The Athletic tell a mystery transfer story that’s clearly about West Ham and Crystal Palace and another that could be the Hammers owners.

The transfer window was deemed a big success for West Ham with eight signings and over £170m spent.

Crystal Palace fans were hoping for more and some Eagles fans have even hailed the business done by the Hammers during the summer.

As fans of both West Ham and Palace know, one particular David Moyes signing could well have ended up in south London instead.

Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Most supporters will know the story already if they followed the goings-on during the summer window.

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira was closing in on signing Flynn Downes from Swansea.

But West Ham swooped in at the 11th hour and managed to steal the highly-rated midfielder from under his nose.

Downes, a boyhood Hammer, was a rare example of West Ham getting a deal done quickly and efficiently during a window where most transfers seemed to be a bit of a saga.

Athletic tell mystery transfer story that’s clearly about West Ham and Crystal Palace and another that could be Hammers owners

There was talk at the time that Downes had gone as far as having had his announcement video and pictures done with the Crystal Palace media team.

Now The Athletic have told a mystery transfer story that’s clearly about West Ham and Crystal Palace and another that could be the Hammers owners too.

In a feature titled ‘The transfer window stories we heard but could not report’ The Athletic tell a story that is blatantly about the West Ham and Palace move for Downes – who impressed on his full debut in Europe in midweek.

“Another agent revealed he’d seen a player do an arrival interview at a new club, have all the necessary photos taken and social media announcement videos filmed, only to pull out of the move at the 11th hour,” The Athletic reports.

“All of that footage really did end up on the cutting-room floor.”

As a boyhood West Ham fan it is understandable that Downes would reject Palace to move to the London Stadium.

The Hammers also had European football to offer too.

There was also another story told in the feature which could well be about West Ham’s owners, or more specifically majority stakeholder David Sullivan.

West Ham brought in Rob Newman as head of recruitment last November. And he and Moyes have been getting a lot of the credit for West Ham’s summer business.

Sullivan had for many years been acting as West Ham’s de facto director of football and leading the charge when it came to getting transfer deals done.

Hammers boss David Moyes with head of recruitment Rob Newman. Photo: West Ham

As the majority stakeholder, Sullivan was clearly still an influential figure in a busy window as transfer reports during the summer attested.

So it could well be that another tale told by The Athletic may have been about Sullivan and Newman.

“One owner complained about how much credit their director of football was getting for closing out a deal when they were adamant it was them who did it,” The Athletic report.

“The owner even claimed the director of football told them that they could get the deal done more cheaply, only for it to be concluded at the initial price they had agreed previously.”


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