Sunday, January 31, 2010

West Ham Close to Signing Ilan

Sky are reporting that West Ham are close to signing St Etienne's Ilan. Ilan is out of contract at the end of this season so West Ham are hoping to pick the Brazilian up on the cheap.

Sky say the 29 year old is expected to fly into London tomorrow to tie up the move.

There is a strange lack of news about McCarthy today, especially as I'm pretty sure David Gold indicated that there would be some kind of announcement yesterday.

Anyway, you know those YouTube videos that make you think West Ham are signing someone special, only for your dreams to soon fade and die? Well, here's another,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

West Ham 0 Blackburn 0

West Ham started with the same side that started midweek at Portsmouth. The first half was a dull affair with very few chances for either side.

Blackburn relied on their usual dull fare of pumping the ball long at every opportunity and using long throw-ins into the area. West Ham played their usual game of neat football with no penetration. The effect being that there was only one shot a piece in the whole first half.

Blackburn came closest in the 42nd minute from a free-kick five yards outside the West Ham area and central. Pedersen took the kick and had Green beaten only to see his shot rebound back off the bar. West Ham's shot also came from a free-kick from out wide on the right wing. Diamanti took the kick and surprised no-one by going for goal when a cross was the better option. The ball flew straight to Robinson in goal.

The second half wasn't much better than the first but at least there were a few more efforts at goal.

Blackburn probably had the better chances to score. In the 73rd minute Olsen forced a good save from Green, at the expense of a corner, from the edge of the area. From the corner Cole then cleared off the line from a Givet shot from six yards. In the 76th minute Roberts beat Tomkins on the edge of the area and shot from about the penalty spot, forcing a save from Green.

West Ham's best effort of the half came from a Diamanti free-kick. His 30 yards effort was dipping under the crossbar forcing Robinson to tip the ball over. From the corner Collison had a shot from 12 yards that was deflected wide.

In all honesty West Ham never looked like winning this game. The only real positive note was the return of Cole and Parker.

Friday, January 29, 2010

McCarthy to Sign Sunday

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce says that Benni McCarthy's transfer to West Ham should happen just in time for him not to play fro West Ham against Blackburn.

Allardyce said today,

"It’s close to him finally becoming a West Ham player. It’s a work permit situation, that’s the only hiccup and that should be resolved by Sunday."

Duxbury Resigns from West Ham

Scott Duxbury has resigned as chief executive of West Ham.

Somehow this resignation seemed inevitable once the club was taken over. Whether it was Duxbury's fault or not, he has been at the helm over a calamitous period at West Ham, including the Tevez and Mascherano affair and near financial disaster.

Duxbury's resignation presumably strengthens the position of vice-chair Karren Brady. Brady seems to have been given the job of drastically cutting costs at West Ham.

David Gold yesterday said,

Karren is our financial doctor. She identifies problems and helps us fix them."

"This is what we are good at and it is a great challenge. All non-footballing costs are being looked at.

"We are looking at absolutely everything. We will not damage the footballing side, but we need to cut costs."

Benley, Hutton & McDonald for West Ham

At the moment it would probably be easier to compile a list of players that West Ham are not being linked with. However here are today's strongest rumours.

The BBC say West Ham have made an enquiry about Celtic striker Scott McDonald. What makes me think this is one of the strongest rumours of the day is that the BBC inform us that he is "currently recovering from a hernia operation". Sounds like he would fit right in.

Sky Sports 'understands' that West Ham are lining up moves for David Bentley and Alan Hutton of Sp#rs. Sky say Bentley is keen to move and that Hutton has struggled to hold down a place in the first squad.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jimenez Departs West Ham

After news that West Ham target Eidur Gudjohnsen has chosen to sign for Sp#rs the only other definite activity seems to be the departure of Luis Jimenez from West Ham.

News today suggests that West Ham have decided to cut short Jimenez's loan from Internazionale and the player has returned to Serie A by signing for Parma.

West Ham continue to be linked with a host of players, however news about the transfer of Benni McCarthy to West Ham seems to have gone very quiet. I'm beginning to wonder if that deal will only be finalised (or announced) after the Blackburn game.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sp#rs Hijack Gudjohnsen Deal

David Sullivan has told ESPN that it looks like Sp#rs have hijacked West Ham's loan offer for Eidur Gudjohnsen. It was reported that West Ham had agreed a £1m loan offer for the striker and that he had even undergone a medical but reports now suggest that a north London twitcher has made a rival bid.

