So Reading have confirmed they have rejected a £4million offer from West Ham United for England left-back Nicky Shorey. Royals boss Steve Coppell described the offer as "nigh on derisory" and insisted the 26-year-old was still on course to play against the Hammers on Saturday rather than for them. He said: "I cannot deny there was a written offer made. Given the price of players today we thought it was nigh on a derisory offer. We turned it down immediately and we have had no contact since." Shorey has established himself as a first team regular since moving from Leyton Orient for £25,000 in 2001 and made his England debut against Brazil at Wembley at the end of last season. Although he has also been linked with Newcastle United, The Times state that West Ham remain favourites to sign him after talks on a new Reading contract stalled.
Elsewhere, The Sun think West Ham should seal the signature of Derby's Giles Barnes for around £5million today. It reports: "The clubs were last night thrashing out a fee — around £5million — for the left midfielder, 19, who is on standby to complete talks." This is a story repeated in several different places today and always in the vaguest of terms. Lastly, you can read an interesting overview piece in The Independent about all this summer's transfer activity, where amusingly it cites two recently departed West Ham players among its list of most over-priced acquisitions. Just maybe those market inflating accusations had some truth to them after all.