West Ham United’s Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho could play against Leicester City this weekend despite having been arrested on suspicion of assault, manager Slaven Bilic said on Thursday.
Sakho, 25, is thought to have been arrested last week on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend in east London.
But he played in the team that won 2-0 at Arsenal in West Ham’s opening Premier League fixture last weekend and Bilic suggested he would keep his place against Leicester on Saturday.
“Well, he’s training,” Bilic told a press conference when asked about Sakho’s situation. “He played against Arsenal. He was here every day, he looks OK, he looks happy, he’s not worried. For all these things, I’m happy.
“For all other the aspects of this problem, you should talk to Diafra. Of course I’m concerned. I spoke with him. But he looks very positive, he’s not worried about it.”
Sakho scored 12 goals in his first season with the Hammers
Sakho joined West Ham frim French side Metz last year and scored 12 goals in his first season at Upton Park.
Meanwhile, French midfielder Morgan Amalfitano’s future at the club is in serious doubt after Bilic said he was not part of his plans.
The Croatian downplayed press reports of a bust-up between the pair, but confirmed that Amalfitano had been removed from the first-team squad.
“He’s not in the first team any more and that is it,” Bilic said.
He added: “It was nothing or nowhere near what was in the papers. It was not brawling in front of players. This was just a quiet meeting between the two or us where I explained the situation.
“I had to do it to keep the harmony, to keep everything in place.”
Bilic also dismissed suggestions that West Ham had decided not to offer controversy-prone midfielder Joey Barton a contract due to protests against the move by the club’s fans.
“We were thinking about Joey and I like him as a player,” he said. “We discussed, we had some talks and ideas about him. But after that we decided and Joey also not to do it.”