Monday, 14 July 2008

Nothing Is New Under The Sun

So, Bobby Zamora still hasn't passed his medical. John Pantsil still hasn't made his mind up. We've signed another young foreign prospect; or we haven't. The Valon Behrami transfer took another twist; or it didn't. We thought about flogging our reserve goalkeeper, but couldn't. Then considered replacing him with a Scottish goalkeeper, so probably shouldn't. Finally, we got snubbed by an Italian who we were interested in, then got snubbed again by another that we probably weren't. As Alphonse Karr ruefully observed... the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Bobby Zamora's protracted move across London still hasn't reached a conclusion despite strong rumours that the Cottagers agreed a fee with West Ham United as early as last week. The Telegraph say sources have it in good faith that Zamora will sign for around £6.25 million soon, but reports of the player's medical today still failed to rubber stamp the deal. We can only hope the striker hasn't seen the recent poll of Fulham fans that saw a massive 80% say they would prefer Everton's Andy Johnson. One reason for the delay could be John Pantsil's reticence to be a make-weight in any deal that might see him swap one substitutes bench for an even less salubrious one.

Elsewhere, United are reported to be close to sealing a deal for 15-year-old Pole Filip Modelski, according to the website of his former club, Arka Gdynia. The young defender, who will be 16 later this year, was said to be a target for Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool but has opted to join the Hammers after spending a week on trial in London at the start of July. Although no details of the deal are known, Arka insist it will be one of the most lucrative sales in their history. Modelski, if confirmed, will be the third foreign youngster to join the Hammers since the end of last season, following on from the capture of Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson and Balint Bajner.

Jim Magilton has warned West Ham that he will look elsewhere if they do not make a decision on the future of Richard Wright by the end of this week. Ipswich are keen to bring the former England international back to Portman Road, but The Hammers have been accused of dragging their heels. Wright would appear to be Magilton’s first choice, but he has other options and is desperate to have his squad in place ahead of the new season.

"We are not prepared to wait too much longer," Magilton told the East Anglian Daily Times. "We would like to get something tied up by the end of the week at the latest. I will give it a few more days and see how the land lies and I hope a deal can be concluded, if not we will look elsewhere. We have to have other irons in the fire and we are constantly on the lookout for the right sort. If it is not Richard it will be someone else. There is another goalkeeper we are in talks with. Richard Wright coming back ticks all our boxes. We are a club he knows well and I would like to take him back, but it is not ticking West Ham's boxes at the moment, because if they lose a keeper they need a replacement and until they get a replacement, Richard is not going anywhere. But if they can get someone in and it frees up Richard, then we are in a position to take him."

That replacement could be Rangers keeper Neil Alexander. He is reported to be on Alan Curbishley's radar following a series of impressive displays last season when deputising for Allan McGregor. With the Rangers number one nearing full-fitness for the start of the new season Alexander will be back as second choice at Ibrox and therefore may be tempted to return south for a fee of around £1 million. The Scottish giants also have former Kilmarnock keeper Graeme Smith on their books as their third pick.

Reports from Italy suggest Marco Zambelli has spurned advances from West Ham, despite a 'princely offer'. The Brescia defender has apparently declined a lot of money to stay at the Serie B side, and has apologised for not letting the club cash in on his fame. "I am sorry for the coffers of Brescia," he declared. "For this we do not talk. For the future, we will see. But my intention is clear. I have always said I want to become the master of Brescia. My desire is winning the league with these colours. I have not changed my mind." Another rumour emanating from Italy, this time courtesy of Sportal, has linked the club to winger Stefano Guberti. Described as "one of the hottest names in the market", the Ascoli player looks set to leave the Serie B side in order to advance his career but it's thought the Premier League would not be his destination of choice.

Finally, some well respected 'ITK' sources are claiming Valon Behrami has actually signed a pre-contract agreement with the club. This flies so intractably in the face of every word uttered by the player and his agent over the last week that caution should be advised. It is also suggested that we are still negotiating with Eidur Gudjohnsen, where excessive personal demands are causing a problem; while Ugandan trialist David Obua really impressed United staff and could be offered playing time in an upcoming friendly and then a deal if all goes well.


Anonymous said...

Great Post. You summed up the whole transfer scene beautifully. You could probably add that Lucas Neill may or may not be staying put, and the same for Robert Green. But thanks for a very judicious report, as likely to be true as any other report I've seen.

Trilby said...

Cheers for the positive feedback. As far as not mentioning Robert Green, I refuse to countenance even the slightest possibility that he might leave.


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