West Ham United outcast Albian Ajeti finally looks set to complete his protracted move to Scottish champions Celtic.
Striker Ajeti has barely had a kick for West Ham since signing from Basel for £8million last summer.
He had looked set for a loan move to Celtic in which the Hoops had a £5million option to buy.
Ajeti’s on-off move to Celtic now very much on
But the move appeared to hit a snag when reports emerged the player was having second thoughts (Scottish Sun).
West Ham fans were puzzled the 23-year-old was being allowed to leave on loan given club is desperate to raise money for transfers (Claret & Hugh).
A couple of weeks later and Ajeti’s Celtic move is back on and could be announced today. This time it is a straight permanent deal for around £5million (Daily Record).
So were West Ham the ones actually holding up the deal all along?
It seems West Ham’s desperation stems not from having cash to fund new transfers, but old ones.
Is West Ham’s late Haller payment the real reason for hold-up?
Last month FIFA confirmed it was investigating a claim by Eintracht Frankfurt against West Ham relating to the transfer of Sebastien Haller (Sky Sports).
The German club lodged a complaint with FIFA that they have not received a sum of £5.4m from the Hammers as part of the deal for the French striker.
And according to West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh, that remains unpaid.
West Ham reportedly refused to make the £5.4m payment that was due on May 15th and instead wanted to spread it out over smaller installments.
But Frankfurt refused.
Good deal for Celtic and unpopular Hammers owners, but not Moyes
Claret & Hugh are now reporting that a senior club source has told them the dispute will be settled this week with West Ham set to pay up.
And it is surely no coincidence that comes after offloading Ajeti permanently for a similar amount.
A loan deal to Celtic for Ajeti would have been no good to the Hammers who clearly needed the funds to pay off their Haller debt.
The Swiss forward’s knockdown fee represents potentially very sound business for Celtic.
And it clearly solves a problem for unpopular owners David Sullivan and David Gold.
But it does nothing for David Moyes. If the Ajeti money is going to pay off the Haller debt then the Scot will still have no funds for new signings.
And that is a worrying prospect with the new season just a month away.