Hearts of Oak star, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh’s long-awaited move to FC Zurich was confirmed by the Swiss club on Tuesday.
The Black Galaxies deputy captain signed a three-year deal with Zurich until 2026 to cap a brilliant last couple of years in which he captained the Black Satellites to the U-20 AFCON title, won the Ghana Premier League title with Hearts, and made it into Ghana’s final squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Although Barnieh’s exit from the Phobians appeared to be an open secret, eyebrows were raised when Hearts of Oak released a statement announcing a contract extension for the player.
When Barnieh’s move was confirmed just hours later, many questioned the rationale behind Hearts’ release of the statement.
So why did they do it?
Barnieh earlier refused to extend his contract with Hearts of Oak, which meant he would have been able to leave the Phobians for free.
Losing one of their prized assets for nothing would have been a massive stain on Hearts of Oak’s management.
Agreeing the late contract extension with Barnieh allows the club to earn a fee from the Barnieh transfer. The amount of money earned would depend on the length of the deal agreed upon.
Tellingly, the club did not state how long Barnieh had extended his contract for.
Announcing the deal prior to FC Zurich’s own statement allowed Hearts to ease some of the mounting discontent of fans concerning how they handled Barnieh’s contract situation.
Many felt the club had waited too long before discussing a new deal with the player, which would have scored a more lucrative fee for a player who was clearly on his way out.