Sunday, 13 June 2010

Popping The Seal

The Hand of Clod, Cock-up Keeper, World Cup Clown, Buffoona Buffoona... the breaking news this morning is that Robert Green will not be the subject of a big money move this summer. That said, I have no desire to spend any more time with the Sunday papers than I have to this morning, so here is a perfunctory, no frills West Ham related round-up...

Robert Pires wants to return to the Premier League – and West Ham are set to swoop for the French World Cup winner, according to today's Mirror. Pires is now a free agent after his contract expired at Spanish club Villarreal and he admitted last night: "I would like the chance to play in England again." Last season West Ham apparently sounded out Pires about coming back to England and although Zola has now left the club could still be keen on the midfield star. At 36, Pires feels he can still play an active role in first team football. "There is no problem with my fitness," he said.

The veteran midfield player spent six years at Arsenal during which time he won two championships and three FA Cups. He was also part of The Invincibles team that went unbeaten in the Premier League in 2004. He now plays a more withdrawn role behind the strikers and was very effective for Villareal last season, albeit from the bench. Although the Hammers had their fingers burned with the similar acquisition of Freddie Ljungberg under the previous regime, the club feel Pires could replicate the service given to them by Teddy Sheringham when he joined the club at the same age.

The News of the World believe United will compete with PSV Eindhoven, Lyon and Wolfsburg to secure Real Madrid youngster Daniel Opare, 19, on loan. Liverpool, who missed out on the Ghanaian full-back in 2008 when he moved from Ashanti Gold, were also interested in the player before Rafa Benitez left the club. Opare is as highly regarded for his talent as he is for versatility. He can play at right-back, central midfield or on both wings.

The article states West Ham will have to abandon any hope of signing the defender on a permanent basis as he is keen to work with new manager Jose Mourinho in the future. The player is quoted as saying: "Our president did a great job in convincing Jose Mourinho to come to Madrid. All the players cannot wait to work with him. He's at a special club now. I may have to wait but I want to work with him also."

The same paper insists Sunderland are said to be preparing a £7 million bid for West Ham and England defender Matthew Upson. Black Cats manager Steve Bruce has identified a commanding centre-back as his main signing target this summer and believes the 31-year-old can help push Sunderland in to the top ten next season. Upson is also believed to be ready to leave Upton Park after owners David Gold and David Sullivan admitted everyone bar Scott Parker was available for transfer this summer. Sunderland have already proved with the signing of Darren Bent last year that they can attract the big players to the Stadium of Light, and the club could also be seen as a new, fresh challenge for Upson. Bruce gave Upson his first chance in the Premier League when he was in charge at Birmingham City in 2003, before he was sold to West Ham in 2007. It is suggested Bruce will offer incoming Upton Park boss Avram Grant former West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand as part of the deal.

Meanwhile, it is claimed West Ham have made a formal approach to Portsmouth about recruiting first-team coach Paul Groves and goalkeeping coach David Coles. Grant is thought to have targeted the duo immediately after his appointment. Groves, who worked as the Israeli's assistant manager at Fratton Park, attempted to play down speculation he could follow him to the Premier League club. Yet the former Grimsby boss has already rejected the opportunity to succeed Grant when he was invited to apply for the manager’s post. "From a timing point of view, I don’t think it is right for me," he said. "I have been on a learning curve and I am still learning, so I will continue to do that. I am sure at some point in the future, I will feel differently. But at the moment, I still feel it’s good to learn under people and gain experience. It’s a good position to learn from. I am learning from different people and I just don’t think the timing is right for me to be a manager."

The People are running with Yakubu story. They claim United are ready to launch a third bid for the Nigerian after Everton rejected a £7million move for the forward last week. The Hammers, it is reported, are desperate to boost their attack in light of last season’s relegation scrap. Everton are holding out for £10m for their 27-year-old striker, but the final offer is expected to be in the region of £9m and West Ham are confident that the Toffees will accept that.

Also in the paper is the news that Kevin-Prince Boateng will enter talks with Grant over a move – after the World Cup. The Ghana winger is available for transfer from Portsmouth and fancies linking up with Grant again at West Ham. The Hammers are not keen to pay more than £3.5m, but Pompey – who are still in administration – are looking for £5m. It is stated one player who will not going to Upton Park is France midfielder Sidney Govou. The player is out of contract at Lyon and West Ham were confident of bringing the talented winger to east London. It is thought Govou does not fancy the move and is now awaiting approaches from Spanish and Italian clubs – while Birmingham and Sunderland have also been keeping tabs.

Finally for this paper, there is confirmation that Alessandro Diamanti is the subject of a loan bid by Italian side Parma. Diamanti, who scored eight goals in his first season at Upton Park following a £7m move from Livorno, has constantly been linked with a move back to Italy. The article states the 27-year-old has struggled to adapt to the physical nature of the English game and was often left on the substitutes' bench during last season's relegation struggle. Avram Grant is keen to give the existing squad the chance to prove itself but could be persuaded to allow Diamanti to make the move back home.

Parma, who just missed out on a place in next season's Europa League, are desperate to add the talented playmaker to their ranks as they look to build on last year's eighth-placed finish. New Parma manager Pasquale Marino, who was unveiled at the start of the month, is a huge admirer of Diamanti and remains hopeful of landing his chief target. It is also disclosed that both Udinese and Palermo have enquired about a potential transfer. With that in mind, Grant will have the last say on all transfer matters and Diamanti's future rests solely in the Israeli's hands.

Elsewhere, West Ham have shown an interest in Rennes winger Sylvain Marveaux according to several sources. Marveaux, who has previously been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United, is one of the hottest young players in French football and has been compared to current Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda. It is thought that Rennes could sell Marveaux for around five million pounds as his contract expires at the end of 2010/2011. The 24-year-old, who plays predominantly on the left wing, scored 10 goals and provided five assists in 35 appearances for Rennes in 2009/2010.

And still we rumble on... this time with the Times who credit United with an approach for Matteo Contini, the Napoli defender. The 30-year-old has been on loan at Real Zaragoza, where he would prefer to play, but his agent has said that he is considering the interest from the London club. Zaragoza have until June 15 to exercise an option on Contini worth about £2 million. Come to think of it, I think I remember this same story from early January and it had no legs even then.

Next, a couple of pearls that will make or break the ITK careers of several forum posters. The runaway train that is Christopher Samba to West Ham picked up more speed yesterday with the claim that he has been seen house-hunting in Loughton. Seriously, if this thing crashes it will be carnage for several 'respected' insiders. Also, it has taken a few weeks but someone has finally popped this transfer window's seal on the perennial Juan Roman Riquelme rumour. We have supposedly spoken to the representatives of un-contracted former Argie great, who is currently recovering from knee surgery.

Finally, and there really is only one way to end on morning like this, West Ham United's academy director Tony Carr has been awarded an MBE for his services to football. Carr has spent 30 years at Upton Park and oversaw the development of seven players - Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry - in the current England squad. Carr, 59, said: "This was so unexpected and my reaction was one of disbelief. I'm very proud and pleased."


Stoney said...

No wonder you avoid the papers you're a spineless spammer too. Green is a blundering fool. He's a spineless bottler. He shouldn't be in the squad let alone the team. You lot go on about winning us the world cup, well you can shut up now, you've lost us this one.

AnaVar said...

True... true...

Emlyn said...

nice one, spud

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