Sunday, 6 July 2008

Don't Hold Your Breath

The following is a round-up of all the West Ham United related transfer gossip from the last day or two. I suggest for added fun you should attempt to read this post without drawing breath. By the time you reach the end you might actually be light-headed enough to believe one or more of the stories contained within, (though probably not the one about someone actually wanting Nigel Quashie)...

West Ham United are set to make a dramatic double swoop for two Euro 2008 stars according to the News of the World. Rob Shepherd believes the Hammers are ready to pay £9million for Lazio right-back Valon Behrami, and also hope to secure Croatia striker Ivan Klasnic on a free transfer from Werder Bremen. Kosovan-born Behrami is a Swiss international who has previously been a target for both Manchester United and Liverpool. The Anfield club wanted to sign Behrami, 23, in January but were put off by Lazio’s £10m price tag. Shepherd claims West Ham’s recently appointed director of football
Gianluca Nani now hopes to seal the deal this week in a move that will see club captain Lucas Neill switch to centre-half next season.

Neill is himself rumoured to be a target for Galatasaray with Sky Sports carrying the story that a bid has been tabled for the United skipper. The ambitious Turkish side, who have already captured newly released Harry Kewell, are said be confident that a deal can be struck. Sky speculate that
Alan Curbishley could be tempted to cash in on a player who is on a big wage, as he weighs up other options. One of which could be Mikael Silvestre thinks the Sunday People. The Frenchman is being linked with a £2 million move to Upton Park after Bordeaux gave up the fight to land the defender. The Manchester United player has been told he can leave Old Trafford this summer and is considering a move to Italians Roma, while Club America of Mexico are also reported to be interested in him. A sticking point for any move would be the testimonial Silvestre would be entitled to at Old Trafford next year. He is understood to be seeking wages of around £60,000 a week to end his time at United and it remains to be seen if the Hammers would be willing to meet those demands.

Another option could be Matteo Ferrari according to Sky Sport Italia. The player is ready to make a move back to the Premier League after he refused to extend his deal with the Giallorossi having become a second choice stopper in Luciano Spalletti's side. Fiorentina have also been heavily linked with the defender but they have not made a move for him with Viola director Pantaleo Corvino earlier stating that his club will not sign any new players. Reports in Italy claim that the Hammers have offered the stopper a €2.5m(£1.9m) deal per season over a four year deal. The offer dwarfs what the player was previously earning at Roma and he is likely to give it some deep consideration, especially if there are no other concrete offers from Italy. Ferrari has already played in the Premier League making eight appearances for Everton during the 2005/06 season when he was on-loan there from Roma.

Everton are the latest club to be linked with
Anton Ferdinand reports the News of the World. The unsettled defender is on a collision course with boss Alan Curbishley for pricing him out of a move even though the club are receptive to offers. After enquiries from Tottenham and Everton, the price for the former England Under-21 international is said to have soared from £6million to £10m. According to the Sunday Mirror that figure will not be a problem for Aston Villa. They report the Midlanders are closing in on the defender after the 23-year-old emerged as a prime target for Villa manager Martin O'Neill. He is looking to reinforce his defence following the departure of Olof Mellberg to Juventus. Ferdinand is said to have told friends that he wants to leave after five years at Upton Park and is angry with Curbishley for blocking his exit. Everton are reputedly the player’s preferred choice, though manager David Moyes has supposedly told him he will not be guaranteed a first-team place.

It is possible a swap deal involving striker Andy Johnson could be the answer. Several sources continue to report West Ham United's interest in the player although Goodison chairman Bill Kenwright has already rejected £10m offers from both Roy Keane’s Black Cats and Wigan. The News of the World suggest he could do business if the bidding hits £12 million. That would see the Toffees make a £4 million profit on the unsettled, £40,000-a-week frontman they signed from Crystal Palace two years ago. Despite a host of interested suitors, Wigan and Sunderland continue to make the early running. Sunderland, of course, are also thought to be very keen on re-acquiring the services of
George McCartney.

Alan Curbishley misses out on Andy Johnson then he could make a £7.5m bid for Reading's Kevin Doyle insists the Sunday Mirror. It is reported the player was the subject of regular checks by the club's scouting team last season. Reading could also cash in on midfielder James Harper, another rumoured target for the Hammers, as well as for Middlesbrough and Fulham. To fund such bids it is variously reported West Ham could look to offload Bobby Zamora (to QPR), Danny Gabbidon (to Stoke), James Collins (to WBA), Freddie Ljungberg (to Roma) and Nigel Quashie (Hull City).

Finally the News of the World claim West Ham United hope to secure at least two more quality signings (in addition to Behrami and Klasnic) before the big kick-off. Although much will depend on how many players exit Upton Park, one of those incoming could be Eidur Gudjohnsen. Many well-placed sources are indicating a deal for the former Chelsea striker is imminent. Other names placed in the frame over the last week with varying degrees of plausibility include Hernan Crespo, Joe Cole, Brescia's Lithuanian defender Marius Stankevicius, Palermo striker Edison Cavani, Argentinian Raul Bobadilla, Croatian hotshot Josip Tadic, Roland Linz, Nickey Shorey (again), Martin Petrov and Jermaine Pennant.

And breathe.


Marleeeeeen depreciation society said...

i think it's all true.

kennyhammer said...

I think it could be partly true. We seem to be targeting more foreign players playing abroad since Nani arrived.
What has happened to the sale of C.Cole, BoaMorte, Bowyer etc.or is AC planning to have a car boot sale before the window closes?

Trilby said...

Every story probably has a modicum of truth to it but then all the best fabrications do! A half-truth is a whole lie and all that...


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