Allardyce still eyeing new faces
Published 10/01/2013 | 15:45
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce does not believe the illness of the club's co-chairman David Gold will affect business in the January transfer window.
Gold, 76, is in hospital recovering from pneumonia after being taken ill following the FA Cup third-round clash with Manchester United. Allardyce said he had yet to speak to Gold but wished him well and moved to assure supporters the club's recruitment drive will not falter in his absence.
"Myself and all the players will be wishing him well today. I only found out yesterday that he was poorly," Allardyce said. "We will get a message to him in the very near future and wish him a speedy recovery."
"I think that there's always a communication line to him if David needs to (be contacted)," Allardyce added. "In terms of what we're doing at the moment, we're as active as everybody else. If there's a player there that we think can improve the squad we'll try to move on him."
One player who is certainly a target for the Hammers is Blackburn left-back Martin Olsson. Reports earlier in the week had suggested Rovers wanted at least £7million for the 24-year-old Sweden international but Allardyce reckons that is wide of the mark. "I don't think that's true, no, but we have made an enquiry," he said.
Allardyce said there were "ongoing negotiations" and added: "I think that if I was strengthening anywhere at the moment it would be in the left-back position because of our injury problems in that area at the moment. We are only looking at that position at the minute."
Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh completed a loan move to Upton Park earlier this week and Allardyce confirmed he will go straight into his squad for this weekend's Barclays Premier League clash at Sunderland.
Chamakh signed a week after Allardyce secured a deal to take Joe Cole back to West Ham, with the former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder making an impressive return in the FA Cup draw with United.
The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries in recent years and could not break into the Liverpool side on a regular basis after spending last season on loan at French Ligue 1 outfit Lille. Cole scored for the Reds in their 3-2 win at Upton Park last month but Allardyce is keen not to push the England international too much.
"We'll take that game by game," he said. "Lots of players don't come together in our squad till Thursday or Friday then play on the Saturday because they need to do other things in the week to make sure they maintain their level of fitness. We try to have a prevention policy rather than a cure policy."