West Ham will have to break the bank to capture Barcelona loan star Alex Song on a permanent deal after being quoted £15 million, according to the Express.
The midfielder, who signed in August on a season-long deal from Barca, has been one of the standout performers during the clubs tantalising start to the campaign which has taken them up to fourth in the table.
Sam Allardyce has already stated his desire to keep Song in east London on a permanent basis, however, he will have to convince the board to put their hands deep in their pockets once again after having already forked out £35 million in the summer.
Statement of intent
It has been revealed that the club are currently paying all of Song’s £140,000-a-week wages, which makes him the highest-paid player in the club’s history. Co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan also paid a £3million loan fee to the Catalan giants in order to acquire the player.
The deadline day signing of Song was a massive statement of West Ham’s ambition but to sign him on a long-term contract would be a real coup for the club and convey how serious they are about a European push.
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They will need to equal their record transfer fee – previously set by Andy Carroll – but in the long run it will be a very smart investment.
Song himself has previously stated that he believes the Hammers can be one of the best club’s in England within the next five years and it would seem he is keen to be a big part of their rise in stature.
His ambition certainly matches the club’s and with his quality in the heart of the team he will give them a great platform from which to build. The Cameroon international compared the Irons with Atletico Madrid and believes they can go on a similar path to the La Liga title holders.
"The future of the club is very good," Song told the Express. "That's why I chose to come here. In Spain nobody was expecting anything from Atletico Madrid and look at how well they are doing.
"You have to look at examples like that. The way that West Ham are looking now, in the next five years they will be one of the best clubs in England.”
A player of his stature may also be significant in the club attracting more quality additions that want to get on board with the West Ham project, so there are plenty of positives to come from the chairmen getting the cheque book out, not least a happy Upton Park faithful.
Value for money
Song’s wages may be the biggest stumbling block for a permanent deal being done, unless he is willing to take a pay cut in order to secure the move. Sullivan has claimed the club cannot afford to lay out any more in wages because of Financial Fair Play regulations, unless they sell off fringe players.
However after having seen the impact the 27-year-old has had in the side in the eleven Premier League matches thus far they will surely do their best to ensure a deal is done.
It would be gutting for the club to miss out on his signature and a real chance of taking a big step in the right direction ahead of the move to the Olympic stadium in 2016; he provides great value for money to a club very much on the up.