Having been interested in a deal to bring in Ibrahim Amamdou from Lille for the entirety of the January window, it now looks as though West Ham have entered the race to sign him at the last moment.
Despite the 24-year-old captain forming a key part of the Ligue Un side’s tactical set-up, money worries are hanging over them like a dark cloud, leading those in the know across France adamant that they would sell him for the right price before the deadline passes tonight.
So far, both Palace and West Ham are believed to have made initial offers of a season-long loan with an option to purchase Amadou over the summer but with Lille in desperate need of guaranteed investment, they’re believed to be holding out for a permanent offer from either club.
Whilst West Ham’s bid is being reported as a £2 million loan fee with a potential £14 million move in the summer, Palace’s is thought to be slightly less, leaving Lille in between a rock and a hard place as they hold out for a bid of £18 million in total. Whether or not either club will stump up the sum they’re asking for is anyone’s guess at this stage but with financial meltdown seemingly not far away across the channel, it certainly has the feel of a high-risk strategy from Amadou’s current employers.
You’re likely to hear plenty of Palace fans questioning the wisdom of potentially splashing such a large sum of a defensive minded player when we clearly have major holes to fill in the attacking side of the squad but with rumours everywhere about forward-thinking targets, it’s difficult to know how we’ll choose to utilise the final few hours that remain of the transfer window.
From my perspective, the injury suffered by Bakary Sako last night is likely to force the club’s hand strategy wise, meaning we could leave a possible deal for Amadou behind but as I’m sure you’re aware by now, I’m just a fan speculating about the most likely course of action.
It would feel a tad ironic for our month-long interest to come to an end with West Ham jumping in at the last minute to sign Amadou but these are the pitfalls of conducting business in the extremely public environment that is professional football. There really is no room for discretion.
Either way, we won’t have to wait too long to discover if Palace or West Ham have decided to roll the dice in this instance, which is at least something to be thankful for after a full month of relentless gossip.