Mohamed Diame looks set to leave West Ham United just half a year after joining the club.
The Gunners have suffered a setback with the news that Mikel Arteta is expected to be out of action for a further two to three weeks with a calf strain and Diame has been one of the most consistent midfield men at the Hammers this season.
So how much will he cost? Well, he could be sold for as little as £3.5 million which us the current buy out clause in his contract but if Diame commits to a new West Ham deal before he’s sold, this will double to £7 million.
It leads to the question of why the buy out clause was set at such a low fee in the first place. This could have simply been because West Ham did not expect him to have the impact on the side which he has.
Diame suffered a bad hamstring tear last month and has only just returned to first team action as an unused sub in the 3-0 defeat against Sunderland over the weekend.
It would be very difficult for Diame to turn down any sort of approach from Arsenal because of the calibre of the club and the chance to potentially play in the Champions League next season.
He needs to weigh up how likely he is to get the same level of first team football at Arsenal which he is currently getting at West Ham and whether it’s worth the switch so shortly after joining a new club.
Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy at Arsenal ever since he joined the club has been to spend low rather than go out and pay over the odds for a top class star.
Therefore, the signing of Diame is likely because he fits the bill in terms of the transfers that Wenger generally goes for.
If they do sign him then Arsenal can wave goodbye to any chance of re-signing Alex Song from Barcelona who would have been the perfect player to sit in the current Arsenal midfield, protecting the talented youngsters Arsenal have.
If Diame has already expressed a desire to leave internally, and there’s no indication he has, then the best he could do, is sign a new contract before leaving which would do West Ham a favour and would go a long way to Diame leaving the club on respectable terms with staff and fans.
Is Diame better off at West Ham or Arsenal? Let us know your thoughts.
image: © Tom Cuppens