Million pound man – Ipswich Town loanee Bilel Mohsni reveals the figure it could take for Southend United to sell
Bilel Mohsni has revealed that it could take a seven-figure fee for the Blues to turn his loan deal into a permanent one come January.
The 25-year-old Frenchman – who last week told the Star that he is working on addressing his volatile reputation following 19 bookings and three red cards in two seasons – was on trial with newly-promoted West Ham over pre-season and went on tour with the squad to Germany.
Sam Allardyce was sufficiently impressed with the versatile 6ft 3in centre-back to make an offer to his League Two employers Southend United, but the Essex club rejected the bid and Mohsni returned to his native Paris.
The long-haired centre-back/target man, who signed for Town on a three-month loan deal last week, said: “I went to West Ham in the summer. They wanted me but the (Southend) chairman refused the bid.
“I think they wanted �800,000 with bonuses for a three-year deal. It could have been a million pounds which was very expensive. I understand I am not a million in value, so it didn’t happen.” He continued; “I was disappointed, but I have to stand up and play again. I was very happy to go and play there in the Premier League, so when they refused I was a bit down and lost my head for a bit.
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“Everyone wants to play in the Premier League so when you get that chance and it doesn’t happen because it’s not your fault, because of someone else in the sport, then it’s disappointing. Now I’m in Ipswich though and I’m very, very happy – the Championship is a very good level for me.”
Blues boss Paul Jewell said Mohsni went back to France ‘in a huff’ after he asked to extend the Frenchman’s recent trial for an extra week, but the player – who went on to have a trial at Birmingham before returning to Portman Road to complete a loan switch late last week – insists his departure was for ‘private family reasons’.
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He said: “I know Southend want to sell me so we will have to see how I do. If I can get into the starting eleven then I think then maybe I can get a contract here.
“I have to be patient, of course, because there are some very good players here. I missed a lot of pre-season and that makes it harder for me, but I will work hard and try and give the manager something to think about.
“(Southend manahger) Paul Sturrock has been a very good with me and I have nothing bad to say against him. He’s just said ‘all the best’ and ‘play like you can’ to see if I can make it.
“They gave me a chance to play in England, my first professional contract, so I will always appreciate that. Now it’s time to move on though.”