Friday, 22 June 2007

Back-Page Splash

The 'super soar-away' Sun has a back page splash claiming Liverpool will increase their bid for Yossi Benayoun to £4.5million — after West Ham pulled the plug on his new contract. Andrew Dillon believes Hammers chairman Eggert Magnusson has finally lost patience with Israeli midfielder Benayoun and withdrawn his offer of a new £13million five-year deal, a contract that has remained unsigned for several weeks. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has long been an admirer of the player and now plans to cash in on the rift, possibly offloading misfit striker Craig Bellamy in the process. Benayoun said: "I’m honoured a club like Liverpool is interested in me. I’m contracted to West Ham so we will have to see what happens." West Ham insist the player has not submitted a formal transfer request, although the Israeli's feelings have been made clear that he fancies a move to Anfield. The Independent are a little more circumspect and claim West Ham United are only willing to do a deal if they can persuade Craig Bellamy to move in the opposite direction. The paper claim the revised offer from Liverpool, who had initially offered £3million, comes close to the £5million that West Ham hoped to receive for the Israel international. Interestingly, most of the media seem to believe that if a swap deal was effected between the two clubs then there would be a cash adjustment in Liverpool's favour. This is in direct contrast to what I have been told by people this end who are adamant that it would be the Hammers who receive the supplementary funds.

The Mail has yet another Carlos Tevez story, having kept a dignified silence on the matter for an impressive 48 hours. This time it is claimed Real Madrid are in talks with Carlos Tevez's owner Kia Joorabchian over a 'controversial' £30million deal. The Spanish champions have held a meeting between top negotiator Predrag Mijatovic and Joorabchian, who still claims to have the rights to West Ham's Argentina striker. It is suggested that the player's future could be decided in the next two days, with Inter Milan also keen, but both Liverpool and Chelsea are reluctant to meet Joorabchian's asking price. While Eggert Magnusson insists his club own Tevez, the article states that Joorabchian continues to blatantly hawk the striker around Europe. Real are thought to be the most likely buyers as they are happy to pay the fee demanded by Joorabchian and the investors behind MSI, who took Tevez to Brazilian side Corinthians. It is intimated that should Tevez be sold against the wishes of West Ham then it would provide serious food for thought for the deliberating Premier League arbitration panel. This rumour has also been picked up by the people over at The Telegraph. Charles Carrick states that Spanish newspaper AS reported that a deal could be imminent and that Tevez is keen to play in the Champions League. Madrid are currently on an end of season tour to Israel, but are already putting plans in place for the next campaign after the departure of David Beckham. Carrick suggests that the Spanish champions will face strong competition for Tevez from Inter Milan but now look the favourites to sign him and a deal could be reached over the weekend.

The same paper features a story that Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has been given the green light to bid £8million for West Ham skipper Nigel Reo-Coker, as well as make a move for long-time Hammers target Shaun Wright-Phillips. On the same page there is a another article, this time insisting Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to become the Premiership's highest paid manager on an £8million package at Manchester City- and will begin the rebuilding task at Eastlands by launching a bid of his own for Reo-Coker. It is rumoured that the midfielder is seen as a perfect replacement for Joey Barton, who left City to join Newcastle, and is likely to be available for around £8million after an impressive series of displays for England Under-21's at the European Championships in Holland.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports are reporting that a quartet of Premiership clubs are chasing striker Marlon Harewood.
West Ham are ready to let Harewood move on and the news has alerted Birmingham, Fulham, Portsmouth and Aston Villa. The player's representative, Mick McGuire confirmed there are no shortage of admirers for Harewood. "There are four Premier League clubs who have expressed an interest in signing Marlon," he said. "Birmingham have already seen one bid turned down by West Ham for Marlon. Fulham, Portsmouth and Aston Villa are also keeping tabs on the situation. Marlon is keen to secure his future and we are hopeful of sorting a deal out." Also on Sky Sports is the news that Preston have given two unnamed clubs permission to talk to highly-rated striker David Nugent. It is said Everton, Portsmouth, West Ham, Derby County and Sunderland have all been linked with the player in the last few months and the two clubs who have matched Preston's valuation are thought to be among this group.

Finally, Ghana defender John Paintsil admits he might have to leave West Ham United to save his international career. Paintsil joined the Hammers from Hapoel Tel Aviv last year but has endured a miserable spell at the club, playing just five times in the Premiership. Paintsil told BBC Sport: "I want to play, it's as simple as that. It is a difficult situation for me. I want to be playing for Ghana in every game and fight for the red, gold and green colours. But I know that club form is important so all I can hope is that I can rectify that in the coming season. My future is important and I can't end up like this. I am hoping that everything works out well even if I don't get the opportunity at West Ham." Despite enduring a difficult first season in England, Paintsil has the dignity to resist a personal attack on either the club or the manager. "Alan Curbishley talked things over with me and has assured me the club will take my interest into great consideration in whatever decision they make about me," Paintsil said. "He set my mind at ease with that conversation but it is has been a very difficult situation for me. The money I earn at West Ham is about a 1,000 times what I had in Israel but that means nothing if I am not playing. Sometimes I sit on the bench watching games and wonder why I do well at training and never get to play. I just chose to focus and keep training so that when the chance comes, I won't disgrace myself. I can't sit down and complain all day so I rather put more hours into training and make sure when I get the opportunity I won't blow it." He may not be the most technically gifted player but with a first class attitude like that you would hope things work out for him.


Jimbo said...

Tevez to Real. A great club for a great talent. We knew really that we could'nt keep him at Upton Park. But we hoped, no prayed really that he would stay.

Now it looks like Madrid. Every West Ham supporter will wish him well.
Good luck Carlos, and thanks for the memories.

Eddie said...

As a West Ham fan I would like Tevez to stay but I have never believed that to be a realistic possibility. The sooner the deal is done the better in my view.

Shin Chima said...

As a life long Hammers fan, I will be sad for him to leave. However as a Madrid resident I will be delighted to have the opportunity to watch him play every week.

Jon Da Silva said...

I know how will West Ham replace 7 goals and 3 assists in 26 games?

He could be more over rated than Defoe who West Ham blagged a fee for after 8 goals (Di Canio excluded by the manager late on got 9 that year and was not an out and out forward).

He is probably worth more in money than reality on the pitch - although premiership clubs will likely be paying ludicrous amounts for similar/worse under achievers and poorish players.

A small front man of less than blistering pace with an ordinary goals total.... take the money.


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