Reggae Boy Antonio says he may leave Hammers
LONDON, England (CMC):
Record-breaking Reggae Boy Michail Antonio has hinted that he could leave English Premier League strugglers West Ham United in the January transfer window.
The 32-year-old Antonio, who joined the Hammers from Nottingham Forest for £7 million (US$8.6 million) in 2015, confirmed he had been in contact with other clubs.
Antonio became the Hammers’ top scorer in the English Premier League in August 2021 with his 48th top-flight goal, breaking Paolo di Canio’s club record.
He has scored only four goals and provided three assists in all competitions so far this season in which manager David Moyes’ side have found themselves in a relegation fight. They lifted themselves out of the bottom three last weekend with a win over fellow strugglers Everton, however.
Speaking on ‘The Footballer’s Football Podcast’ on BBC Radio 5 Live, the forward said: “Honestly, I’ve not ruled anything out. That’s all I can say.
“Nothing has been ruled out. There are talks, so whatever happens, happens,” he told the podcast.
Antonio has been linked with rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as a loan move to Chelsea. Reports suggest West Ham are open to selling the Jamaica international, who made his debut for the Reggae Boyz in a 3-0 defeat against Panama in a World Cup qualifier in September 2021, but do not want to loan him out.
Antonio admitted that the current English Premier League campaign had been a “very difficult” one for him personally, but could not say which teams he had spoken to. He said leaving West Ham would be tough.
“I’ve been here for eight and a half years now, become top goalscorer for the club, and I’ve loved every moment of it,” Antonio said.
“Every single moment is somewhere close to my heart and I’ll always be looking out for it. I love the fans, I’ve loved my time at West Ham.
“It’s just one of those things. I’m not saying goodbye, I’m saying basically, if it happens, it happens; and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
“I won’t be upset about staying, and I’ll definitely be upset if I leave because, obviously, I’ve enjoyed my time here, but football is football.”