West Ham’s somewhat controversial move to sign shamed footballer Samir Nasri has taken a new twist following reports of the club’s reservations over the former Manchester City star’s wage demands and lack of match fitness.
The Hammers have been in negotiations over the signing of free agent Nasri, who is coming to the end of an 18-month doping ban, but reports earlier this week claimed the 31-year-old’s £80k-a-week wage demands were unsurprisingly too high for the club to entertain.
The deal hit another bump in the road when, after Nasri recently underwent a medical, West Ham’s medical team advised chairman David Sullivan that the midfielder would not be fully fit to feature in the first team for at least three months and essentially warned the chairman against signing him.
A source close to FootballFanCast.com has revealed that Nasri had not taken care of his fitness while serving his ban and as a result, has seen his chances of returning to the Premier League on unreasonably high wages damaged.
However, we have been told that David Sullivan has gone back to Nasri and his representatives with a revised contract offer of a six-month £60k-a-week contract, plus bonuses, with a promise of an extra year based on performance-related incentives.
Sullivan was, we’re told, absolutely willing to turn his back on any deal involving Nasri but Manuel Pellegrini and his team are extremely keen on bringing him into the squad and have convinced the club’s co-owner to negotiate terms in attempt to revive the deal.
Of course, Pellegrini oversaw some of Nasri’s most successful years while at Manchester City as they won the Premier League together in 2013/14.
The ball is now back in Nasri’s court, but we have been told that he is expected to accept West Ham’s revised terms in due course.
West Ham’s move for Nasri won’t particularly come as a surprise to most Hammers fans. The club has previous with this kind of deal; the likes of Nene, Alvaro Arbeloa and Patrice Evra have all been signed on high wages in recent years, and none of them made anything close to a positive impact on the pitch despite their experience and pedigree.
The Hammers’ activity in the summer suggested they may have turned a corner in this area, particularly following widespread anger and public protests from fans demanding change last season, but the interest in Nasri suggests crucial lessons have not been learned by the West Ham hierarchy.
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Our source also confirmed that Nasri had been offered to a number of other Premier League clubs, most notably Southampton, Everton and Leicester City, all of which turned down the opportunity to sign the player very quickly.
But West Ham are the only team to have bitten. It now seems they will now be paying an unfit player £60k-a-week for at least three months while he gets his fitness in order and before he’s anywhere close to being ready to play in the Premier League.
West Ham are no strangers to paying unfit players large wages though, are they? Perhaps it’s a match made in heaven.