Premier League trio Wolves, West Ham United and Nottingham Forest have now missed out on the chance to sign Bundesliga defender Konstantinos Mavropanos for a bargain £10 million.
In recent years, Hamburg have somehow managed to find new and increasingly-unusual ways to avoid securing promotion back to Germany’s top flight; whether it was failing in the relegation play-off or by throwing away their advantage at the top of the second-tier.
Even by their standards, however, this was remarkable. Bordering on parody, even.
A mob of jubilant HSV supporters raced onto the pitch upon the final whistle following their 1-0, final day triumph over SV Sandhausen; a victory which appeared to have securd promotion. That was, however, until Heidenheim scored a 93rd minute equaliser and then a 99th minute winner in their own game. Thus, leapfrogging Tim Walter’s side into second-place.
A 6-1 defeat over two legs in the resulting play-off tie with Stuttgart, meanwhile, was not so much insult to injury as it was the footballing equivalent of tumbling out of your hospital bed after going 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.
Stuttgart beat Hamburg in Bundesliga play-off
Stuttgart, therefore, will remain a Bundesliga side in 2023/24. And that means the £10 million relegation clause in Mavropanos’ contract is no longer valid, instead replaced by a £25 million one (Kicker).
Football London believe that Wolves, West Ham and Fulham are lining up to bring the 6ft 4ins international back to England, one year after he finally brought an end to a rather forgettable spell at Arsenal.
Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, failed with a £17 million bid in January.
If Steve Cooper’s side opt to renew their interest, they will need to raise their opening offer by a further £8 million after Mavropanos helped Stuttgart retain their Bundesliga status at the expense of hapless Hamburg.
“Of course we will have to generate transfer funds, like almost every Bundesliga club,” Stuttgart CEO Alexander Wehrle tells Sky Germany.
“(But) there are players we would be very reluctant to let go.”
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