I’m not sure what I liked best. The news that Michail Antonio had signed a new deal, or the fact the club had kept it quiet for the past three weeks.
Make no mistake about it, keeping secrets isn’t easy in modern day football. So when West Ham’s top source confirmed the news to Claret & Hugh this afternoon, it was delivered with a certain amount of satisfaction. The club are clearly delighted they were able to sign a key player to a long term deal, and stop the news from detracting from the start to the season.
The way this business has been conducted, has given me some confidence regarding Jarrod Bowen. The hero of Prague has been in negotiations with West Ham for over 12 months. Recent reports have indicated a stalemate between the club and Bowen’s representatives.
However, I appreciate the cloak and dagger manner of Antonio’s deal. Because no news could prove to be good news on the Bowen front. Clearly the clubs hierarchy are able to conduct some contract talks in a private and efficient manner.
I’m quite sure the two parties remain in talks, but sticking points will remain. The conclusion of the Antonio talks can offer a glimmer of hope.