February 2 – French top-flight club Lyon have accused West Ham United of showing a “profound lack of respect” and “incomprehensible behaviour”, hinting at legal action against the Premier League club after the proposed deadline day move for Said Benrahma collapsed in the final moments of the transfer window.
Lyon claimed West Ham failed to fill in the required forms to complete the loan deal before the deadline passed on Thursday night.
In a furious statement, they have attacked West Ham for failing to act despite “repeated reminders”.
Benrahma had completed his medical in France and was ready to be announced as a new signing by the Ligue 1 side, who are in the midst of a nightmare season.
“Olympique Lyonnais were delighted to welcome Saïd Benrahma to Lyon this Thursday to finalise his transfer from West Ham. The two clubs had signed a temporary transfer agreement, and Olympique Lyonnais had obtained approval to allow the transfer to take place smoothly and transparently,” Lyon said.
“However, at the start of the evening, while Olympique Lyonnais had entered all the administrative data on the dedicated FIFA platform (FIFA TMS), West Ham had never launched the slightest technical procedure on its part, despite the repeated reminders from the OL and continuous mutual telephone communication.
“In the absence of this reciprocal action on the part of the English club and following this incomprehensible behaviour, raising questions, the international transfer certificate could not be requested before closing time. Olympique Lyonnais deeply regrets this situation and this decision, demonstrating a profound lack of respect on the part of West Ham towards the institution and the player.”
Lyon are understood to be prepared to make an appeal to FIFA. In their statement, they added: “The club reserves the right to undertake all appropriate procedures necessary to validate the transaction at a later date, and to hold West Ham responsible if necessary.”
A West Ham spokesperson was quoted as saying: “West Ham United can confirm that the Deadline Day deal for Saïd Benrahma to join Olympique Lyonnais was not concluded ahead of the deadline, with a deal unable to be completed before 11pm.”
There were also issues with another planned departure from West Ham, with alleged technical problems causing a hold-up on the deal taking Pablo Fornals to Spanish side Real Betis. A deal had been agreed, worth around £7 million, on Thursday afternoon, and Betis remain hopeful of it still being finalised.
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