Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Fun Boy Three's European Tour

Sky Sports are reporting that West Ham have officially tabled a bid of £8.5million for Newcastle United captain Scott Parker. Alan Curbishley is keen to sign Parker as he is a big fan of the England international from their time together at Charlton, while Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is believed to be willing to let Parker move on as he looks to raise money for his own transfer plans. Those plans are rumoured to include a move for Manchester City misfit Joey Barton, a player who is also another Curbishley target according to a report on KUMB. Barton is believed to favour a move to the capital and would also cost in the region of £8million. Other players on the West Ham shopping list are said to include Darren Bent, for who we have already made a player plus cash offer, Reading left back Nicky Shorey, Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka and Monaco's Yaya Toure.

Elsewhere, an article in today's Newham Recorder claims Nigel Reo-Coker is resisting the overtures of Tottenham and playing a waiting game in the hope of a move to Manchester United (yeah, right!) or Arsenal this summer. According to Neil Trainis, Spurs are believed to have earmarked the 23-year-old as a potential transfer target but the player's adviser Tony Finnigan says his client, who spent last season embroiled in a relegation tussle, is keen on playing for a club in the Champions League. The article claims West Ham are looking for a fee in the region of £9million for a player who has been rumoured to be unsettled for quite some time. Reo-Coker was thought to have been frustrated with the decision of West Ham officials and previous manager Alan Pardew to deny him a move to Arsenal or Old Trafford on transfer deadline day last year and there have been rumours of the player's unrest ever since. In the subsequent months, Reo-Coker was targeted by a section of the Upton Park faithful, who held him responsible for the club's slump down the Premiership table which culminated in Pardew's sacking. A string of below-par displays were perceived by some to be lethargy on the part of Reo-Coker and he was on the end of vitriolic criticism from former Hammer Julian Dicks who, following the 6-0 New Year's Day Premiership defeat at Reading, insisted he had "spat his dummy out" in the wake of the Hammers' decision not to grant him a transfer.

Nigel Reo-Coker, Anton Ferdinand and Mark Noble have all been included in the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship finals in Holland, which start on June 10. It is especially good news for Noble who makes the squad for the first time, having survived the cull from an initial party of 30 players called up by Stuart Pearce. The official site claims the youngster will be hoping to make his debut in a friendly match against Slovakia, at Norwich City's Carrow Road ground next Tuesday, before England face their opening fixture of the championships against the Czech Republic in Arnhem on Monday 11 June.
The squad in full: Alnwick (Tottenham), Carson (Liverpool), Hart (Man City); Baines (Wigan), Cahill (Aston Villa), Ferdinand (West Ham), Hoyte (Arsenal), Onuoha (Man City), Rosenior (Fulham), Taylor (Newcastle), Whittingham (Cardiff); Bentley (Blackburn), Huddlestone (Tottenham), Milner (Newcastle), Noble (West Ham), Reo-Coker (West Ham), Richardson (Man Utd), Routledge (Tottenham); Derbyshire (Blackburn), Lita (Reading), Nugent (Preston), Vaughan (Everton), Young (Aston Villa).

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