The next step in West Ham United’s attempt to sign Fulham’s Tom Cairney came this week, when Sky Sports reported the Hammers made a £20 million for the midfielder.
This is far from the first time the Cottagers captain has drawn serious interest from the east Londoners, as during the January transfer window there were strong links Cairney would be moving to the London Stadium.
But the Scot decided to stay at Craven Cottage this winter and proceeded to steer the Whites to promotion glory, scoring the winning goal in the play-off final and writing his name in Fulham folklore.
During the play-off final, Cairney revealed his superb qualities as an all-acton midfielder, controlling the match with his measured passing, deadly finishing, and crisp tackling.
Cairney has become Fulham through-and-through, and everything about his career indicates leaving the club this summer would make no sense.
The creative midfielder signed for the Whites from Blackburn in the summer of 2015, joining Kit Symons’ side at a particular low point of Fulham’s Championship stay.
They narrowly avoided relegation at the end of the 2015/16 season, and Cairney could have easily jumped ship then.
But he stayed put, and next season played a crucial role as Fulham finished sixth and came within inches of securing a place in the play-off final.
After that disappointment, Cairney could have again easily left for greener pastures in the summer of 2017 – but he stayed put and signed an extended contract just months after the heartbreak at the hands of Reading.
It is obvious that Cairney truly loves Fulham, and has had excellent chances to depart Fulham in seasons past, but he crucially stayed at each and every opportunity.
Why would Cairney leave now, when he had finally achieved his goal of promotion with the cub, right at the moment when he delivered the club to the promised land of the Premier League?
Furthermore, the price of £20 million for a British player at the peak of his talents is laughably low. Fulham were completely justified in rejecting the derisory offer, sending a clear message that their main man is not for sale.
A loyal captain, who loves Fulham, Tom Cairney should ignore West Ham’s attempts to lure him away from Craven Cottage and remain by the banks of the Thames.