West Ham target Kelechi Iheanacho’s transfer could involve a buy-back clause. The Daily Mail report that the £20 million-rated striker could to leave Manchester City this season, but Pep Guardiola would like to insert the clause to any deal that happens for the 20-year-old.
The Hammers have made a transfer offer for the highly rated Nigeria international, but are among a number of clubs who are interested. It is reported that Everton and Leicester City are also chasing Iheanacho’s signature.
In his second season at the City of Manchester Stadium, Iheanacho has impressed, scoring four goals in five Premier League starts. Despite a limited number of appearances for the starlet, he has managed to score 7 goals in 29 first team games. However, with Manchester City’s signing of the slightly younger Gabriel Jesus last August and Sergio Agüero firmly established as top striker – Iheanacho appears surplus to requirements.
From Manchester City’s perspective, inserting the buy-back clause would be shrewd, because it could avert the situation that Chelsea now find themselves in. Selling Romelu Lukaku to Everton in 2014 was a costly mistake, they now face a hefty transfer fee to lure him back to Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window. Manchester City want to avoid this scenario with Iheanacho.
From West Ham’s perspective the buy-back clause would be undesirable, as it would essentially place the striker on a glorified loan. If regular appearances in the starting lineup help Iheanacho reach his full potential, then Manchester City could re-sign him.
Nevertheless, it might not be the worst case scenario. As we have seen in the past, any West Ham player that shows great ability usually gets snapped up by a bigger team regardless. Charlie Walsh pointed out, the Irons could sign Iheanacho for £20 million this season and sell him for £60 million creating a £20 million profit for the club.
While this wouldn’t be a terrible situation, it’s important for West Ham to abandon this ‘feeder club’ mentality. We need to have good players that are 100% owned by the club, to have complete control over our destiny. It was recently revealed that West Ham United have the eighth highest average attendance among European teams. If the club truly want to grow then we must make decisions that would befit a club of this stature.
The potential cost to West Ham’s future would make this an unwise purchase if the buy-back clause was included. Signing Kelechi Iheanacho could boost the team next season, but we can’t make transfers that might come back to haunt us. This isn’t the Brooklyn Nets.