Steve Bradshaw revealed last night how Dean Hammond`s agent left Colchester with “no alternative” but to yield as Southampton started chasing the former Brighton man.
Hammond`s surprising move back to the coast came as a complete shock to U`s fans on Tuesday when, during a morning of apparent meltdown beginning with an exit from Paul Lambert.
“We`d resisted an offer for Dean for something like two-and-a-half weeks. They`d made an offer, which we turned down, then another offer – we also turned that down.”
The U`s received a combined total of four bids – some written, some verbal.
Although Southampton say the actual transfer fee remains undisclosed, United told the local media they received £400,000 for his services – a significant profit on the £250,000 paid to his previous club after he was acquired in almost identical contract-dispute circumstances last time around.
“The agent was telling us that the player no longer wanted to be at the club because he couldn`t get his head right and therefore we felt at that stage we had no option,” added Bradshaw, talking to Dream 100 FM.
Several supporters initially questioned the Essex club`s conduct in selling their captain so easily but have since, it appear, reluctantly accepted that United had minimal bargaining power.
“Dean was out-of-contract in May and unfortunately we would have then lost his services for nothing because we`d offered to extend his contract [by two years] and he`d turned it down.
His agent said he was now so unsettled that he couldn`t perform, anyway. Once you`re in that position – when somebody`s heart is elsewhere – it`s very difficult not to take action.”
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