Leander Dendoncker had us all going on Wednesday, including, it seems, himself and his family.
West Ham had been linked repeatedly and on Wednesday morning Belgium’s Walfoot reported the midfielder was waiting for West Ham to come in for him seriously.
Then a West Ham offer was reported, and then Dendoncker skipped Anderlecht’s second training session of the day, and then he arrived at the club’s offices with his family… it was classic deadline day drama.
Now comes the postmortem.
Dendoncker wanted West Ham.
West Ham wanted Dendoncker.
Anderlecht were always likely to sell for a reasonable offer.
So what went wrong?
Belgian newspaper HLN report West Ham’s first offer for Dendoncker would have only seen Anderlecht get €5m upfront.
A further €10m would have been paid in the summer, making a total of €15m, but West Ham wanted the player to move immediately so it wasn’t a structure to see the midfielder remain in Belgium on loan. Therefore, paying just €5m upfront didn’t cut it.
Unsurprisingly, Anderlecht knocked that back, and had been looking for at least €20m. The club then told Dendoncker he wouldn’t be going anywhere.
Disappointed, Dendoncker left to spend time with his girlfriend Nikki, and then his agent Christophe Henrotay called… there’d been a new offer from West Ham which ‘approached €20m’.
Henrotay told his client to go to Anderlecht’s offices where further talks would take place. Things didn’t go well, with the club’s new and old ownership (they’re in the process of a takeover) deciding against the late move.
Dendoncker’s entourage are said to have ‘reacted very negatively’, and there were then immediate talks about being able to leave in the summer for a fixed fee.
Had West Ham started all this sooner, it’s quite likely there could have been a very different outcome.