West Ham United have accepted a £12 million bid from West Bromwich Albion for winger Grady Diangana, with the Hammers' unable to guarantee him first-team football.
Despite a low initial price, it is understood that the deal could be a club record, with add-ons pushing the fee to the £18 million mark.
The 22-year-old spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at the Albion, where he scored eight goals and set up a further six in a successful promotion campaign.
Hammer blow for West Ham
When the Telegraph broke the news on Wednesday morning, there was a sense of disbelief from both sides of the deal.
From a West Ham perspective, there was confusion about how this had happened.
Not only has Diangana showed signs of promise in pre-season, with both him and manager David Moyes focused on him starting the season as a Hammer, but a contract until 2025 means they are under no pressure to sell, especially at such a low price.
If last season is anything to go by, combined with the lack of transfers so far this window, West Ham will be in a relegation battle against West Brom next season, so selling to a rival and significantly improving their attacking arsenal is not something that has gone down well.
It is believed that Diangana has been allowed to leave the club due to Felipe Anderson and Pablo Fornals being in the squad, but the 12 goal contributions between the pair last term hardly shows that they are immovable assets in the side.
Delight for West Brom
The Baggies' faithful, who have been left frustrated so far this transfer window with a lack of new faces coming through the door, seemed to be in dreamland when the news broke.
Most had given up on the possibility of the winger returning, with the minimum fee of £20 million quoted earlier in the window well outside the budget that was suggested, or at the very least a price that shouldn't have been splashed on a single player.
The initial fee of £12 million is not only affordable for the newly-promoted side, with significant add-ons only being paid if performance targets are met, but a steal for a young English talent that is not only years away from his peak, but already knows how West Brom play and is proven in their system.
It also means that the dangerous attacking line that served West Brom well during their successful Championship campaign is likely to be reunited when the Premier League restarts.
With Matheus Pereira already signing permanently, and Filip Krovinovic close to a return on loan, the three men who played behind the number nine last season are soon to be spending a second season together.
The trio played a combined 112 games (27 off the bench), scoring 19 times and assisting 24 goals.
Diangana is a wanted man
The deal is not done yet, with at least three other sides interested in hijacking the deal.
According to The Sun, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, and Fulham are all looking ar bringing Diangana through the door.
Looking at the Dutch outfits, both can offer European football that neither West Brom nor Fulham can.
As a result of the Eredivise being cancelled, qualification for European football was based on the league positions that were held when the season ended.
As a result of this, leaders Ajax were given a place in the final playoff round of the Champions League, with PSV allotted qualifying for the Europa League as a result of their fourth-placed finish.
Although Ajax is arguably the most attractive out of the four, Diangana would find himself in a similar situation in which he found himself at West Ham.
With Quincy Promes operating on the left-hand side, and new signing Anthony also able to play in that role, Diangana could start the season as their third choice left-winger.
Then there is PSV. The Europa League is a step down from that of the Champions League but is still more than the Albion can offer.
However, the £18 million package that West Brom are offering may be a bit too much for Roger Schmidt's side, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting funds, as their record transfer stands at just under £14 million.
This transfer was for Portuguese winger Bruma, who joined the club from RB Leipzig last summer. The 24-year-old plays on the same side as Diangana.
The final alternative to West Brom would be Fulham, who won promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs last season.
The Cottagers could offer a higher wage than West Brom, but with Ivan Cavaleiro and Bobby Decordova-Reid both operating on the left-side in the 2019/20 season, Diangana will likely reject Fulham in favour of a guaranteed starting place in the Midlands.