Sunday, 31 January 2010

Ilan's The Man

The pair had entered once the strains of Any Old Iron, Run Rabbit Run and ­various other cockney melodies had faded. Yet after a rousing reception for what was billed as "Home At Last" by the West Ham programme, an afternoon of rheumy-eyed sentimentality for the two Davids slowly dissolved into the foreboding reality that their acquisition is in a more perilous state than they possibly dared imagine. It served only to confirm what most West Ham have long since dreaded. It is also the reason I'm hungrily thumbing through this morning's papers looking for the merest scintilla of hope that imminent reinforcements could be on the way before the transfer window falls like a guillotine tomorrow evening...

Vagner Love, Fred, Rafael Sobis, Adriano, Jo, Julio Baptista, Alfonso Alves, Oliveira, Keirrison, Alan, Clive, Mancini, Luis Fabiano, Hulk, Amauri, Diego Tardelli... no clues in the written press to the identity of the mystery Brazilian striker referred to in passing by David Sullivan yesterday night. Thanks then to Sky Sports, whose sources understand West Ham are closing in on the signing of St Etienne striker Ilan Araujo Dall'Igna. Ilan is out of contract in the summer and St Etienne are believed to be willing to let him move on for a nominal fee. The 29-year-old appears to have played just 12 games this season but will have no problem gaining a work permit as he holds an Italian passport. Sky report Ilan is expected to fly into London on Monday to tie up the move to Upton Park.

Elsewhere, the News of the World insist Mido remains hopeful of sealing a surprise move to West Ham after talks with the East Londoners this week. The Egyptian attacker is still owned by Middlesbrough but is cutting short a loan spell with Zamalek in order to return to England. There has been much speculation about which club he is joining after Hull pulled out of the chase for his signature and Zamalek have already agreed that he can depart for pastures new for the remainder of the campaign. The Hammers have been active in the market since the takeover from David Sullivan and David Gold and strikers have been top of their list of priorities. Other names still being considered include Portsmouth based Frederic Piquionne, Celtic's Scott McDonald and Stoke pair Dave Kitson and James Beattie.

According to the People, United are keen on an ambitious attempt to sign Tottenham skipper Robbie Keane, in what is described as one of the 'biggest shock deals of the transfer window'. The paper reports David Sullivan is working on a sensational move for the unsettled striker and has opened talks about taking him to Upton Park. The Hammers have asked Tottenham to let them have Keane on loan with a view to buying the Ireland player for around £8million if they avoid relegation. That would take Keane's total career transfer fees close to an incredible £80m, the same amount Real Madrid paid to take Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United last summer.

Sullivan's chances of getting Keane for that figure are slim, states the article, but he is also looking at raising the cash and taking the gamble of buying the 29-year-old now, and possibly selling a couple of players to balance the books. Spurs have supposedly informed the Hammers that if they pursue Keane, a deadline-day returning hero from Liverpool just a year ago, they want a player in return. That player would either be Carlton Cole or James Tomkins and Upton Park chief Gianfranco Zola would be loath to deal on those terms. The People think Sullivan and ally David Gold want a big signing to please the fans and Keane certainly fits the bill. His wages are huge, but the West Ham new men will push the boat out if they can sort out the fee with Spurs before Monday evening. Spurs are reported to be shocked by the Keane development. They were happy to let Russian flop Roman Pavlyuchenko go to Birmingham City, who have offered £10m to end the player's White Hart Lane nightmare.

Also on the Tottenham front, a couple of the papers state West Ham hope to seal a loan move for defender Alan Hutton. Hutton, 25, has failed to cement a regular first-team place and is desperate to get his career back on track. The Hammers failed to bring in a replacement for Lucas Neill when he left the club last summer and Zola has money at his disposal to bring in new faces. He is said to be hoping to agree a move for Hutton before the transfer window closes on Monday. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admits he is willing to let the Scotland international go on loan to another Premier League club. "Alan is a good player and he needs to play," he said. "So if he wanted to go out, it's something that could happen. I have had one or two people ask about Alan. Up until now, I have said I don't want to loan him but, if he really wants to, I wouldn't stand in his way."

Away from the transfer front, and Kieron Dyer has been given a month to prove his fitness or face being forced into retirement. The News of the World report that part of Sullivan and Gold's severe cost-cutting regime is focused on 'player excesses'. It is felt that the time has come for Dyer to prove he can still perform or face being offered a severance package. Midfielder Dyer, 31, has made just 18 appearances since a £6million move from Newcastle 2½-years ago. The former England player is on £60,000 a week and each outing has effectively cost the club around £460,000. Dyer still has 18 months of his contract to run but a verdict on his future is expected in three weeks. This season every time Dyer has returned to action he has rapidly broken down again. If the player was paid up until the end of the season then an insurance package could save the club £2m.

Only two months ago striker Dean Ashton was forced to accept a retirement deal after losing a two-year battle against crippling injury. West Ham's owners have already revealed a tough streak by suspending £20,000-a-week defender Calum Davenport's wages. Although the player is back in training after a stabbing incident, he faces assault charges. The PFA and Premier League are currently investigating if West Ham are in the right to have stopped paying the player prior to a court case. Behind the scenes the cost cutting continues with the departure of chief executive Scott Duxbury last week. Technical director Gianluca Nani is set to follow out of the door next week.


Robson said...

If Ilan really is the man then I'll be quite pleased judging by that video clip. That overhead kick was a little bit special to say the least!

Anonymous said...

It's a bit concerning that we wanted strikers with Premier League experience and now we're looking at a lad who will probably take weeks to adapt before we see anything like the best of him. The list of successful Brazilian imports into this country is hardly a long one!

Mostovoi said...

In ref to the Brazilian ...this is from L'Equipe with reference to his move...

Ilan has signed for West Ham

The former striker of AS Saint-Etienne, Ilan, which has terminated its contract with the Greens, is about to engage with the London club West Ham. The Brazilian, who has received an offer of two and a half years from the Hammers, this Sunday evening passes a medical.

The former Sochaux must sign his contract this evening or Monday morning. A few days ago, Ilan had received an offer from six months to Santander, he refused, before a club in Qatar is manifested. Present in the Gulf to further negotiations, he quickly boarded a plane towards London when West Ham had requested

Anonymous said...

Why do I get excited at the prospect of signing a player merely because of he is South American? I have no idea, but I do.


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