West Ham captain pours cold water on Dimitri Payet rumour which made Pedro Obiang a cult hero

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang

West Ham United are a more united bunch nowadays of that there can be no doubt.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gestures as West Ham United's Dimitri Payet hugs West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic after he is substituted offWest Ham United's Dimitri Payet said goodbye to Slaven Bilic last month

The Hammers endured a torrid first half of the season in stark contrast to the magnificent debut campaign under Slaven Bilic.

Results have improved drastically in the last two months lifting the East Londoners up to the relative comfort of midtable.

And much of that has been attributed to a tighter bond between the Hammers squad in the wake of wantaway star Dimitri Payet's controversial exit in January.

Before the brooding Frenchman left the club to return to Marseille for £25million, the likes of The Sun reported that his fed up teammates removed him from the club's group WhatsApp chat.

The Sun claimed skipper Mark Noble and James Collins used the app to tell the striking Frenchman he was no longer considered part of the team as he was trying to force a move.

"Then group administrator Pedro Obiang said Payet was not welcome on the team conversation and deleted his number," The Sun reported last month.

The story saw Obiang - already a firm favourite with fans for his superb performances this season - achieve cult hero status.

But Noble has now revealed that the story was not true in an interview with The Mirror.

West Ham United's Pedro ObiangWest Ham United's Pedro Obiang

"No, that is rubbish it's totally rubbish," Noble told The Mirror.

"I think he was only removed when he had actually signed for Marseille.

"That was once it was done and his medical was done because obviously you don't want hundreds of messages going to him when we are here."

The truth is not as poetic as the original story for Hammers fans.

But it at least shows that West Ham's players did not turn their back on their teammate, who despite handling the situation terribly, was desperate to return home for family reasons.

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