Club Brugge striker Emmanuel Dennis claims that West Bromwich Albion offered him ‘crazy’ wages to move to The Hawthorns over the summer. But he was not disappointed to see a move to the Premier League fall through, as he told Het Nieuwsblad.
HLN might have claimed that the lack of a required work permit was the reason behind the Baggies’ failure to snap up the £18 million-rated striker on the final day of the transfer window.
But it seems the reality is something a little different.
Speaking before Brugge’s 2-1 Champions League win away at Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday night – a game in which he scored the opener – Dennis has suggested the issue was not with the work permit but with the structure of the deal instead.
The Nigeria international claims that West Brom wanted to sign him on loan, with an option to buy clause that would only be triggered if Slaven Bilic saved the Midlanders from an immediate return to the Championship.
“Wages were not the problem. The wages were crazy. And I have also played enough international matches (to obtain a work permit). The problem was that it was a loan and with the (option to buy) clause in the contract,” Dennis explained, before suggesting that he saw the Baggies as something of a stepping stone.
“I want to prove myself in England. Maybe you play five matches at West Brom and another club will come and get you.”
But honestly, I didn’t really care. I wasn’t pushing for a transfer. I had an attitude of ‘If they buy me, then I go. If they don’t buy me, I’ll stay and go elsewhere later’.
“West Brom was a good deal. If they stayed in the Premier League, they would have bought me. Then I would have been playing in the Premier League for at least two years.
“But if they dropped again, another team could still have picked me up.”
Dennis may be blessed with explosive pace and a penchant for stepping up on the biggest of stages, but a man who scored European goals against Real Madrid and Manchester United last season is hardly prolific.
In his last 40 games, he has found the net ten times.