West Ham United have been accused of “lacking respect” after failing to finalise the Deadline Day departures of Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma.
Fornals was due to join Real Betis on a permanent deal worth around £7m, while Benrahma underwent a medical with Lyon and is believed to have completed media duties ahead of a loan deal which also included a purchase clause.
However, when the deadline arrived, West Ham failed to submit the required paperwork, leaving both deals in limbo.
Lyon lashed out in a statement, writing: “At the start of the evening, while Olympique Lyonnais had entered all the administrative data on the dedicated FIFA platform (FIFA TMS), West Ham had never launched the slightest technical procedure on its part, despite the repeated reminders from OL and continuous mutual telephone communication.
“In the absence of this reciprocal action on the part of the English club and following this incomprehensible behaviour, raising questions, the international transfer certificate could not be requested before closing time.
“Olympique Lyonnais deeply regrets this situation and this decision, demonstrating a profound lack of respect on the part of West Ham towards the Institution and the player. The club reserves the right to undertake all appropriate procedures necessary to validate the transaction at a later date, and to hold West Ham responsible if necessary.”
While Benrahma’s loan appears to have collapsed, there remains some hope that Fornals could be granted his move to Betis as La Liga have awarded a provisional acceptance for the deal already.
“The thing about Pablo Fornals happened at the last minute,” Betis CEO Ramon Alarcon revealed. “There has been a computer incident, we have worked on it to be able to finalise it.
“Betis has delivered the documents in a timely manner. West Ham seems to have had a problem with their computer tools. It has not only been in the case of Betis, but also in other cases. We hope it will be resolved in the coming days.
“The substance of the matter has been established. We understand that it is a computer error and it will be resolved. We are working on it. We are optimistic, although in these things we have to be cautious.”