In what has to be considered the biggest transfer surprise since Ken Griffey Jr. decided Cincinnati was sufficiently close to his Florida home, West Ham United have acquired Argentine internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano from Brazil’s Corinthians.
For the Guardian’s usually unflappable Paul Doyle and Paolo Bandini, this measures pretty high on the WTF scale.
Unless Salvador Dali faked his own death in 1989 and is, in fact, living in a derelict tenement in east London as a 102-year-old West Ham fan, it’s safe to say no Hammers supporter could have imagined the news that broke this afternoon, viz: that the recently-promoted minnows have upgraded from Hayden Mullins and Bobby Zamora to … Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez!
Short of BeyoncÃ© Knowles ditching rich and successful rapster Jay-Z to hook up with your broke, bungling Fiver, no match-up could be more shocking. After all, the Argentinian stars have for years been linked with Arsenal, the MU Rowdies, Bayern Munich, Milan and a slew of other glamorous clubs. As well as Spurs and Portsmouth. “The pair have been signed for an undisclosed fee and put pen to paper on permanent contracts this afternoon,” declared the West Ham website not two minutes ago. “All other aspects of the transfers will remain confidential and undisclosed,” it continued mysteriously, as the whiff of rat wafted through Fiver Towers.
Might the dazzling duo be cosying up to the Hammers to showcase their ability to adapt to European football, thereby jacking up the fee and wages they could command from fatter cats in year or two? Could they simply be amused by the prospect of pushing Tottenham “delusions of grandeur” Hotspur farther down the London hierarchy? Or did Kia Joorabchian sway the pair to join West Ham by speaking very highly of the club?
“Who?” we hear you ask.
“West Ham,” we answer. “That hokey outfit from grassroots London.”
“Not them, you clowns, this Joorabchian geezer,” you retort.
“Oh, he’s the Iran-born, London-based businessman who pondered taking over West Ham last year. He may have told the lads it’s a lovely club. Incidentally, he runs Media Sports Investments, the company that two years ago became the main financial backers of Corinthians. It was instrumental in amazing South America by bringing Tevez from Boca Juniors to Brazil in 2004. Spanish newspaper AS has reported Roman Abramovich has a stake in his company, but Joorabchian has rubbished these claims with great vigour.”
Of course the fact that the pair have not joined a club likely to challenge, say, Chelsea for domestic or European honours is obviously coincidental.