Speaking to the Standard, Alex Song has admitted that Slaven Bilic played a key role in securing the midfielder’s return to West Ham, having been in contact since the Croatian boss was appointed head coach early in the summer.
Song said: “When I spoke to the manager [Bilic], he told me he wanted me here. At the end of the transfer window there were two or three very big clubs who came in but I said ‘no’ because I had given him my word. He had always said, ‘I really want you to come’ and the feeling between us was very good. He had given me confidence with what he had told me and I could not break my word.”
Song was expected to leave Barcelona once again this summer, having spent last term on loan at the Boleyn Ground.
For the first half of the season, the Cameroonian star was one of the best midfielders in the entire Premier League, although his form dipped as the campaign wore on.
Despite struggling towards the end of the season, and West Ham changing managers from Sam Allardyce to Bilic, the East London club always wanted to bring Song back from Barcelona.
Song has admitted that he spoke to Bilic the day he was appointed head coach, and the Croatian boss told him that he wanted to sign him early in his reign.
However, injury issues clouded Song’s future, and the loan deal to bring him back to the Boleyn Ground was only confirmed on deadline day at the beginning of this month.
It was Bilic’s talks with Song that convinced the midfielder to switch Camp Nou for West Ham once again, and although he has confirmed other clubs made offers for him, the 28-year-old had no other desire but to return to the Hammers when they made their approach.