Well, they got it all sorted out eventually - and what a deal it appears to be. West Ham will pay a fee of £5 million to Tottenham Hotspur for Robbie Keane, providing the Hammer's survive the drop but if they don't then West Ham aren't saddled with a high earner on their books that they can't afford. However, if as we hope, the Irish striker's goals keep the Irons in the Premiership then the 30-year-old has agreed a two-and a half year contract with an option for a further two.
In addition, the Hammers have agreed to pay Spurs a £1 million loan fee for the rest of the season and agreed to pay Keane's £65,000-a-week wages. West Ham confirmed: "The deal becomes permanent only if the club stay up."
It's a big deal but you have to say that it's the type of signing that really could make a difference in the relegation shake-up. Robbie Keane is perfectly capable of scoring ten goals before the season's end and - in terms of similar movement by the other club's involved in the abttle at the bottom - this is a massive signing. I know had one of the other club's made the transfer then I would have been worried.
In a surprising development, West Ham have at last completed the signing of Senegal striker Demba Ba but in a permanent deal rather than a loan move. The higly-rated 25 year-old joins from Hoffenheim where he scored an impressive 40 goals in 103 appearances and the move has been one of the window's most badly-kept secrets.
What is surprising though is that the deal is permanent being as Stoke City decided not to sign the player earlier this month when he failed a medical. West Ham attempted a loan deal but the rumour was they couldn't get insurance on the player, so the permanancy of the transfer should be a surprise. However, I say 'should' because this is Upton Park and I guess the board thought the addition of the striker to a treatment room contaning still-to-be-seen Thomas Hitzlesperger, Jack Collison and the ever-present 25 million dollar man who is Keiron Dyer, will undoubtably add to team morale and a strong reputation for always having fit and ready players for the battle.
The deal is again undisclosed but I'm pretty sure it will be heavily based on appearances, goals scored and if we stay up.
Anyone have Dean Ashton's number?
From the official website, comes the news that the club have announced the signing of midfielder Gary O'Neil. The 27-year-old arrives on a two-and-a-half year contract from Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee - how do you find out what an undisclosed fee is? The player describes his move as "coming home", having been brought up in London and having spent two years learning his trade with Tony Carr and his staff in the Hammers Academy in his early teens .
O'Neil is also well known to Avram Grant and coaches Paul Groves and David Coles from his time at Portsmouth and also played alongside Scott Parker and Carlton Cole in his England Under-21 days. After a late-night medical and signing his paperwork on Tuesday morning, the player will be eligible for Wednesday night's Carling Cup semi-final return at Birmingham City.
He said: "I am really pleased to sign. It all happened very quickly. I played for Middlesbrough at the weekend and didn't know anything was going to happen. It has all gathered pace since then. There was also a big rush to do it quickly when they realised I wasn't cup-tied."
I hate to get everyone paranoid but are we sure he's not cup-tied? I mean, don't forget....
Leaving WHU for Fiorentina Valon is blah..blah...blah... insert as per usual for most West Ham imports. i.e. Bought for £5m, looked a good purchase, should have been a good purchase, looked a real asset at first, linked with every major european club and fees of £silly billion get mentioned, club insist the player is not for sale, got injured, returned after months and months out, never looked the same, sold for 3/6d and a box of playdough.
I don't think I've mentioned the transfer window signing of Manchester City full-back Bridge for a salary so obscene that it makes me want to strangle someone at the FA with my 'lucky scarf' but, the Hammers need a left-back like a blind man needs a dog, so I'll just wish the man well and hope that he gets over his nightmare debut against the Arsenal and helps solve one of West Ham's problem areas permanently. He's a good player and the type of asset that would really suit the Irons so I trust it all works out. Hopefully, though he'll accept a slightly lower salary!