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Hammers dead right to call the bluff


By Gonzo



My first reaction upon hearing the news that Amadou Onana would prefer to join Everton ahead of West Ham was to ‘call his bluff’. The suggestion was that the 20 year old Lille midfielder favoured Frank Lampard’s Goodison Park project ahead of the Hammers European campaign.

The whole story stank of agents attempting to increase the allure and urgency of signing a player and thus secure a hefty wage hike. The rumoured wages requested by the player and his agent(s) were believed to be £135,000 per week which for a 20 year old with no experience is on the high side.

Clearly Moyes, Newman, Sullivan or whoever else you believe negotiates for us thought that was rather excessive too.  So the old tactic of trying to leak competition for a players signature was employed by the agents in an attempt to secure the bountiful pay-day.

I could bore you to sleep with details about the owners (Farhad Moshiri) finances, Alisher Usmanov’s frozen funds or the forced sale of Richarlison to avoid financial fair play sanctions.

Suffice to say I believed that if Everton had a spare £40m and £135k wages hidden under the floorboards they’d probably not have sold their Brazilian talisman or held meetings with Peter Kenyon’s takeover consortium.

We now hear that West Ham have called ‘Team Onana’s’ bluff and withdrawn from the deal. despite seeing him as a possible future Declan replacement. This is exactly what I’d expect as a counter-move in the game of transfer chess because it forces the players representatives to either join Everton or reduce their wage demands.

If Everton can afford to pay an inexperienced player £135,000 per week then I’d suggest that we were never really in the game and nor should we be.

The negotiations have already been far too difficult for a rookie player who should be delighted to move to the West Ham and play in Europe. Regardless of his potential we can’t pay him more than Jarrod Bowen, Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and the rest of the first team stars so I really don’t blame the club for withdrawing from negotiations.

West Ham’s signings so far this season have all appeared very keen to join and in the case of Scamacca he rejected other clubs to sign for the Irons. The last thing we need is a player who believes he’s doing us a favour.

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About Gonzo

Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose

15 comments on “Hammers dead right to call the bluff

  1. £135,00 per week? Snap him up, before it’s corrected.

  2. Yes Gonzo nail on the head. Remember when Dec had played a season in the Prem and we didn’t want to give him a ‘big’ contract at his age? Well I’ve never seen this geezer play but he has not even don half a season in the French league and he/his agent are coming across like Ronaldo. Bad motives and big risk, well done the negotiators.

    • Pete even at wages of £100k pw the package is over £65m when you include the fee’s.

      That’s just not ‘punt’ money for potential, that is the sort of expenditure one would expend for an outstanding player.

  3. 100% agree, Gonzo. It’s time clubs called these people out and reset the ridiculous levels they appear to believe they’re worth. Utter nonsense for any club to pay that kind of money, and the fact that there are teams out there who are willing to do it just perpetuates the problem of greed and debt. JUST SAY NO and buy players who actually want to come and fight for the badge. If you don’t want to, you need not apply.

  4. It would though be an educated punt based on the players value going up drastically after a World Cup with Belgium and a year in the premier league under his belt. I heard he’s having a medical at Everton. Don’t know if it’s true or not.

  5. If the kid is a problem then I could understand it but according to everyone Moyes does his due dilligence on the character of the players aswell as there ability and scouts them. This kid if his agents don’t screw him over and wreck his career will be a superstar. He is 20 years old and likely to make some errors of judgement, us biting off our nose to spite our face doesn’t make sense, he has more ability possibly than anyone in our team if he is being paid a fortune it’s not ideal and could be part of his learning curve but he can back that up on the pitch, it’s a bit like saying you wouldn’t sign Messi or George Best or if you did you should pay them less to fit into the wage structure, our wage structure appears in most cases to be limiting our ability to sign players so if Moyes wants better quality he needs to look carefully at that and consider changing it, as a manager it is something new to learn how to manage rather than be afraid of.

    Perhaps and almost definitely there is more than has been leaked in the press and if the kid is another Ravel Morrison then good riddance but if it is just naievity imho we should maybe reach out and see what can be done to build a bridge and offer some options.

  6. I don’t see Everton paying those wages either the truth is probably somewhere in the middle between 65-100 k per week . They have called our bluff as sky report he’s in Everton having a medical .

  7. Was thinking the same Gonzo; also reacted that Everton wad the team they “chose,” but there’s probably been some dialogue there to make it somewhat believable.

    This also means he might end up signing for us. It’s all part of the game, and he might infact be very interested, trying to push the money up as far as possible – which we all would or should in negotiations.

  8. Supposedly he’s having a medical at Everton this afternoon. I hope he can play up front…

  9. I’ve been bigging this lad up all summer, but in the handful of games I saw him play, he never dominated the game, or even just the middle of the park. And for £135k / week that’s what I would expect.
    But based on this saga he’s not worth it. He’ll be looking to bolt after one good season. Another Arnie by the sounds of it.

  10. Last time I heard this type of “blackmail” was with the Reece Oxford situation. Where is he now?

    Seriously, I think Onana has ENORMOUS potential. I think Moyes even saw him as a new (and improved) Fellaini. But still is at embryonic stage, thus a massive gamble. PLUS the risk of destabilising a whole squad because of the monies involved. Sometimes in life you have to pass. I would have too.

  11. Don’t think it is a bluff. Onana is due in Merseyside for a medical. I think we have to stop blaming everyone else. Firstly it was Lingard being a greedy B. Now it’s Onana. Cold it just be us? Burnley have signed a replacement quicker than we have signed Cornet. It took them less than one day.
    Other clubs manage it. According to the Sun we were working on the Onana deal for 5 months. Everton have taken less than 5 days. It happens to many times to be a coincidence. Something is very wrong with our recruitment. The definition of a fool is not making a mistake. It’s making the same mistake time & time again.

  12. Scamacca appears to want to play for West Ham United. Onana appears to want to play in the Premiership. I know which approach I prefer for my club. Agents, eh?

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