West Ham’s passionate fans and global support helped Hammers winger Michail Antonio make his mind up on penning a new four-year deal worth £70,000-a-week, he has revealed.

Antonio, 27, was a target for Premier League title shoo-ins Chelsea but yesterday signed an improved contract to stay at the London Stadium.

And while he is more than happy with the general direction the club are going on the pitch under the stewardship of manager Slaven Bilic, it is the adoration of the supporters that has hit a chord with the attacker.

Since he arrived from Championship outfit Nottingham Forest in September 2015, Antonio says that he has realised that West Ham are a bigger club than he first believed. And he has endorsed the decision to switch grounds from the beloved Boleyn Ground to the new stadium, the first season at which comes to a conclusion with the final home Premier League game on Sunday against Liverpool.

He said: “I’ve always known West Ham as a massive club with a massive fan base. When I went to the Boleyn Ground, I was very surprised it was only 35,000 holding there because I was thinking ‘where are all the rest of the fans?’

“Everywhere I’d go, I meet West Ham fans – doesn’t matter where I’ve gone, Dubai, Japan – wherever I go there is West Ham fans there! I knew we definitely needed to double the capacity and moving here was definitely the best decision we’ve made.”

“Leaving the Boleyn Ground, that’s where people’s whole lives were and so much history was left there and so obviously people were going to be intimidated by moving to the new place. It’s like moving home – it’s not going to feel like ‘home’ for a couple of years and it’s taken a bit of time for us to get used to it and work through everything but now things are working out and this will turn in to the new West Ham home.”

Meanwhile, reflecting on the new contract, which keep him as a Hammer until at least 2021, the jet-heeled forward says he is “over the moon”, adding: “I’ve loved my time here and I’m just happy that we have managed to get things sorted so I can move onto next season and do what I’ve done this season.

“I’m delighted to have signed a new four-year deal. I’d like to thank the Chairman David Sullivan because we had a nice little deal for this to get sorted. He’s a lovely man and thanks very much!”