Robbie demand for €1m 'survival bonus' scuppers West Ham switch
Published 23/12/2010 | 07:55
Robbie Keane’s move to West Ham United has collapsed after the Tottenham Hotspur striker is understood to have asked for a £1 million bonus should he help the Premier League’s bottom club avoid relegation.
West Ham would also have had to pay Keane’s £65,000-a-week wages — his salary at Spurs – for an initial six-month loan deal, then commit to a £6 million fee to take up the option of signing the Republic of Ireland international on a three-year contract.
In addition, it is understood that Tottenham had considered asking for an increase on that fee, thought to be another £1 million, should West Ham stay up.
It means, in effect, they would have had to have paid £8 million for Keane in fees and bonuses plus a contract that would have amounted to £11.8 million over 3½ years.
That would have been an overall financial commitment of £19.8 million for a striker who is 30.
According to a highly-placed club source, West Ham are believed to have been stunned by the demands after inquiring about Keane’s availability in the hope that he could bolster their attacking options.
Although the club were never confident that Keane would sign for them they did enter into negotiations. It is understood that Keane wants to go to Aston Villa, who are hopeful of a deal being done next month.
West Ham also inquired about Jamie O’Hara, however there is concern over the midfielder’s fitness as he is yet to play this season because of a back injury.
West Ham have also turned to Manchester City in their quest to improve their squad and made an offer on Tuesday to take Wayne Bridge on loan until the end of the season.
The left-back’s wages of £90,000 a week are prohibitive, but West Ham had hoped to strike a deal whereby they would pay half and City half.
However, it is understood that City are demanding West Ham pay a greater proportion of Bridge’s wages, which the club are reluctant to do.
They have not given up hope of a deal, especially as City are keen to move Bridge on once they sign either Espanyol’s Victor Ruiz or Benfica’s David Luiz.
Both Fulham and Stoke are also believed to be tracking Bridge, though City do not expect a flurry of bids for the former England left-back when the January transfer window opens.
The 30-year-old, along with the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joleon Lescott, will be allowed to leave Eastlands if a suitable offer arrives, but City believe clubs will wait until much later in the transfer window before making their move.
Prior to the inquiry about Bridge, West Ham had also failed with an offer for Emmanuel Adebayor despite being willing to pay £100,000 of his £180,000-a-week wages. They would be prepared to pay such an exorbitant salary in the hope that the striker could score the goals to help them to safety.
City were understood to be prepared to do that deal but it floundered when Adebayor refused to move. It is believed he does not want to join a club facing a relegation battle and is also angling for a permanent transfer, not a loan, next month and would prefer to move to Italy with Juventus and AC Milan having previously shown interest.
City also want Roque Santa Cruz to leave but his injury record is making clubs reluctant to move for the Paraguayan striker.
Despite the frustrations they have encountered, West Ham hope to sign three or four players in the transfer window with Villa’s Steve Sidwell likely to be the first arrival.
The club will also have to move some players on as they try to balance their finances while an added complication is the likelihood that manager Avram Grant will be sacked should he fail to gain a victory in his next two games.
West Ham face Fulham away on Boxing Day, then Everton at home on Dec 28, and despite the reluctance to dispense with Grant’s services, his departure may be inevitable unless results improve dramatically very quickly.