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I don’t have to justify my behaviour – Payet

Dimitri Payet poses with his Marseille jersey during a press conference at the Robert-Louis Dreyfus Stadium in southern France, on January 30, 2017

PARIS, France, Jan 31 – France international Dimitri Payet has defended himself after he completed his bitter departure from Premier League side West Ham to Marseille on Monday.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic said earlier this month that Payet had refused to play for the club as he tried to force a move back to the club he played for between 2013 and 2015.

The English club accused the midfielder of showing a lack of respect to his employers after agreeing a fee of Sh 3.2 billion (£25 million) with the Ligue 1 side.

The 29-year-old though insists he was unhappy in England and missed his home country, saying he began his stand-off with the London club a long time ago.

Payet said: “This move is what I wanted. It was clear from the start. “I didn’t feel very good over there. I wanted to be part of this project that is just getting started. It came at a time when I missed France.”

“It was drawn out because I started my stand-off with West Ham a long time ago. Slaven Bilic had his view. I spoke to him. I don’t want to talk about this at the moment, but I don’t have to justify my behaviour,” said Payet.

“I needed to come back to France to Marseille – it was a personal choice. I’m very happy. My main motivation is to play football. If I was playing for money, I’d be in another country.

“If [the move] hadn’t gone through I would have lived with it. Thanks to all the staff for doing what was needed.”