Olympique de Marseille last year, but his performances this season have attracted interest from rival clubs, including some in the big-spending Chinese Super League.

Payet has scored six league goals and provided five assists in 18 games for the Hammers this season as the club has mounted an increasingly credible challenge for a top-six finish.

"I think we are very close to Dimitri signing a new contract," Bilic told reporters ahead of Saturday's league clash away to a struggling Norwich City side.

The manager also spoke out in support of cheaper tickets for fans after a mass walkout at Anfield at the weekend resulted in Liverpool's owners backing down on plans to implement a significant increase in prices next season.

"Football is not polo or golf. It is not a sport for the upper class," Bilic said. "It's about a balance. In the Premier League you get a lot of money from TV and sponsorship, so tickets should be a good price for fans."

Fixtures
Mon 13 Jul 20 21:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester United
Southampton
Old Trafford
Tue 14 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Chelsea
Norwich City
Stamford Bridge
Wed 15 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
AFC Bournemouth
Etihad Stadium
Results
Sun 12 Jul 20
AFC Bournemouth 4
Leicester City 1
Sun 12 Jul 20
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Arsenal 1
Sun 12 Jul 20
Aston Villa 2
Crystal Palace 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
35
30
93
2. Manchester City
35
23
72
3. Chelsea
35
18
60
4. Leicester City
35
17
59