"We thought we had a deal and the player had even had a medical. We then heard that Tottenham were trying to speak to the player. I can't say I am happy about it but I believe in Karma and what goes around, comes around.

We thought we had him, but I am worried that he has 'ducked' on us. I am chasing it up as we speak," said Sullivan.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Portsmouth 1 West Ham 1

West Ham had the better of the possession and the better of the goal scoring chances in the first half.

Most of the goal mouth action in the first half came in a frenetic three minute period half way through the half. In the 20th minute Nouble found himself clean through at goal and shot straight at Begovic in goal from eight yards. Diamanti was first to the rebound and shot from 10 yards forcing a good save from Begovic diving to his right.

Portsmouth immediately broke up field and Mokoena forced a good save from Green from the edge of the area, at the expense of a corner. From the corner Noble cleared the ball on the line from a Kaboul shot.

It was then West Ham's turn to hit Portsmouth on the break and within a minute Collison was clean through and forced a great fingertip save from Begovic with an effort from 10 yards.

Aside from that Diamanti had a couple of wild long range efforts, both of which flew well over the bar.

It took West Ham only seven minutes to grab the lead in the second half. Diamanti did well on the right wing to cross the ball to the far post where Matthew Upson managed to run in and bundle the ball home.

West Ham's goal seemed to spur Portsmouth into action and for the first time in the match they began to dominate the play. Wilson headed over from 5 yards from a corner. Boateng shot wide of the left hand post from 10 yards and Kaboul forced a save from a 7 yard header.

Portsmouth's pressure finally told. In the 76th minute Behrami shot over from just inside the Portsmouth penalty area. Begovic then lumped the ball up field and the ball found its way through to Webber who slotted the ball through Green's legs and into the back of the net from 13 yards. West Ham will argue that Tomkins was fouled in the build up, when an elbow in his face took him out. Tomkins was then forced to be replaced by Da Costa.

After the Portsmouth goal both sides had chances. Da Costa and Cole shot over from wide right in the penalty area for West Ham. For Portsmouth Webber shot just over from 7 yards and in the last minute of the match Utaka shot straight at Green from 20 yards.

Gudjohnsen Set to Sign

Hot behind the news that McCarthy is set to sign for West Ham for £2.5 million The Mail now report that West Ham have agreed personal terms with Eidur Gudjohnsen. They claim Gudjohnsen will sign officially for West Ham within the next 24 hours.

McCarthy Set for West Ham

The Daily Mail say that Blackburn have accepted a £2.5 million pound fee for Benni McCarthy from West Ham. The paper say the striker is now discussing personal terms with West Ham.

Sky Sports also report that 'Benni McCarthy's representative' has informed them that a fee has been agreed between West Ham and Blackburn.

Carlton Could Be Sub Today

In the match preview for today's game the West Ham official site has a useful injury update on the squad. The good news is that Carlton Cole may be on the bench today.

"Carlton Cole is in contention for his first game of 2010 after playing a full part in training over the weekend. West Ham's top scorer had been sidelined with a knee injury picked up in the home game with Burnley on 28 November.

It remains to be seen whether the England international will start though and, if not, the forward role could once again be taken by Frank Nouble, who impressed greatly on his full Premier League debut at Villa Park.

Guille Franco is unlikely to play again this month as he continues his recovery from a muscle strain.

Herita Ilunga is also making progress with his recovery from a hamstring injury, although he will not be considered before the weekend at the earliest. Scott Parker has also been working hard to overcome the tightness in his hamstring suffered at Villa Park.

Danny Gabbidon and Kieron Dyer (both hamstring) could be back in full training next week.

Zavon Hines (knee), Luis Boa Morte (knee) and Calum Davenport (leg) are all long-term absentees."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blackburn Annoyed with McCarthy

Blackburn Rovers have issued the following statement concerning Benni McCarthy,

"Blackburn Rovers have received a written offer from West Ham United for Benni McCarthy, who has failed to turn up for the past two training sessions.

Rovers' manager Sam Allardyce said: "We are very disappointed with Benni's non appearance for training and will deal with it separately should he remain here after the transfer window has closed.

"We have said all along that we will listen to offers, but only agree to sell if both the commercial and football reasons satisfy Blackburn Rovers. That situation remains unchanged."

