Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Joey Bartering

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has been promised a transfer kitty of £70million to spend this summer, according to the latest piece of sensationalism from Neil Ashton. The man responsible for the ludicrous Andrew Johnson story yesterday, now claims the club will attempt to hijack Mark Viduka's move from Middlesbrough to St James' Park this week with the offer of a £60,000-a-week, three-year deal. Also on the shopping list are Shaun Wright-Phillips, Luke Young and Brazil winger Elano, who currently plays for Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. The article also says that Scott Parker broke off his holiday to have a medical at West Ham and seal a £7million reunion with his old Charlton boss.

There has been much speculation as to why the Parker deal is taking so long to be concluded. One report suggested that West Ham's secondary interest in Joey Barton had caused a stand-off between the two clubs because Newcastle are also pursuing the player and have no wish to release Parker if they are unable to secure Barton as his replacement. The actual truth is slightly more prosaic and is related to the absence, through ill-health, of Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd. It is now understood that Scott Parker's transfer will be concluded as soon as the player's registration is signed off by Newcastle. This does not mean, however, that we have dropped our interest in Barton. A statement released on the Manchester City site confirmed that the player has requested permission to speak to both Newcastle United and West Ham United, both of who have submitted bids of £5.5million or more for the player’s services.

According to the BBC, Barton has already undergone a medical on Tyneside. They suggest the Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is hopeful of stealing a march on his West Ham counterpart Alan Curbishley, but also say the Hammers officials are still hopeful of speaking to the player. A story in the Mail states Barton's preference would be to take up the challenge of life at St James' Park, despite West Ham offering him a more tempting financial package. The player's agent Willie McKay confirmed talks with Newcastle are progressing well and that the player has been impressed by what Allardyce's plans for Newcastle. "Joey is up here at Newcastle at the moment having a look around the club," McKay told Sky Sports. "He is currently undergoing a medical and he has been impressed by what Sam Allardyce has told him what he plans to do at Newcastle. Newcastle are a massive club and Joey is happy that they are so interested in him. I am currently in negotiations with Newcastle now over a possible five-year deal." McKay also revealed they are waiting to hear from West Ham and that he is hopeful of sorting Barton's future quickly. "We are waiting to talk to West Ham and I am hoping to have everything sorted soon," he said.

Meanwhile, there are two players who could be leaving very shortly. Various news sources are reporting Aston Villa have made an official bid of £7million for want-away captain Nigel Reo-Coker, although the club is believed to be looking for a fee in the region of £8million. Also, Marlon Harewood has been told he can leave if an appropriate bid comes in. The former Nottingham Forest striker has been informed he does not figure in Alan Curbishley's plans and the player is now looking for a new challenge. "I think it's time for me to leave West Ham," said Harewood. "I've had four good years at the club but now it's time for me to find a new challenge. I've had a chat with the new manager and he obviously wants to bring his own players in, it happens everywhere. I want to be playing football, I love it. I had a great season before last for West Ham playing 43 games and scoring 16 goals but last season wasn't the best for me. But I'm so up for next season. I just can't wait to be scoring again and winning games for a team, that's what I want to be doing."

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