By George Overhill

4th Aug, 2022 | 8:10pm

West Ham United balk at six-figure Amadou Onana wage demands as move collapses

The proposed West Ham move for Lille midfielder Amadou Onana collapsed because the club refused his wage demands, according to The Times.

Everton have now surged to the front of the queue and are confident of signing the 20-year-old, having now matched the fee that the Hammers had agreed with the Ligue 1 side, after Tuesday night’s (2 August) breakthrough.

A package totalling £33million had been on the table and the Irons had moved onto discussing personal terms with the Belgian international, but that is where the deal ended.

According to the Times report, Onana wants “wages in excess of £100,000-a-week”, but West Ham have “refused” to meet those requirements.

Barring another twist he looks to be set for Goodison Park, just as former Toffees target Maxwel Cornet appears to be on his way to the London Stadium.

Flynn Downes has already been signed in central midfield, but Onana was a long-standing target for much of the summer.

Missed opportunity

It is easy to say from the outside in a situation like this, but spending such a big transfer fee on a player who has been mooted as the eventual replacement for Declan Rice, it seems strange to then balk at wage demands of this level.

Six figures cannot be thrown around for laughs at most clubs, but they are hardly unheard of in the Premier League.

If it doesn’t fit into the club’s wage structure then that is fair enough, but that would have made the continued pursuit of the youngster somewhat of a waste of time as this sort of demand could surely have been predicted.

He is young but he has the makings of a star, having elevated himself to the Belgian national team in his first season in a European top flight.

Therefore it seems likely that he would want a pretty big contract, especially from a side in the richest league in the world, which is spending heavily this summer.

To get the hard part done of reaching agreement with this club side, who had only signed him a year ago, and then fall at the last seems like a missed opportunity.

It will be compounded if he now goes to Everton and proves to be a big success, but there is a long way to go before that happens.

It looked like he was set to form a very strong central midfield line-up in east London as recently as Wednesday (3 August), so fans will have to hope that David Moyes and the club have made the right call on this one and will be proven so in future.