I think Benni McCarthy needed to have signed by 5pm today to be able to play against Portsmouth. Blackburn's statement seems to suggest that this deadline was not met and that he still remains a Blackburn player.

West Ham Close in on McCarthy

The Mail claim that West Ham are closing in on signing Benni McCarthy and Benjani. They also say West Ham are in talks with Argentine striker Juan Carlos Menseguez, who had a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last season.

Of the three strikers the McCarthy deal looks the most likely. McCarthy has told Sky Sports News that he hopes to join West Ham as quickly as possible. Sky report that the player did not attend training at Blackburn on Friday and was not at the club on Monday.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Benni McCarthy Agrees to Join West Ham

According to The Times Benni McCarthy has agreed personal terms with West Ham and will cost the club £2.5 million.

The Times say that McCarthy has been offered a two and a half-year contract but that West Ham have proposed structuring the initial six months as a loan deal to hurry through the striker's registration. They say McCarthy could join the club in time for Tuesday's Premier League game at Portsmouth.

Gudjohnsen Set to Sign

The Mirror say that Eidur ­Gudjohnsen is set to snub Liverpool in favour of joining West Ham.

The paper say that ­Gudjohnsen is expected to fly into England tonight to seal a four month loan deal. They claim ­Gudjohnsen agreed personal terms with West Ham on Friday but Liverpool tried to hijack the deal by matching the offer. However ­Gudjohnsen is keen to keen to link up again with Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke.

In other news, The Mirror claim that West Ham made a £2million bid for ­Blackburn’s Benni ­McCarthy, but pulled out of the deal on Thursday when Rovers said they would not entertain a bid until they had found a replacement.

News of the World West Ham Special

The News of the World claim that amongst the financial shocks faced by David Sullivan when he got a chance to look at West Ham's books was that technical director Gianluca Nani was being paid £300,000 a year and that two full-time club doctors earned a combined salary of £400,000.

The NoW say that Nani and the two doctors will be be axed.

The NoW say that now that Ruud van Nistlerooy has signed for Hamburg West Ham will target Madrid's Jan Huntelaar, Benni McCarthy of Blackburn, Manchester City's Benjani and Crystal Palace's Victor Moses. They are also after Eidur Gudjohnsen on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The NoW also claim that West Ham are suspending Calum Davenport's wages because he may have been in breach of contract when he was attacked last August.

Finally the paper says that Sp~rs have offered Robbie Keane in part exchange for Carlton Cole and that West Ham will sell Behrami to Man City if they offer £10 million.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Karren Brady Wants to Rename West Ham

West Ham United's new vice-chairman, Karren Brady has not made the best of starts to her new job. Brady says she likes the idea of renaming the club West Ham Olympic if we move to the London 2012 stadium,

"I love the idea of calling the club West Ham Olympic."

However in her new column in The Sun Brady does say that "there isn't a safer job than Gianfranco Zola's."

The Daily Mirror say West Ham are ready to sign Benni McCarthy from Blackburn Rovers on loan to get round his work permit problem and say a deal is 'close'.

The Times disagree about the loan offer. They say West Ham have raised their offer to £2 million for Benni McCarthy, but Blackburn Rovers value the striker at double the sum.

The Mirror also claim West Ham are keen to sign Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle. They say Carlisle is also wanted by Bolton.

The Times report that Ruud van Nistelrooy has had a preliminary medical with Hamburg.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Transfer Rumours

Nigel Quashie has been released by West Ham and has joined Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season.

Josh Payne has joined League One club Wycombe Wanderers on loan. The deal sees Payne join Wycombe initially for one month. Andrea Zola has joined Blue Square Premier club Grays Athletic on loan for a month.

ESPN are reporting that West Ham's move for Benni McCarthy is being held up by a work permit complication. They say that the South Africa striker will need to re-apply for a work permit if he joins West Ham and that might delay the move beyond the end of the present transfer window.

The Daily Mirror say West Ham are after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Mirror claim West Ham and Birmingham are both interested in signing the AC Milan striker.

West Ham After van Nistelrooy

David Sullivan claims he has offered a £100,000-a-week contract to a 'special player', who most of the media are agreed is Ruud van Nistelrooy.

To offer a player £100,000 a week may seem a bit rich after Sullivan's criticisms of the last owners signing players on huge wages. Sullivan however says that these are special circumstances.

