Monday 11 December 2017

West Ham ready to offload £10m Cole in January sales

West Ham may sell Carlton Cole in the January transfer window if they receive a suitable offer for the 27-year-old, WRITES JASON BURT.

Liverpool made a late summer deadline-day bid for the striker, who returned to form with two goals in the League Cup quarter-final victory over Manchester United on Tuesday, and may renew their interest next month. Other Premier League clubs, including Birmingham and Tottenham, have previously contemplated a move for the England international.

Cole has two years left on his contract and the club would want him to agree an extension by next summer or be put up for sale. They want around £10m for Cole, who recently criticised manager Avram Grant's tactics but later apologised.

It is understood that the club are hoping to open contract talks with several players, who have less time left on their deals, in the next few weeks. But given the state of their finances, it appears they would listen to offers for any player apart from Scott Parker, who agreed a new four-year deal earlier this year.

Chief among those will be Matthew Upson, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has not yet signalled his intentions. West Ham want the 31-year-old to sign a new deal, but are prepared to let him leave for free if they have to. Selling Upson in January is also an option, but it may unsettle the team, who are facing a relegation battle. Liverpool have expressed interest in him in the past and need to decide how to cope without Jamie Carragher.

Another player whose future has been uncertain, and who is effectively up for sale, is Jonathan Spector, who made his first start for West Ham since August in the 4-0 win over United, also scoring twice.

Spector played in central midfield and will now be considered for that role in future.

The US international has previously been regarded as a defender, but has been asking Grant to play in midfield. Spector said that the arrival of new defensive coach Wally Downes had helped change the team's fortunes. "He (Downes) has made a big difference," he said. "I've actually been playing in the midfield for the past couple of days since he's been here, so I haven't been a beneficiary of everything he's been doing, but all the players who have been playing in the defence are responding to him." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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