How £45m West Ham target Haller came close to Norwich move

Sebastien Haller of Eintracht Frankfurt looks on during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt at Schwarzwald-Stadion on August 25, 2018 in Freiburg im...

West Ham are looking to sign Sebastian Haller.

Sebastien Haller of Eintracht Frankfurt looks on during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Internazionale and Eintracht Frankfurt at San Siro on March 14, 2019...

West Ham are closing in on a deal for Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sebastian Haller, Sky Sports report.

This is the Frenchman's first move to the Premier League, but he came close once before.

Back in 2016, Haller was strongly linked with a move to Norwich City.

 

Then Canaries boss Alex Neil held talks with Haller in January 2016 over a mid-season switch.

Haller got cold feet over a move, insisting he did not want to move mid-season.

He was quoted by the EDP: "I was not going to play football at Norwich City. I have a different plan in my head and that is until the summer to stay with FC Utrecht and play in the coming months to try and get the club into the Europa League

"Apart from that I think a winter transfer too risky. You come to a new club halfway in and have to adapt quickly. There is actually no time for that."

Norwich City Manager Alex Neil (left) and First Team Coach Gary Holt during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Norwich City at the Boleyn Ground on September 26,...

Neil criticised his choice, stating: "If he comes here and scores goals in the Premier League your stock would go a hell of a lot higher than if you score a few goals in the Europa on a Thursday night."

Haller stuck to his guns and remained with Utrecht, sealing a move to Eintracht Frankfurt 18 months later. Norwich were promptly relegated.

He had to bide his time for a move, but it was worth it. In two seasons in Germany he netted 32 goals.

Haller's goals helped lead Frankfurt to the Europa League semi-finals last season.

His reputation has risen enough to fetch a £45 million fee and make it to the Premier League anyway.

Norwich fans may feel Haller's move to West Ham is not a big enough step forward to justify his long route back to England.

His price tag at least backs up his goal of a soaring reputation. Now he will meet the Canaries again in the Premier League next season, with Norwich winning promotion in May.

Sebastien Haller of Eintracht Frankfurt celebrates after scoring his team`s fourth goal with team mate Daichi Kamada of Eintracht Frankfurt during the pre-season friendly match between DJK...

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