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Defoe next to go?

Filed: Sunday, 3rd August 2003
By: Graeme Howlett

England under-21 striker Jermain Defoe is set to complete a move to Manchester United later this week, according to a tabloid report in tomorrow's papers.

According to the Sun newspaper, Defoe will sign for the reigning Premiership champions in a deal worth 10m when Manchester boss Alex Ferguson returns to the UK.

Details of the exact deal are unclear, although it is likely that any such arrangement will see at least one player coming the other way. One name already mentioned is that of left-sided midfielder Quinton Fortune who remains on the fringes of the first team squad at Old Trafford.

Ferguson was quoted last week as saying that the Manchester United board were unlikely to finance any further summer deals. However rumours of Defoe's possible switch to Old Trafford have been rife on Hammers web forums for the past week.

No doubt such a sale would again infuriate Hammers fans who have had no option but to sit back and watch with dismay as the squad is systematically dismantled by a Hammers board desperately trying to avoid possible administration.

With Joe Cole's future at the club also shrouded in uncertainly it is quite possible that of the four young stars that Glenn Roeder admitted he was desperate to hang on to after West Ham's relegation from the Premiership was confirmed last May only Michael Carrick will remain to take any notable part in the forthcoming first division campaign.

And on paper whilst 10m - if indeed that is a correct figure - would appear to be a reasonable deal for West Ham when taking into account current transfer deals, it is unlikely that anything but a fraction of that would be reinvested in expanding the woefully small squad that many pundits still amazingly suggest is likely to coast to the Nationwide first division title this season.

For Hammers fans who thought it just couldn't get any worse after relegation and the sales of first team players such as Glen Johnson, Trevor Sinclair and Freddie Kanoute, this and other recent news would appear to suggest that the very worst may still be yet to come.

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