Former Hearts man Andy Irving sold to West Ham United for big money as a fascinating transfer is confirmed by Austrian FA

Austria Klagenfurt have transferred the player to the EPL club
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Former Hearts midfielder Andy Irving is at the centre of a fascinating transfer from his Austrian club, Klagenfurt, to English Premier League side West Ham United. A deal worth seven figures is on offer for the 22-year-old and the Austrian Football Association have confirmed the agreement is in place.

However, Irving is to be loaned back to Klagenfurt to continue playing his football in the Austrian Bundesliga there. He scored three goals and claimed two assists in the opening five games of the season and is now a key player for Klagenfurt. West Ham are interested in a potential feeder-club arrangement with the Austrians and Irving’s deal is the first indication of the tie-up.

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Irving is a graduate of the Hearts youth academy who first broke into the first team in 2017. He continued to make an impact at Tynecastle Park and became a regular in the side before leaving on freedom of contract in summer 2021. He initially joined the German third division club Türkgücü Münich but left after they encountered financial problems. He signed for Klagenfurt last summer and quickly settled into life in Austria.

Irving is a Scotland Under-21 internationalist who is eager to further his career by reaching the highest level possible and achieved senior caps for his country. He is likely to continue playing in the Austrian Bundesliga for the foreseeable future, although West Ham can now monitor him and other Klagenfurt players more closely as the two clubs build up their relationship.

The agreement comes after West Ham appointed the German data analyst Tim Steidten as their technical director. He has in-depth knowledge of Austrian football and believes the league offers good value.