Hammers £30m new boy Nayef Aguerd chose West Ham United over Newcastle after advice from a Premier League hero.
West Ham have officially announced the arrival of Moroccan centre-back Aguerd on a five-year deal for a fee reported to be around £30m.
Hammers boss David Moyes admitted Aguerd, 26, is a player he has scouted long and hard.
And West Ham had to fight off late interest in the left-footed centre-back from Newcastle.
The Magpies reportedly made an 11th hour bid to hijack West Ham’s £30m West Ham deal with Rennes for Aguerd last week.
West Ham were already busy trying to fight off Newcastle in order to get on loan goalkeeper Alphonse Areola signed up to a permanent deal.
When news broke that Newcastle were yet again trying to scupper West Ham’s transfer plans with a move for Aguerd there was a serious sense of deja vu in east London.
With newly-minted Newcastle’s vast riches, they are sure to be rivalling West Ham in their push for the top six.
There was a very real fear in West Ham circles that Newcastle could use their new financial muscle to lure Aguerd to St James’ Park instead of east London.
Thankfully for West Ham, Newcastle’s latest hijack attempts were unsuccessful with Aguerd choosing the Hammers.
And Hammers new boy Aguerd has revealed he chose West Ham over Newcastle after advice from Premier League hero Romain Saiss.
Aguerd’s Moroccan captain Saiss is a hero at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 32-year-old defender is leaving Wolves for Besiktas at the end of his contract on July 1st having played 206 games for the club over six seasons – scoring 15 goals, nine of them in the Premier League.
Saiss is Aguerd’s defensive partner for Morocco and naturally, West Ham’s new boy sought the Wolves man’s advice when the Hammers were battling Newcastle for his signature.
And speaking to West Ham’s official website, Aguerd revealed Saiss played a big part in him choosing Moyes’s boys.
“(I spoke) a lot with Roman Saiss – our captain of the national team,” Aguerd said on whufc.com.
“When I told him there is West Ham, how is the league, just to take some information (before making my decision) he told me ‘Yea you need to sign there (West Ham), go! Go and you will love the country, especially love in London and the football is the best in the world’.”
It seems Saiss is now a West Ham hero as well as a Wolves hero after pushing Aguerd to choose the Hammers.
But he may be thankful he is in Turkey when Wolves are playing Newcastle next season because he would surely have received some stick for his words of wisdom to West Ham’s new £30m man.