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Dimitri Payet hints at West Ham exit: 'I miss the Champions League'

Dimitri Payet has claimed West Ham United's stadium change has undermined the Hammers' Premier League challenge this season as he continues to mull over his future.

Like his team, Payet, 29, has struggled to scale the heights that saw him contribute nine goals and an impressive 12 assists as Slaven Bilic's men finished seventh in the English top flight last season.

The former Croatia coach's team have embarked on a three-match unbeaten run to ease the pressure on themselves, but they are still only in 13th place, just five points clear of the relegation zone.

Payet told RMC the summer switch from their traditional home of Upton Park to the London Stadium, where they have won just four times in nine Premier League matches to date, has played a central role in their struggles.

"Did you go to the old stadium? It was a place for an ambush. You go there, you concede a goal, you don't know where it's come from. You have to play and you concede another," he explained to former France international Christophe Dugarry. "The new stadium is modern. It's a big stadium of a big club, and all the teams are rather at ease in that stadium.

"Last year at Upton Park, I don't think a single one of the top five came and won at our place. There is the new stadium to get over and last season's achievements to assume. Teams are expecting us, there's no element of surprise.

"When you make a mess of the first two months in England, it's difficult to get back up the table. We've taken seven points in three games, I hope that will give us a little more confidence to be calmer. We're not playing well, but when you're in this situation, you leave that to one side a bit and you try above all to pick up points."

Payet, who arrived from Marseille in the summer of 2015, signed a lucrative contract extension through to 2021 in the midst of his stunning first season in England.

Though he insists his focus is on West Ham, the former Lille and Saint-Etienne man suggested a failure to finish in the top four and secure UEFA Champions League qualification -- a scenario that now looks unlikely -- could lead him to reconsider his position.

"The situation of my club affects me, but I'm ambitious. I miss the Champions League. I don't close the door to anything. I'm in a fight with my club and I'll give everything for it to get out of this difficult situation, but I close the door to nothing. I have some good years ahead of me, and I want to take advantage of them by playing for important things," Payet explained.

"If I leave West Ham, it will be done within the rules, and the club will have its slice of the cake. My coach understands that the situation right now doesn't suit me. But I don't stop there, I keep working. It's part of the job to be in situations where it's more difficult, you have to rise above it and do what you need to do to get your head up. I'll ask myself questions at the right moment."

Should Payet be ready to leave his current club, there would be no shortage of suitors. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reportedly sees his fellow Frenchman as a potential key recruit as early as next month's transfer window.

"Did he tell you that or did you read it?" Payet asked Dugarry with a smile. "I read it too, but he didn't say that to me. We conceded five or six against them at home. When you see them play, as a footballer, you can only have fun in that team. They're title challengers every year..."

He added: "Every player wants to play in the Champions League or at least in European competition. The Europa League becomes a high-quality competition after the group stage. I miss European games, I can't deny it, and all the more so after the Euros where we experienced some exceptional things. It was so beautiful."