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I had to leave West Ham, insists Payet

Press Association logoPress Association 30/01/2017

Dimitri Payet insists he needed to return to France after becoming unhappy at West Ham following one "exceptional" year with the EPL club.

Payet was presented by Marseille on Monday afternoon after completing a STG25million ($A42 million) move back to the Stade Velodrome on Sunday.

The France international was initially a big hit for West Ham, scoring 12 goals in his first season after joining from Marseille in the summer of 2015, but he left the Premier League club under a cloud having not featured since refusing to play in a match against Crystal Palace on January 14.

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan admitted he was disappointed with the behaviour of the 29-year-old - who signed a long-term contract last year - and would have preferred for him to remain at the club to be 'made an example of'.

However, Payet was allowed to leave London in the 'interests of squad unity' and he has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Marseille.

Speaking at his presentation, reported by the club's Twitter account, Payet said: "I was no longer happy at West Ham, I had to come back home. I still have fond memories of the West Ham supporters.

"Coming back to Marseille is a personal choice.

"I am very happy to come back here. It's a place I know well.

"I wanted to come back here and be part of this project."

Payet joins a Marseille side that are sixth in Ligue 1 on 33 points, four adrift of fourth-placed Lyon but 13 away from Paris St Germain in third.

Payet, who spent two seasons at Marseille before joining West Ham, added: "The goal is to get into Europe. Getting into the top three is going to be difficult."

Meanwhile, West Ham are offering to take Payet replica shirts back and replace them at a discounted rate.

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