West Ham United co-owner David Gold admits “it would be difficult to keep” Dimitri Payet if Real Madrid or Barcelona came calling.
Payet followed up a stellar debut season with West Ham by playing a key role in France’s run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, prompting speculation that the attacking midfielder could be headed for one of the Clasico giants.
“We’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure Dimitri pulls on a claret and blue shirt next season,” Gold told The Sun.
“We want to improve our squad and Dimitri is an integral part of what we're trying to do. But we also must be realistic.
“If Barcelona or Real Madrid made a bid and he wanted to move there, it would be difficult to keep him.
“But the phone has not rung yet — although we know there's a chance it will once the tournament [Euro 2016] is over. We’re not silly. Yet, let me be very clear, we would not welcome a call.
“The club certainly doesn’t need to sell him so this is not a case of, ‘we’ve bought him for £10m and can now make a tidy profit’.”