"We've offered £100,000-a-week to a player today and we are still not sure we are going to get him," he said.

"That was a very special player. There's no transfer fee involved and he's got the choice of almost every club in Europe. He has played at the highest level.

"He's down to three clubs and West Ham are the only English club still in the hunt for him. Whether we get him is another thing.

"We can carry one exceptional player, who would make a difference on that wage, but generally we have to bring the wages down and in the summer we would hope to sign younger players on a fraction of those wages.

"We have looked at a few players in the Championship but the reality is that it is no good if they make the grade in 12 months' time, we need them to make the grade now.

"We have a crisis and you have to have a different strategy to what our long-term strategy will be."

Mr 'Egghead' might argue that this is exactly what he did when he became chairman of the club. He signed players on huge wages in January because West Ham were in a relegation struggle.

I think I have to agree with David Sullivan however. If there is no transfer fee involved then it seems legitimate to spend what you save on the fee on wages. Whether West Ham can attract a special player considering the club's position is an entirely different matter.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zola Given £8 Million Transfer Kitty

The Evening Standard report that David Sullivan is prepared to spend up to £8million this month and has told boss Gianfranco Zola to sign two strikers and a defender before the deadline.

"I was hugely impressed with Gianfranco and Steve," Sullivan said today. "It's so great to meet a man who wants to work with us and make the team better. He has a 'can-do' attitude but with a pragmatic approach.

"We agreed we need at least one striker by the Portsmouth match and the second by the end of the window."

The Standard say that Stoke City's James Beattie is not on Zola's list of potential signings. One striker that West Ham might sign is Blackburn's Benni McCarthy. David Gold told Sky Sports today,

"I think he would be a good acquisition if that could be achieved. It's possible.

"But all strikers that are available as we speak are possible. It's a question of 'can we do business?'"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Transfer Rumours Can Now Begin

Rather than wildly speculate about which players West Ham will sell the media can now start inventing stories about who we might buy.

Kudos to The Mirror then for being the first to get the ball rolling. The Mirror claim that David Sullivan is willing to make £15 million available for transfer targets and wants to buy a new right-back, a wide-right midfielder and a striker.

The Mirror claim that the first target up front is Bobby Zamora.

West Ham's £110 Million Debt

New owner David Sullivan has revealed that West Ham are £110 million in debt and have already borrowed against next season's ticket money.

"We've got £50m owed to banks and £40m owed to other clubs, including Sheffield United [for the Carlos Tevez affair]. In addition, West Ham are not owed a single penny by other clubs.

The club has also borrowed against next season's ticket money and then there is the Alan Curbishley settlement. Makes around £110m in total. We've inherited these liabilities and we are going to have to work through them. We need to do a lot of wheeling and dealing which we're good at.

The sponsors have paid 70 per cent of their three-years up front. We've paid down some of the debt and injected some working capital but there's still more than £100million of debt."

David Sullivan Speaks On Buying West Ham

David Sullivan has just spoken to Sky Sports, confirming he has bought West Ham for a 'large sum of money'.

He said that he and David Gold will be joint chairmen of West Ham and Karen Brady will be vice-chairman.

He said that there will be a press conference later today when he will explain the 'serious mess' that West Ham are in.

However Sullivan said that Zola is staying West Ham manager 'absolutely' and that he will be sitting down with the manager tonight to talk about transfer targets.

Sullivan said that there was a seven year plan to get Chapions League football at West Ham. Part of the plan is to persuade the government to allow West Ham to move into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Olympics.

Interestingly Sullivan also said that he will approach Tony (Fernandes) about his becoming involved in West Ham and that anyone who has £10-£15 million should approach him about becoming investors in West Ham.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Sullivan said,

"There will be some transfer funds available to the manager this month. January is not the best time to buy players - you don't get many bargains in January - but the club has such an unbalanced squad, players will have to be bought, loaned or acquired.

"Myself and my partner David Gold will be honest with the fans about the books, the imbalance of the squad and the crazy wages the Icelandic owners paid out that has brought the club to its knees.

This is an important day for us. For 20 years, this is the club we wanted."

A West Ham United statement on the official West Ham site quotes David Sullivan as saying,

"Our first priority has to be securing the Premier League status of West Ham. I believe the players at this club have shown great commitment in trying circumstances and the new board and I will get behind them in every way we can.

