Sporting CP forward Islam Slimani confirms summer offer from West Ham, admits move is still possible

Islam Slimani has revealed that he was offered the chance to sign for West Ham over the summer.

Algerian international Slimani signed for Portuguese club Sporting CP last summer, winning the Algerian Golden Ball in December 2013 as best player of the year.

His impressive form for the Lisbon-based side saw him named in Algeria’s 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup, and the 26-year-old played a vital role in The Fennecses’s run to the last-16 for the first time in their history. Scoring in two group games - including their opening goal of the tournament - Slimani also had a goal disallowed in the last-16 tie with Germany, who went on to win the fixture, although the forward was heavily praised for his performances alongside those of his teammates.

His form on the international stage saw a number of clubs look to secure his signature, with one of the high profile sides being West Ham. The Premier League side originally attempted to sign him in January 2014, before reviving their interest in the summer, and, considering the current strength of the Hammers squad, Slimani would have been a great addition alongside the striking talents of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia - who both also moved to the Boleyn Ground in the summer.

It was reported that a £6 million fee would be accepted for the forward in the early months of 2014, but following his performances for his nation, and the increased interest in him, Sporting were said to be asking for a £10 million pay packet that had many clubs - including Newcastle, Everton and Crystal Palace - pulling out of any potential deal.

Whilst those clubs did not end up submitting an official offer for him, Slimani has now come out and revealed that West Ham actually did, and he turned them down to continue the stability in his career with Sporting.

“It is true that there was an offer from West Ham,” he told A Bola. “But I was happy with my team and I made a good choice. Stability is positive. I have to work harder to make progress.”

Slimani confirmed that he was committed to his current side, although he suggested that a move may be likely to happen in the next year, when he has achieved all he can in Portugal.

The 28-capped international continued: “I am focused on finishing the season at full strength and winning a title, at least. Then we'll see. Maybe next year.”

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