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New arrivals imminent?

Filed: Tuesday, 17th January 2006
By: Matthew O'Greel

West Ham are awaiting to hear from Norwich with regard to a 7m bid for striker Dean Ashton, reports today's Independent.

The Hammers are said to have lodged several bids for the former England under-21, who joined Norwich for 3m almost exactly 12 months ago.

The paper also claim that Alan Pardew is attempting to bring in Barcelona defender/midfielder Gabri on loan for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, other sources are claiming that a bid for striker Maxi Lopez remains on the cards.

Further reports claim that a 1m bid has been made for Tottenham's highly-rated full-back Stephen Kelly. Kelly has refused to sign a new contract with Spurs after failing to secure a regular place in Martin Jol's starting XI, and would effectively replace Tomas Repka who returns to the Czech Republic later this month.

The Hammers are also thought to be closely monitoring the situation of out-of-favour winger Andy Reid, who joined Spurs just over a year ago in a deal worth around 4m.

Pardew's recent scouting mission to Holland has lent weight to claims that the Hammers boss is looking to sign Ajax midfielder Nigel De Jong, whose contract with the Dutch giants expires this summer.

Attacking midfielder De Jong is however regarded as one of Holland's brightest young prospects and any deal would represent a huge coup for Pardew.

Other Ajax players in the frame are Steven Pienaar and right-back Hatem Trabelsi, both of who are set to leave the Dutch club in the summer at the end of their current contracts.

Also said to have caught Pardew's eye during his scouting mission was NEC's Paraguayan midfielder Edgar Baretto.

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