Amid heavy speculation that West Ham is attempting to bring in NY Red Bulls and USMNT defender Aaron Long, there are reports that the deal has hit a couple of snags.
Most notably, West Ham has been linked with a $4 million move but is reportedly struggling to secure a work permit for Long despite the defender having logged significant time with the U.S. National Team of late. The 26-year-old was a first-choice center-back for Gregg Berhalter throughout the Gold Cup this summer and has made all 11 of his international appearances in the wake of the United States missing out on the 2018 World Cup.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Saturday, Long said he was confused by the situation surrounding his work permit. “As our biggest ally, it seems strange that a football player from the US can’t automatically get a work visa to play in England,” Long said. Sky reported that the club has just five more days to secure Long a work permit, which coincides with the shutting of the transfer window.
The player wasn’t the only person to speak out, as his agent took to social media to add to their frustration. Shaun Higgins seemed to point the finger at Red Bull, suggesting that the other Red Bull clubs in Germany and Austria won’t take his client but also have requested a massive transfer figure, serving to hinder talks.
Long supported this take with his comments, saying that “it would also be a dream to play for RB Leipzig or Red Bull Salzburg” but that a move to those clubs is unrealistic “because they only sign players 24 [years old] or under.”
When reports of a bid from West Ham first came through in mid-July, New York reportedly turned down the initial offer that totaled “under $3 million” but with recent reports suggesting a total closer to $4 million, it appears West Ham was open to increasing its offer. Still, the club must secure a work permit or the deal will by all accounts be off.