Kelechi Iheanacho will not be joining West Ham United. According to Claret and Hugh (see how you source other’s work, a mention and link-back) and multiple other outlets, Slaven Bilic has killed the deal for Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheancho.
Bilic has always been the one against Ihenancho! He didn't like the buyback clause and now he thinks he is too young and unproven!— TheWestHamWayCoUk (@WestHamWaycouk) July 6, 2017
West Ham Way say Bilic was initially interested in the player but when the buyback clause came up he wrote off the Nigerian striker.
One has to wonder why the fact that it’s Bilic that stopped the move leaked. Is this some way for David Sullivan and David Gold to deflect blame to Slaven? Is it someone within the club who wants Slav gone? I don’t have these answers but it’s something to consider when reacting to this news. David Sullivan’s son Jack sent out a cryptic tweet that seems to hint at it being Bilic’s decision.
Ffs— Jack Sullivan (@jsullivanwhu) July 6, 2017
The fact (or potential fact) that it’s Bilic who put the kaibosh on this deal is concerning for a number of reasons.
1. Why is it just now that Slaven is rejecting the move based on a buy-back. If the owners are comfortable with it then there’s no reason for Slaven to be uncomfortable it’s not his money he’s spending. I wasn’t a fan of the buy-back unless it was double what we paid but after truly thinking it over I was all for making the move happen.
2. Does Slaven have a bad eye for talent? It’s obvious from anyone that’s watched Iheanacho play that he has the ability to play Premier League football. Anyone who’s watched the game can see it. Why is Slav afraid he’s not talented enough?
3. Slaven seems to be rather stubborn in his transfer choices. There is a trend of Slaven not rating players who we are pursuing. Scott Hogan’s transfer was held up because of Slaven’s questions over him. Thankfully that move didn’t get forced through. Although an unproven Championship striker for 15 million is a bit different than a young proven striker from a big team. Slaven also wasn’t keen on signing Michail Antonio but the David’s made the move anyway. This ended up being a great bit of business but if Slav had put his foot down it wouldn’t have happened.
Again this is all reports that the deal is off and it’s not done until he signs for another team but this is a huge disappointment for Hammers fans. It certainly puts Bilic on very thin ice next season. He had better hope the team gets Olivier Giroud, Javier Hernandez, Michy Batshuayi, or another big name or his leash will be very short with fans.
Most fans were content to see Bilic see out his contract this season before deciding whether to keep him. Him killing this deal certainly moves the deadline up. Without a move for a big name, any dip in form is going to be met with huge roars for his head.
It’s a summer of discontent for Hammers fans and it’s only about to get longer with this news hitting the internet.