Date: 8th January 2017 at 2:58pm
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So did West Ham really want Moussa Dembele?

Unknown..

No official bid has been submitted, according to them at Celtic, and a host of news outlets.

So where did the story come from? A “non-official” statement on the club website, from an “insider”.

Cheeky Hammers.

This was blatant, designed to test Celtic without officially making a bid and, far more seriously, looks like a naked attempt to unsettle the player.

West Ham have previous for this, by the way.

On the same day, word came out that they’d made an unsuccessful bid to sign Jermaine Defoe. Their pursuit of the player wasn’t exactly subtle. They asked about his availablity under the radar. Sunderland said no, and then the club went public, saying “we are bidding anyway.”

And its not the first time. This is a club that believes it’s the correct way to go about their transfer business.

It’s disrespectful to the player and to Celtic.

It’s good we are in the position we can tell them where to go.

What it also does is gets the media in a spin….

“Celtic can’t refuse £20m” some headlines have screamed. There’s a suggestion that Brendan will have incurred the wrath of the higher-up’s by turning down such a bid.

Even when Peter Lawell has said, explictly, that any bid will be refused as “the player is not for sale” we had media monkeys saying that Celtic would be considering the move with a view to accepting it if only it was a little bigger … they might as well just say “Peter Lawwell is a liar!”

Then there are stories of how the £20 million is a s good as it gets for a player in Scotland, which James has covered in detail. Comparisons are made to Van Dijk and Wanyama and the money we got for them – both hugely undervalued.

The comparisons are false because both players asked to leave for the EPL. The efforts to unsettle them or turn their heads worked, and we had little choice.

Moussa Dembele is 19, his feet are on the ground, he knows his time will come.

He also knows that another year in the Champions League will get him a move to a bigger club than West Ham.

All the money in the EPL has poisoned these clubs into thinking that every player just wants to be there, to grab the cash as quickly as possible.

It’s not always the case. Every good player knows that barring a serious injury he will leave the game a millionaire many times over; some of them want medals to go with the money, memories of more than just putting in a shift week after week and cashing a cheque at the end of the month.

Dembele can be a star elsewhere; here he can be a legend.

I dont think Moussa is ready to leave yet.

He will one day, though, and £20m wont be mentioned because he will be worth at least 50% more by then.

David Campbell thinks West Ham have a cheek, and that the media games won’t settle Moussa.