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DAVID MOYES dismissed suggestions yesterday that West Ham have anything other than an open transfer policy and distanced the club from comments allegedly made by director of player recruitment Tony Henry.
The club have suspended Henry, pending an investigation, after claims he said that African players “have a bad attitude” and “cause mayhem” when not selected.
He was allegedly speaking in response to suggestions he had told football agents the Hammers wanted to avoid recruiting further African players.
Moyes, who also worked with Henry at Everton, highlighted their failed attempts to sign both Algeria’s Islam Slimani and the Cameroon-born Ibrahim Amadou before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.
He said: “The comments are wrong. We were signing two players from Africa on deadline day, so I can only say they are wrong.
“You can see the players the club has signed over the years . We sign good quality players, the best we can get. It doesn’t matter where they are from.
“Never, ever, never at all [have I experienced prejudice like that].
“I think my first signing at Everton was Joseph Yobo, I went to his testimonial in Nigeria last year. I’ve signed [South African] Steven Pienaar three times.
“I don’t think there are many other clubs who have as many African players as West Ham. I find it difficult to believe anyone could say we are not a multinational team who sign good players, the best available.
“Over my time I’ve had good African players and bad African players. It’s just like having good Scottish players and bad Scottish players.”
Asked whether the reports had caused an effect on a squad that includes the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate and Arthur Masuaku, Moyes responded: “I have spoken with one or two of the African players and they seem fine.
“They have trained well and morale in the camp is good because we are on the back of a pretty good run.
“The players are doing well, so hopefully we can keep it going.”
Reports suggest Slimani went on loan to Newcastle instead of West Ham because vice-chair Karren Brady had previously offended Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner of his parent club Leicester, with comments she made about their sacking of Claudio Ranieri.
However, Moyes said: “That’s not a question for me. You need to go to the club and ask them that.
“We were in for Slimani, but he had another option to go to Newcastle that he chose. We had interest in [Anderlecht’s Leander] Dendoncker and we hoped to get one of those two, but for different reasons they didn’t come up.”
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