Filed: Monday, 4th August 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
Hammers boss Glenn Roeder has distanced himself from any potential bid by Manchester United for striker Jermain Defoe, after rumours of a deal emerged over the weekend.
Roeder, speaking this morning (Monday) on whufc.co.uk has made it clear that should Defoe leave it will be against his wishes, after he re-affirmed his intentions to keep the young striker.
"I have seen the speculation and it is disappointing when this is started in the media - all I would say is that I would not encourage it," he said.
"I see Jermain as a very important member of the team this year. I believe that him, David Connolly, and the striker that we will bring in hopefully over the next few days will have many, many goals in them to help us gain promotion.
"So I need to say very quickly to try and squash this speculation that I would not encourage a move from Manchester United - or any other club."
Quite clearly there appears to be some truth behind the rumours, otherwise it would be unlikely for Roeder to make such a public statement distancing himself from any potential fallout.
How much truth will no doubt be revealed in the ensuing days. But whatever the circumstances Roeder couldn't be in a worse position as he prepares his side for their first game in the First Division for over ten years.
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