Owls’ chief has a pop at Stuart Webber over Jordan Rhodes interest
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Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri has claimed Stuart Webber’s comments last summer over Norwich City’s pursuit of Jordan Rhodes ‘damaged his club’.
In a wide-ranging interview with Yorkshire Live, Chansiri was asked for the inside track on the Canaries’ pursuit of Rhodes following promotion to the Premier League.
The goal poacher was a popular figure inside and outside the changing room during a season long loan stint that brought a Championship title, but City were unable to do a deal to bring him back to Carrow Road.
Chansiri has now stated City were only interested in a free transfer swoop for a player who at that time still had more than 12 months left on his current Hillsborough deal.
“Norwich wanted to take Jordan Rhodes last summer but only on a free transfer,” he said. “This made no sense to us and would actually cause us more problems with FFP as we would have to pay all the outstanding balance on his transfer from Middlesbrough. So it was better for Jordan to stay here and try to make his way into the team and score some goals.
“When he went to Norwich the previous year on loan, we wanted the deal to include a clause for them to buy in a similar way when we bought Jordan from Middlesbrough.
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“This kind of deal is normal. But they did not want this option. Norwich did not even talk about buying Jordan, only a loan, but their sporting director in a later interview was saying many things that were not true, things that were negative to me and damaging to our club.
“This year in January, another club offered a very low package, it was a deal that made no sense for us. My people also told me Celtic had supposedly made an offer but we demanded a very big loan fee that stopped the deal. Again, this is not true, there was no official approach or offer at all.
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“If the deal is right for all parties we can move but if not we cannot, it is that simple.”
Webber, speaking last summer, made it clear Rhodes was a player of interest but the financial package involved would rule City out.
“First of all, we never had the option to buy him, in writing. We couldn’t agree that so we didn’t have it. It was just a straight forward loan. So it’s not like we’ve tried to renegotiate that, it never existed,” he said. “So if there was a way we could bring him back that would be great but at the same time, he’s 29, he’s got two years left on his contract at Wednesday, their valuation of him last summer was outrageous and that will be pretty high again. So it’s a really difficult deal for us to do.
“We’ve got a really small budget and to go and spend a lot of that on a 29-year-old who has a pretty high salary, which is well documented, that would be tough - for someone who was a number two striker, in the end, in the Championship.”