"We will also look to bring in new players to supplement the squad where needed once we have met with the manager."

David Sullivan will hold a media conference at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park from 12.30pm today.

West Ham Takeover Statement Imminent

Straumur have announced that David Gold and David Sullivan have completed their takeover of West Ham United. Sullivan has taken control of 50 per cent of the club, but the deal is reported to have given him a controlling interest in West Ham with the option to buy the rest of the club at a later date.

Karen Brady is expected to be named vice-chairman of West Ham.

Gold & Sullivan Have It (Maybe)

It seems that David Sullivan and David Gold will take a 50% share in West Ham. The deal will reportedly involve an option to buy the 50% remaining shares at a later date.

The Guardian are reporting that the deal will see Gold & Sullivan service West Ham's short-term debt and make money available for signings this month. Karren Brady is widely tipped to replace current CEO Scott Duxbury.

Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes said on Twitter last night,

""Deal lost on west ham. Hopefully new owners protect what's good. We gave awesome deal and new ideas to rejuvenate a club and bring excitment [sic]."

Most of the media are predicting an announcement today, although The Guardian and some of the other newspapers claim that Intermarket are still hoping to persuade West Ham's owners of the benefits of their offer.

The Express say that Intermarket are believed to have finally come up with a £100m cash offer for full control. They say a spokesman for the group said he expected talks between Intermarket and Rothschilds to last “late into the night”.

The Mail however are confident that Gold & Sullivan have already completed their partial takeover. They say the duo have paid £105million for their 50%.

The Mail say that Zola will stay on as manager. Sullivan and Gold will also push ahead with plans to relocate from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium after the London Games in 2012.

The Sun also claim that Gold & Sullivan will be unveiled as the new owners this lunchtime.

The Telegraph say the deal was agreed at 10.30pm and say that although Sullivan has bought 50% of the club he will be given a controlling interest. The Telegraph say Brady will work two days a week at West Ham alongside chief executive, Scott Duxbury.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Aston Villa 0 West Ham 0

West Ham started the game with five in midfield and with Nouble up front on his own. Initially the tactic worked well in stifling Villa's play and West Ham looked like they could create something on the break.

In the fifth minute Nouble received the ball in West Ham's half and ran half the length of the pitch, beat Dunne on the edge of the box and just fired over. In the 10th minute Parker shot well wide from 25 yrds.

However after about 20 minutes Villa began to dominate possession, without creating much in the way of scoring chances. Their best effort came from Agbonlahor in the 26th minute, who did well to turn and shoot ten yards out. Green however made a good save to keep the score goalless.

West Ham's only other effort of the half was a Behrami shot that flew well over from 20 yrds.

For the first fifteen minutes of the second half it was all Aston Villa. Then in the 60th minute when Parker was forced off to be replaced by Diamanti and then Kovac, on a yellow card and a warning, was replaced by Stanislas it looked like it should be easy for Villa to go on and win the game.

However the West Ham replacements actually seemed to swing the game West Ham's way and suddenly they looked more of a threat going forward. In the 69th minute Diamanti shot well wide from 30 yards. In the 70th minute Stanislas fired a shot in from 7 yrds to the right of the goal and Collins deflected the ball over the bar.

In the 73rd minute Stanislas fired in a shot from 20 yrds, which was deflected wide. In the 80th minute Noble volleyed well wide from 20 yards.

In the 92nd minute when it looked like West Ham had done enough to earn a draw Agbonlahor had a great chance to win the game for Villa. He turned and beat Upson and only had Green to beat but Green did superbly to win the ball at the striker's feet.

In the end, with a depleted team, this was a great point won for West Ham. Nouble, in only his second real game, improved greatly on his debut performance. He is already beginning to look like a real prospect.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aston Villa vs West Ham - The Preview

Having rested Brad Friedel, Luke Young and John Carew in mid-week Villa will probably recall all three for this game. West Ham are struggling to find any fit strikers. Sears or Nouble could well be given a start.

The form of both sides, West Ham's injury problems and the fact that West Ham have won only one of their last 12 visits to Villa Park suggest West Ham will struggle in this game.

Sky predict a 2-0 West Ham loss

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham loss

Fernandes Now Front Runner

According to The Telegraph 'sources close to the banks conducting the deal' say that Tony Fernandes is "90% there" in taking over West Ham.

