By Nick Wright
Saturday, February 2, 2013
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has accused Mohamed Diame’s agents of falsely leaking news that the midfielder’s release clause had been met on deadline day in an attempt to spark a late bidding frenzy.
West Ham swiftly denied reports of a formal bid for Diame on Thursday night and after a month of intense speculation the 25-year-old stayed with the Hammers.
The likes of Arsenal, Spurs, QPR, Everton and Chelsea were all linked with Diame in January and Allardyce was delighted to keep hold of the Senegal midfielder.
Quizzed on the false reports of a deadline day bid for the player, Allardyce said: “It’s agent speak.
“It’s agents trying to create a frenzy by seeing if they can make something happen out of nothing.”
He continued: “In general, I think what becomes public knowledge is always from agents.
“You’re not going to get it from a football club so the only place you can get it is either from the player himself or from his agents.
“But the fact nobody triggered Mo Diame’s clause is the reason why he is still here.”
The Hammers boss said it would have been a “crushing blow” to lose Diame so close to the deadline and insisted no amount of money would have made up for his departure.
“It’s a massive relief to me. It wouldn’t have mattered how much money we got for him yesterday or the day before.
“It would have been a crushing blow because we couldn’t have done anything with the money we might have got for him.
“Certainly not to the extent of replacing a player at that late stage with the quality you are looking for.
“I am really pleased he is still with us.”
But while the Hammers will keep hold of Diame until the summer, Allardyce doubts the club will be able to tie him to a new deal in order to change the release clause in his contract.
Asked if a new contract could be on the agenda, Allardyce said: “No, we have already tried that.”
Without ammending his contract, West Ham could find themselves in a similar position at the end of the season.
But the West Ham manager was coy on Diame’s long-term future. He said: “At the end of the day we would wait to see what happens between now and the end of the season.”