The Anatomy of a Failed Transfer 2: Diafra Sakho

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Is it a case of life imitating art or just madness? Whatever the case, the 27-year-old Senegalese international Diafra Sakho remains a player at West Ham United.

The Hammers were insistent all along that Sakho would not be sold but off his own back, the striker flew to France to complete a move to Rennes. The only problem was nobody bothered to tell the East London club that he was leaving.

It mean that despite passing a medical and agreeing personal terms, Sakho hastily returned to London for a meeting to convince the West Ham hierarchy to sell. “Hastily” is a relative term; the story descended into farce at this point.

Expected at the Hammers training ground at 11am, he returned to England to meet his agents and diverted to Chelmsford races where his representatives horse, Siege of Boston, was running in the 3.20pm. In some sort of omen for the day, it won at 9/2 on a photo finish.

Sakho was unaware of this at the time; he spent the whole of the race sitting into the car park!

Arriving at the London Stadium, he made West Ham aware of personal issues which he felt demanded a return to France. Unmoved by his situation, the Daily Mail reports that co-owner David Gold was far from impressed with the suggested £8m fee.

Sakho failed to persuade the Hammers to sell and remains a West Ham player.