The Telegraph say that both Fernandes and David Sullivan have completed due diligence and have had their deals ratified. The Telegraph say if Sullivan gains control of West Ham he will replace Zola with Mark Hughes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sullivan Bid Accepted?

Sky are reporting that "West Ham’s lending banks (who are thought to include Barclays and Standard Bank) have today approved a change of control for Sullivan to buy the club."

However Sky seem to be suggesting that this doesn't necessarily mean that David Sullivan will be the eventual owner of the club and that Rothschild "could be using Sullivan as a stalking horse to attract higher offers from the other bidders".

Sullivan's offer is thought to be worth well over £100m.

West Ham Fined £115,000

West Ham have been fined £115,000 by the FA for the violence at the Carling Cup tie against Millwall. West Ham now have 14 days to appeal against the fine.

West Ham must also pay £5,000 costs.

West Ham say they are awaiting receipt of the full findings of the FA Regulatory Commission before responding.

Dyer to Retire?

The Daily Mirror say that Keiron Dyer is considering retiring from football. The paper say that Dyer's 18 performances for West Ham have cost the club £406,000 per game.

The paper have however been told by West Ham that the story is untrue and Dyer is on course to return from injury in the next two weeks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quashie to QPR

Forget the West Ham has been sold rumour, the biggest news of the day comes from The Daily Star. They claim that Nigel Quashie is about to sign for QPR for £500,000.

West Ham Sold?

According to at least one Italian website Massimo Cellino has bought West Ham for £62 million and an undertaking to clear the club's debts, in excess of £38 million. claim that Massimo Cellino has 'accomplished' his mission to buy West Ham and that official confirmation will be announced in the coming hours.

However this news doesn't seem to have been picked up by anyone else, including the other bidders for the club. The Evening Standard, for example, say that Malaysian businessman Fernandes posted a message on Twitter today saying that the process is down to 'two bidders'. The Standard also say that the Intermarket Group, is expected to finalise its bid tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Massimo Cellino to Bid for West Ham

The BBC are reporting that Italian Massimo Cellini (although I think his name is actually spelt Massimo Cellino) has emerged as a fourth potential bidder for West Ham.

Cellino is the president of Serie A side Cagliari. The BBC are also reporting that "sources close to the club have indicated a deal could be completed by the end of the week."

Kornilenko on Trial at West Ham

The Daily Mail are reporting that Belarus striker Sergey Kornilenko is flying into London on Friday for a trial with West Ham.

Kornilenko joined Zenit St Petersburg from Russian team Tom Tomsk six months ago. The Daily Mail reported last week that West Ham are interested in taking the player on loan.

FA Find West Ham Guilty

The FA have found West Ham guilty of two charges of failing to control their fans after the violence at the Carling Cup tie against Millwall. All three charges against Millwall were deemed unproven.

West Ham were found guilty of failing to ensure their fans refrained from violent behaviour and also failing to ensure their fans did not enter the field of play. An independent commission will decide on any West Ham punishment on Friday.

CEO of West Ham Bid Dies

The chief executive of the Intermarket group, Jim Bowe died at the weekend.

The owner of Intermarket, David Byrne, however said that the group would still carry on with its attempts to buy West Ham

"Jim Bowe's death is a terrible blow, but he would have wanted us to carry on and give it our all," Byrne told the BBC. "We had many plans for the future. West Ham was the first of them.

"I believe we're offering the best package as well as guaranteed funds for this transfer window. We are the only party prepared to sign a 10-year commitment to stay at the club."

The Daily Express say that West Ham's owners have extended the deadline for bids for the club. They claim that only Sullivan and Gold have so far proved that they have the funds available to go ahead with a deal. However The Express say Intermarket have been given another 48 hours to come up with the money to back their bid.

The Daily Mail say that Intermarket have asked for extra time to finalise the buyout following the death of Jim Bowe but are confident they will have funds to complete the deal by tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Intermarket Favourites

The Daily Mirror claim that Intermarket are the favourites to take over West Ham. Representatives of the the various interested parties yesterday met with Rothschild Bank, who are charged with selling the club.

The Mirror say Intermarket have been given until today to prove that they have the funds in place to go ahead. The Mirror also say that a board meeting, to be attended by manager Gianfranco Zola, will be held at Upton Park today to discuss the takeover.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

Knees Up Mother Brown are reporting that Franco will be out for three to four weeks. The West Ham Official Website is reporting that Carlton Cole could be back at the end of this month.

