Demba Ba‘s claim that a move to West Ham was a done deal may have been premature, but his enthusiasm has gone down well with Avram Grant.
Senegal forward Ba announced on his website Monday that a six-month loan deal had been struck between parent club Hoffenheim and the English Premier League side.
West Ham boss Grant insisted on Tuesday that while the loan move is yet to be finalised, it would be completed shortly.
The 55-year-old Israeli believes Ba’s excitement at inching closer to a move to Upton Park is an encouraging sign.
“First I like to hear his comments because it’s always good to hear that a player really wants to come and join our club,” Grant said.
“I think he’s doing the right thing, we’re a good club and he can help us. But it’s almost done. I’ll speak about him when everything is done.”
An earlier move to Stoke City fell through after 25-year-old Ba failed a medical, but Grant questioned how the player can be struggling with an injury when he has appeared regularly for Hoffenheim this season.
“He’s a player who has played 21 games this season. He cannot play if he has a medical problem,” he said.
Reports have suggested the delay stemmed from Hoffenheim’s insistence that West Ham insure the player against a permanent injury while he is on loan, with many firms reluctant to provide the cover due a history of knee problems.
The German club were allegedly also requesting a 500,000 euro loan fee for the striker, who has scored nine goals in all competitions this season.
But with Grant confident of overcoming the obstacles, Ba may soon be lining up alongside new signing Gary O’Neil, who joined on Tuesday from Championship club Middlesbrough.