Mullins heads for West Ham

Hayden Mullins has joined West Ham United in a deal initially worth 600,000

Hayden Mullins has joined West Ham United in a deal initially worth 600,000

First published in Sport by

Crystal Palace utility player Hayden Mullins has joined West Ham United in a deal worth £600,000, rising to £800,000 if the Upton Park outfit get promoted to the Premiership, writes Neil McSteen.

Mullins had been expected to remain at Palace until he became a free agent after initial offers for his services in January from the likes of Birmingham City had been dismissed as “derisory” by Chairman Simon Jordan.

Explaining why Mullins was sold Jordan maintained: “We would always have preferred to keep him at Palace but he made it clear he was reluctant to sign a new deal meaning he would have left the club at the end of the season when his contract expired, as a free agent.

The sale was in the best interests of Crystal Palace Football Club and the funds will be further used to enhance the squad.” Exactly how much of the Mullins transfer fee will be available is unclear but it does mean some much-needed funds are available at a time when the club is operating a sell-before-you-buy policy.

Who Kember targets remains to be seen, although it will not be centre back Ivar Ingimarsson, who joined Reading last Thursday.

With Darren Powell sidelined for six weeks nursing a torn thigh muscle, Palace had been linked with a move for the Iceland International defender. But Reading always remained his first choice having previously worked with their new manager, former Palace favourite Steve Coppell, at Brentford and Brighton.

However, some of the Mullins transfer money has been put towards the wages of Thomas Myrhe who has arrived on a one-month loan from Sunderland. The 30-year-old Norwegian international joined the Black Cats on a free from Turkish club Besiktas in the summer of last year.

But his time at the Stadium of Light has been beset by injury. Kember feels that Myhre, who started against Gillingham on Saturday, is the ideal cover for Matt Clarke, who is currently fighting a career threatening injury and may have to retire, and the out of form Palace number-two keeper, Cedric Berthelin. If Myhre, capped 14 times for his country, impresses the move could become permanent.

Speaking to the Croydon Guardian Myhre is initially treating his loan spell at Palace as a way “to show everybody I’m fit again and can play”. He explained: “It was good for me to come back into first team action as I’ve been out since October last season.

“I’m just coming back to fitness and (Gillingham) was my first competitive game for a year. I want to put some good performances in for Palace.

“Obviously I’m not happy with the result and that is the main disappointment. The most important thing was to get three points, but I was pleased with my own performance.”

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