The Daily Star say that Manchester United are keen to buy Valon Behrami and that West Ham are planning a loan move for Napoli defender Matteo Contini.

Elsewhere there are reports that Lazio and Roma are also keen to sign Behrami.

The News of the World optimistically claim that West Ham will be taken over this week, with the InterMarket Group leading the race. The NoW also say that West Ham are keen to sign Zenit St Petersburg striker Sergei Kornilenko on loan.

Franco Injured in Training

Sky are reporting that Carlton Cole has returned to light training and is targeting a first-team recall by the end of January.

The Daily Mail report that Guillermo Franco, was injured in training.

West Ham's nineteen year old defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson has joined Belgian club Roeselare on loan.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Franco the Latest West Ham Player Injured

West Ham Till I Die are reporting that Guillermo Franco has picked up a muscle injury that will keep him out of the next two games (I'm not sure if that includes tomorrow's postponed game).

In better news they say that Carlton Cole is expected to be available for the Portsmouth game.

Wolves Game Postponed

West Ham have confirmed that following consultations with local authorities and the police tomorrow's game against Wolves has been postponed.

As with most Premier League clubs postponing games this week, the game seems to have been called of not because of the state of the pitch but because of the safety concerns of the authorities.

Friday, January 08, 2010

West Ham Loan Offer for Sergey Kornilenko

The Daily Mail say West Ham have made an offer to sign Belarus striker Sergey Kornilenko on loan from Zenit St Petersburg.

Kornilenko joined Zenit from Russian team Tom Tomsk. However just six months after joining his new club he has been told by the new manager that he is no longer part of his plans. Tom have declared an interest but their manager says he is doubtful they can sign him due to interest from West Ham,

Tom boss Valeri Nepomniachi said,

'Apart from out interest, Sergey has proposals from a foreign club and a top Russian club. Sergey admitted that he'd like to play for Tom again, but the question is what proposal will be more interesting for him.

It is our understanding that West Ham are interested, so our chances are probably not too great. Nevertheless, we've made an offer for Kornilenko.'

Eidur Gudjohnsen Again?

Every time a new transfer window comes around Eidur Gudjohnsen's father (and agent) starts talking about how his son is considering a move to the English Premier League. Inevitably this means that he is linked with a move to West Ham.

Unsurprisingly Arnor Gudjohnsen is at it again. This week he said,

"He is obviously seriously thinking about a return to England but he has not made any decision. It is in his hands."

So the papers are again full of stories linking Gudjohnsen with West Ham.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mutu Deal Back On

The Daily Star obviously didn't believe Gianluca Nani when he said West Ham had no interest in Adrian Mutu.

In fact The Star claim that West Ham are close to agreeing a loan move with Fiorentina and he could be available for the Villa game, a week on Sunday.

Radoslav Kovac has announced his retirement from international football. He says he has retired from the Czech Republic international team in an effort to focus on his duties at West Ham.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Arsenal in for Cole

The Daily Mail claim that Arsenal are ready to make a £9 miilion bid for West Ham striker Carlton Cole. The paper claims, however, that a bid will only be made if Nicklas Bentnder fails a Friday fitness test.

The speculation comes from this quote from Arsene Wenger,

'There is no way we can carry on with only one striker. Bendtner is being treated now and will come back on Friday for tests. If he is out For another two months, we will need to buy someone, absolutely.'

Hmm, that doesn't really sound like he wants to buy another injured striker.

West Ham To Receive Fourth Bid

West Ham should learn today what punishment they face following the trouble in the West Ham vs Millwall game. Both clubs face the prospect of heavy fines and West Ham could even be forced to play games behind closed doors, although the later is seen as being unlikely.

The Guardian are reporting that West Ham could receive a fourth bid to buy the club from an unnamed American bidder. So far the bids to buy West Ham have come from David Gold and David Sullivan, the Intermarket Group and Tony Fernandes.

The unnamed North American has completed due diligence but is as yet undecided over whether to make a formal approach. The Guardian claim that the American is Straumur's preferred choice for ownership of the club, as he is seen as the safest long-term bet by the consortium of five banks who have loaned money to the club.

