Monday, 2 February 2009

Moon Landing And Pie In The Sky

Former Coleraine favourite Bryce 'Alfie' Moon is poised to become a happy Hammer, reports today's Telegraph. The South African, who spent a season at Ballycastle Road as a flying winger when on a one year exchange program from college, is now plying his trade as a defender with Greek giants, Panathinaikos. The Independent agrees the club are close to agreeing a deal to sign the 22-year-old to provide cover at right-back and midfield following the departure of Julien Faubert to Real Madrid on loan for the rest of the season. Moon would cost less than £1million and has been tracked by West Ham's technical director Gianluca Nani for some time.

Moon is described as an attacking right-back brimming with technical ability. When the player originally sealed his move to Panathinaikos it was off the back of a trial in which he impressed the technical staff with his speed off the mark and his tactical awareness. Although comfortable in defence, Moon built his early reputation as an attacking right-sided midfielder for Ajax Cape Town, where he made a telling contribution to the success of the Urban Warriors in the 2007 Manguang Cup, the ABSA Cup and the ABSA Premiership.

The Bafana Bafana international has captained his national side at three different age groups and has the sobriquet 'Scooter' (presumably because of his renowned speed rather than his love for Teutonic techno or an interest in modernist subculture). He was a 100 metre national sprint champion at under-17 and under-19 level and will link up with fellow countrymen Steven Pienaar, Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena in England's top flight if the deal is completed in time.

Apparently, you can go and poke the poor fella if you feel so inclined.

Elsewhere, West Ham also hope to sell Calum Davenport before the deadline passes although, as of last night, no deal had been concluded for the £3m-rated central defender who has been deemed surplus to requirements by manager Gianfranco Zola as he continues to re-shape his squad. Sunderland were credited with an interest in the player last week but reports this morning have United rejecting an approach from the Black Cats for defender Jonathan Spector instead. It is rumoured Ricky Sbragia wanted to take the USA international on-loan for six months, but the move was blocked by Gianfranco Zola, who sees Spector as an important squad member for the second-half of the season.

Other unsubstantiated stories have West Ham contemplating an improved a bid for Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley, and a move for an unnamed Argentinian with hair accessories that is so exciting it will drive the Hammers faithful into the streets of East London for a mass spontaneous public bout of backstroke roulette.

Various snippets that conceivably (but in all probability will not) have West Ham United implications (to be updated throughout the day):

*Tottenham striker Darren Bent is the subject of a tug-of-love between three different clubs.

*This from our Leander Schaerlaeckens, a man with far too many 'a's and 'e's in his name, and our Dutch correspondent with responsibility for all things low-lying, McClaren-esqe and Hollandaise (including sauce): "Rob Jansen, Holland's premier football agent, said on a chat-show last night that a top Dutch Eredivisie footballer - who isn't Ibrahim Afellay - would most likely be joining a 'mid-table Premier League team'.

*Brian McBride and Stephen Appiah seen getting out of a Landrover Defender at Putney Bridge station

*Inter have left out-of-favour Ricardo Quaresmo out of their updated Champions League squad

*Due in no small part to the appalling weather scuppering the travelling arrangements of players who need to do medicals, there's talk now that the transfer deadline will be extended. Some men in blazers are discussing the matter with some other men in blazers and will get back to us shortly.

*Sky say no offers for Leeds' Fabian Delph yet, but "big offers are expected" before 5pm.

*Henrik Larsson vacillating about a return to the Premier League

*West Ham tells BBC Sport they are not expecting anything to come in to the club today, but they do expect defender Calum Davenport to be on his way out of Upton Park. He is due to have a medical at Sunderland today.

*Calum Davenport having medical at Sunderland. An initial loan agreement with view to a permanent £3million deal in the summer.

*The Premier League have just announced that they are extending the transfer window beyond 5pm provided the clubs involved can prove that the snow has prevented them completing the deal on time.

*Javier Saviola still hopping round the countryside looking for a club.

*West Ham in talks with Dinamo Bucharest over defender Sergiu Homei, an U-21 Romanian right-back.

*Danny Gabbidon spotted in Cardiff. This is not an indication that he's on his way back to Cardiff City in the transfer window, and more a sign that his injury problems are so chronic he's allowed home to Wales for long spells. Still, he was jogging quite enthusiastically, so Hammers fans and Gabbidon well-wishers everywhere can keep their fingers crossed for the lad.

*SSN saying that, as of 4.45, the deal to bring Homei to West Ham was 'slipping away'

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