West Brom boss Slaven Bilic insists fallout from Ahmed Hegazi sale is over
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic insists the fallout following the sale of Ahmed Hegazi is over after he held clear-the-air talks with the club’s hierarchy.
Speaking after the draw at Brighton on Monday, Bilic expressed his disappointment at the decision to sell Hegazi to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.
Just a few days earlier Bilic had told a press conference the Egyptian defender would not be sold.
The row fuelled speculation that Bilic was considering his future at The Hawthorns but the 52-year-old insists the club have now put the matter behind them and moved on.
“I want to close the chapter. I was very vocal and clear but for me, that story is finished,” said Bilic, who is preparing his team to play Fulham on Monday night.
“I wanted to say what I said publicly, I think it was needed, and I said the same to guys at the club – that was my opinion. For me, this is now chapter finished.
“I wish Ahmed all the best. He is a top player and a top guy and a top professional. But I would rather talk about (Semi) Ajayi, about (Branislav) Ivanovic, about (Kyle) Bartley, (Cedric) Kipre, (Dara) O’Shea and (Lee) Peltier who are the players we have in that position.”
Asked if it has been easy to move on from, Bilic replied: “Why not? I said what I wanted to say. I think it needed to be said and I was vocal and I was clear.
“I also said it when we came back to the training ground two days after the game – I said it to the board and to the people at the club. For me, it is finished.”
O’Shea is back in full training ahead of West Brom’s trip to Craven Cottage. The defender missed the 1-1 draw with Brighton this week due to an ankle injury and should return to the squad on Monday night.
Winger Kamil Grosicki could also be included after returning to the club following the news that his loan move to Nottingham Forest this month was not ratified by the English Football League.
Bilic is hopeful midfielder Sam Field (knee) and forward Hal Robson-Kanu (broken arm) will be back in contention after the November international break.