Super Eagles defender Ola Aina has opened up about the details surrounding his unsuccessful transfer to West Ham last summer, Soccernet.ng reports.
Despite being linked to several clubs during the transfer window, Aina received no concrete offers until the deadline day.
As his contract was entering its final year, Aina believed that Torino would accept West Ham’s offer of €8.6 million (equivalent to ₦7.5 billion). However, Torino insisted on a higher price of ten million euros.
Aina expressed his surprise at Torino’s stance, particularly because he had already made it clear to the club that he had no intention of extending his stay in Turin.
Although tempted to push for the move, he resisted due to Torino’s scheduled game against Atalanta later that day, September 1.
Regrettably, Aina’s decision not to pursue the transfer was followed by a disappointing performance. He conceded a first-half penalty, which allowed Atalanta to take the lead on their way to a 3-1 victory. As a result, the former Fulham defender was substituted at halftime.
During an episode of The Beautiful Game podcast, Aina candidly shared his perspective, saying, “West Ham wanted me on September 1 last year, which was the last day of the transfer window.
“I explained to Turin that I would not renew my contract, but they asked for at least 10 million euros, while I believe West Ham had reached 8.6 million euros instead.”
The timing of West Ham’s offer was unfortunate, as Torino had already begun their season and had a game scheduled against Atalanta that evening. Aina would have had to inform the coach that he couldn’t play. Torino’s firm stance was clear.
“Toronto were like, ‘We want ten million euros for him, and if you don’t have that, the deal won’t happen’. I was in my final season, and I had already informed them that I wouldn’t sign another contract.
“They should have taken the money. I think it was around €8.6 million. But Torino insisted on ten or more.”
Currently a free agent, Aina has confirmed that there are several clubs in Italy and England interested in signing him on a free transfer. However, his primary goal is to return to the Premier League.