Sunday 18 February 2018

Hammers ready to go on spending spree

Jeremy Wilson

West Ham are aiming to make at least three signings next month, with Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge, Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell and Monaco striker Dieumerci Mbokani high on manager Avram Grant's wish-list.

Spurs' Robbie Keane is still a potential target, along with fellow Ireland striker Shane Long, currently at Reading. Hammers co-owner David Gold admitted that there are 15 players on the club's radar, but the priorities are to secure a left-back, a midfielder and a forward.

The closest deal to completion is the £1m signing of Sidwell, although there remains competing interest from other clubs, including Wolves.

Other players who West Ham are understood to be interested in include Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor, Aston Villa full-back Luke Young and Spurs midfielder Jamie O'Hara.

"There's a lot of secret stuff going on," Gold said. "We're trying to outwit our competitors. We're after a player who is the same type of player one of our competitors is looking for, and we want to keep that as quiet as we can and complete the deal."

West Ham's options are limited by rules allowing only two loan signings -- only one from another Premier League club. The Hammers have Tal Ben-Haim on loan until next month so may either allow him to leave or agree a permanent deal with Portsmouth. The rules also mean that they could take only one of Bridge and Adebayor on loan.

The issue of wages remains a stumbling block in many of these deals. Gold, though, is adamant that none of the club's key players will be leaving next month and has been encouraged by the Christmas haul of four points from two games.

"The club is fighting for its life," he said. "For 30 years it's been selling its best players and that's got to stop." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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