Saturday, 19 May 2007

Lost In Translation

Carlos Tevez has intimated he would not be disappointed to still be playing for West Ham next season. The 23-year-old striker, speaking in a hastily arranged press conference in Puerto Madero yesterday lunchtime, revealed that the prospect of a second season at the Boleyn Ground wasn't beyond the realms of possibility. "My priority is West Ham because since I arrived they have treated me very well and with much affection," he said. "They warmed to me because of how I am, and because I leave my heart on the field. It was hard to adapt at first; English football is more physical than technical. The culture is very different, very high level. But I like the tranquility. Four years ago I couldn't even go out for a walk," he added. However Tevez - who returned to Argentina on Tuesday morning following his final appearance for United at Old Trafford - also sent out a clear message to Europe's major powers that he would be open to any tempting offers. "It excites me that several teams are considering me. I want to play for a great European team. They have not communicated with me, but I suppose that [the rumours] must be true." So, make of that what you will. For Eric Beauchamp in The Sun something has obviously been lost in translation. Those simple quotes equate to the banner headline splash: "Tevez- I'm off To Europe".

Another player contemplating his future is Matty Etherington. According to a piece in the Independent Wigan Athletic have made a bid of about £3m to sign the troubled winger, an offer thought to have been met with some incredulity at Upton Park and been rejected out of hand. The likelihood is that the unsettled 25-year-old, who almost joined Fulham in the January transfer window, will leave, although West Ham are believed to be demanding a far higher transfer fee than has been currently lodged by Wigan. The article also repeats the rumour that West Ham have identified Scott Parker as their first serious transfer target. Sources at Newcastle United claim that the 26-year-old's future at the club is in the balance following the arrival of new manager Sam Allardyce. This has not gone unnoticed by West Ham manager Alan Curbishley who is keen to build his midfield around a player he groomed at Charlton Athletic before he moved to Chelsea for £10m.

One player who is not now departing West Ham is Yossi Benayoun who had demanded a transfer after appearing to fall out with Curbishley. However, as reported here yesterday, the Israel international spoke to the manager on Wednesday and held a meeting with the club on Thursday when he received assurances that he will be a first-team regular next season. Benayoun, who has two years left on his present deal, is also likely to receive a new improved contract which will see his wages rise from £25,000 to around £40,000 a week. West Ham also want to sort out the futures of players such as Anton Ferdinand, Paul Konchesky and Marlon Harewood before they start spending. It is claimed the club are also monitoring developments over Mark Viduka, out of contract at Middlesbrough, and Charlton's Darren Bent - two strikers they attempted to sign in January and who appear certain to leave their club.

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