Exclusive Column

ExWHUEmployee Exclusive Column: Transfer update-let’s play the West Ham Way

Author: . Published: at 9:59pm

So this is my first column in what seems like ages and to be honest I hadn’t intended to write one again for a long while however West Ham’s transfer window operations so far has lead me to feel the need to. As well as having the podcast tomorrow to bring verbal clarity (with that annoying voice) to what I am going to try and explain and by tomorrow of course this could all be out of date.

This window there seems to have been a real shift in operation from our transfer team. Hussilos seems to be very much in charge of proceedings here with the obvious instruction from Pellegrini. The first real indication of this came with the signing of Roberto someone who Hussilos had worked with before and knew his agent very well. This seems to have continued this window. When I reported on the podcast we had literally targeted around 60 players in various positions this figure was not a wild estimate but a truth and a decent percentage of those have now been approached.

What happens is that when these clubs/players are then approached and their agent (common practise here) leaks the story to the media and this is how we have continuous links to different players and it also means that those who are usually in the know even as far up as the West Ham hierarchy are a little bit out of the loop as to what deals are breaking and who has been spoken to. This makes a change from previous years when the hierarchy had a strong control over all things transfers.

This will be music to some people’s ears but Husillos does not talk to the press and if you email him that is the answer you will get whether you are a fat lad with a twitter account or SkySports news. This means with him controlling the transfer direction and not being an open communicator the deals are harder to find information out on.

Another factor that is also at play here is that when you submit that many “enquiries” they will all operate at different time frames and have domino effects. It was well known that Gomes of Barcelona/Everton was our top midfield target. We put in an enquiry, got the feedback that he felt he was indebted to Everton and so we moved to other targets.

It was reported that we were set to pull off a double transfer deal from Celta Vigo for Maxi Gomez and Stanislav Lobotka. As the negotiations continued it appeared that Lobotka was proving to not represent value for money so this deal closed and the attention moved elsewhere. Gomez is still a target but this is not close to happening and I can see this dragging out all summer as again it is unclear whether other clubs will bid for him and exactly what price we could get him down to.

It was thought that we wanted a defensive midfielder to play alongside Rice to give the defence more protection and so the original midfielders we looked at fitted this mould. All of those that we enquired about were proving to not represent value for money and it was felt that we could secure a cheaper deal where the quality of player doesn’t vary that much. As a result of the knock back on Lobotka it was decided that we would now chase a few attacking midfielders which could represent better value for money.

The manager is said to be very happy with the squad however he wants to sign 1 or 2 high grade players to improve the squad. His number one priority seems to have shifted to an attacking midfielder and a forward and he is determined to play a non-stop attacking football with a lot of fast, slick passing in the tradition of the West Ham Way (shameless plug).

We currently have concrete bids (not enquiries-there are many more of these) for three players and the hope is to conclude the number 1 target within the next 72 hours. We are also in advanced talks for two other players incase the top target falls through. The price region for all three players is within the 30-35 euros region.

The attacking player most likely to be the top target is Pablo Fornals. I tweeted that we were looking at players in Spain and France the other day and this is still the case as proven with Fornals. I will name some more of these players tomorrow on the podcast. Fornals is someone who we were linked with in January along with Arsenal and once more has a previous connection with Husillos from his time at Malaga. Previous players and agents that he has worked with seem key to Husillos targets and I think again this is the case here. Once we get clarity on this deal we will either complete it or move on to the other two attacking midfielder targets some of which I will mention tomorrow as well.

Most of the transfer money will be spent on this attacking midfielder and a forward and then what is left will go towards a bargain move and some loan signings. If we complete both deals for £30M and you add on the loans/frees that would accumulate to around £65m which is in line with the budget of £30m plus player sales. We have already accumulated around £10M and freed a lot in wages. With sales potentially from Oxford, Obiang, Hernandez, Byram and possibily Hugill making up the remaining amount. Oxford is due to return to the German club Augsburg but his agent Ade Small (who he is now back with) is trying to get more money out of it. Obiang has a number of clubs from Italy and Spain looking at him including Roma and former club Sampdoria. Hernandez took some time away where he hasn’t be contactable, he is now back and speaking to the club about his future. A move to Valencia seems most likely and this could indirectly affect our Gomez deal too.

The window is changing on an almost hourly basis and it is almost impossible with a full time job and family to keep up to date to the very minute however I will try my best around this to try and bring as accurate news as I can and have done for 8 years now (time flies).

The fixtures are out this Thursday and I cannot wait for these to be announced and to start planning those trips! Tomorrow we have The Ribman on the podcast, please get your questions in for the show using the usual hashtag.
Thanks for reading and COYI

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