The Daily Mail claim that West Ham have sounded out Aston Villa about buying back Marlon Harewood.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

West Ham Have Three Offers

The Telegraph says that David Sullivan underwent the second stage of due diligence last week and that the Intermarket Group will formally submit a bid in writing for West Ham today. The paper also say that Tony Fernandes is poised to make an offer for the club.

The Telegraph seem to be suggesting a deal could be done as early as this week,

"... there is a sense of anticipation around West Ham that the club may be able to make a positive announcement prior to the fixture (Sunday) which could provide a launchpad for the rest of their season."

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cole Return Sooner Rather than Later

Sky are reporting that West Ham fans have been handed some "New Year cheer" with the news that Carlton Cole is making good progress from his knee injury.

Sky's assessment of Cole's recovery seems to be based on this quote from Zola,

"I don't want to force things. I think [his return] will be sooner rather than later."

I had thought that Cole was slated to return to action this week, so far from good 'cheer', this actually sounds to me like Cole won't be returning this week. PhysioRoom however still have him down for an 'expected recovery' on January 10th. Perhaps Cole will be ready to play some part in the Villa game on the 17th.

West Ham Bid War Hots Up

The Daily Mirror seem to be backing down a little on their claim that West Ham's owners have agreed to sell 50% of the club to David Gold and David Sullivan.

In a report in today's paper they still say "the club’s Icelandic owners (have) agreed to sell 50 per cent of their stake." However they now also report that West Ham insist that "no deal has yet been done to sell the club."

The Mirror also report that "West Ham say two rival investors - Malaysia-based Tony Fernandes and Intermarket - are still in the frame."

So that's as clear as mud then.

West Ham Till I Die picked up that Tony Fernandes Twittered this message during half-time at yesterday's game,

"1 0. West ham beating arsenal. Great half from the young hammers. Soon they will have an owner who will make a difference and care ."

Let's hope so!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

West Ham 1 Arsenal 2

A really good battling performance today just wasn't good enough to see off Arsenal. In the first half West Ham's midfield, especially the energetic Behrami, got in and disrupted Arsenal's game and West Ham always looked like they could punish Arsenal on the break.

In the last minute of the first half, Kovac won the ball on the halfway line and Behrami knocked a lovely ball through to Diamanti, who left the Arsenal defence for dead and calmly passed the ball into the back of the net.

At the start of the second half West Ham created three chances in the opening three minutes, with Stanislas coming closest with a long-range effort forcing a good save. However after the 60 minute mark West Ham began to tire and Zola had little in the way of options from the bench.

Arsenal however could bring on Nasri and Diaby and, after that, it was all one-way traffic and the Arsenal goals began to look inevitable.

In the end a depleted West Ham team did as well as could be expected. Nouble got another 80 minutes under his belt and looks to be a promising player for the future. Daprela also did very well and also looks to show great promise. However, if the game revealed anything, it is that West Ham desperately need a bit more strength in depth.

Gold & Sullivan to Buy 50% of West Ham

The Sunday Mirror claim that West Ham's owners have agreed to sell 50% of the club to David Sullivan and David Gold.

They say that the £50million deal is still subject to formal ratification but the deal has been agreed in principle and that they will take control of the Upton Park club inside the next seven days.

The Mirror say that the Icelandic owners will retain a 50 per cent stake in the club but will hand effective control of the club to Sullivan and Gold.

The Daily Star and The Daily Express both claim that West Ham don't know whether to play Upson today. They say that he may not play because he will then be cup-tied and will be worth less when they try and sell him.

Over the last few weeks Upson has been linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. Obviously these three clubs would be devastated if Upson was cup-tied as they place such value in the FA Cup and always play their first teams.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

No Behrami for Rubinho

Sky Sports say that West Ham have no plans to swap Valon Behrami for Rubinho. Sky claim West Ham have been strongly linked with the Palermo keeper over recent weeks, although this is the first I've heard of it.

I can exclusively reveal that Real Madrid have no plans to swap Nigel Quashie for Ronaldo.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Comment Moderation

Due to the increasingly ridiculous comments from one individual I have now turned comment moderation on. This means that all comments will be reviewed before they are posted.

Unfortunately this means that there will be some delay before comments go live.

FA Cup Winning Parade

I hope I'm wrong but I can't see this being repeated this year - The 1980 FA Cup winning parade, care of the BBC. Oh, happy days.

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