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David Sullivan Q&A: West Ham chairman on Dimitri Payet, new signings and London Stadium

David Sullivan (picture courtesy of West Ham United Football Club)
Image: David Sullivan is hoping to sign three players during the January transfer window (picture courtesy of West Ham United Football Club)

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan speaks to Sky Sports about the upcoming January transfer window, the future of Dimitri Payet and a memorable 2016 for the Hammers...

Sullivan reveals in an exclusive Q&A how many players West Ham are hoping to sign in the New Year and also answers the big question - will Dimitri Payet still be at the club come the end of January?

Read on to find out what the Hammers chief had to say ahead of what could be a busy month for him and the club…

What are your views on the January transfer window?

Every transfer window gets harder and harder each year but the January window is far more challenging than the summer window, simply because it is shorter and very few players of real quality are available.

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What are the difficulties it poses for being able to conclude deals for new players?

With the process often a lengthy one, it becomes virtually impossible to complete a deal in such a short space of time when clubs, agents and players are all involved in the negotiations. In addition, every club is also restricted by the Premier League's wage cap.

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When attempting to secure new signings, how much of your time does it consume?

It consumes every single hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when not directly negotiating or speaking with agents and clubs, we are constantly focusing on our recruitment process.

David Gold (left) and David Sullivan are expecting improved stewarding
Image: Sullivan, pictured alongside fellow co-chairman David Gold (left), admits transfer business consumes all of his time during January

You've signed a number of players in January in the past - Christophe Dugarry, Demba Ba and Ricardo Vaz Te to name a few - who have made major impacts on the outcome of the season. How important can a January signing be?

The right player can lift an entire squad and transform a season. I hope we can sign a player who has a similar impact this January.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Ricardo Vaz Te of West Ham celebrates his winning goal during the npower Championship - Playoff Final between West Ham United an
Image: Ricardo Vaz Te helped West Ham gain promotion to the Premier League in 2012 after joining from Barnsley during a January transfer window

Can it be more challenging working with agents during the January transfer window?

No, it varies from challenging to impossible during all transfer windows.

How much business are you expecting to do this January? Including potential departures.

There is no expectation about what we might do, only hope. Maybe three players out and three players in, but that is only the hope. In reality, your hopes don't always come true, and we could end up doing no business at all.

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Where will you be focusing most of your attention?

We are always looking for players who could improve any area of the squad but, like almost every club, we are looking for another striker. Diafra Sakho has this week had an operation which will keep him out for a considerable period of time.

Manchester United's Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo (R) tackles West Ham United's Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho (L) during the English Premier League fo
Image: Sullivan admits West Ham will be looking to bolster their forward line with Diafra Sakho expected to be out for up to eight weeks following back surgery

Dimitri Payet has been linked with a move away from the club in the national press, how confident are you he will be at the club at the end of January?

Very confident!

Dimitri Payet takes a free kick during the  Premier League football match between West Ham United and Watford
Image: Dimitri Payet has been a stand-out performer for West Ham since joining from Marseille in the summer of 2015

As 2016 comes to an end, what will your abiding memory of the year be?

Sadly, on the pitch, the form in the second half of the year hasn't been as memorable as the first half, but I will look back on 2016 as a monumental year in the history of West Ham United.

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Highlights of West Ham's 1-0 home win over Hull last weekend, a result which moved the Hammers up to 13th place in the table

We said goodbye to the Boleyn Ground in unforgettable style and moved into a magnificent new stadium that has given many more supporters the opportunity to watch Premier League football at affordable prices and, in time, will enable us to compete with the very top clubs.

Personally, our first European game at London Stadium was a very special moment for me, and one that I will always remember with a huge amount of pride.

The final Premier League match at Upton Park
Image: West Ham played their final match at the Boleyn Ground in May, defeating Manchester United 3-2 in a thrilling encounter

What are your hopes and aspirations for West Ham in 2017? 

We are a club that has been growing and progressing in the right direction for some time now, and my hope is that we continue that growth and progress. Like every West Ham United supporter, I am an optimist and believe that the best times are always ahead!

West Ham fans in the stands at the London Stadium
Image: West Ham moved into the 60,000-seater London Stadium in the summer

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