Filed: Wednesday, 20th January 2010
By: Staff Writer
Football agent Barry Silkman has been charged with hunting down new recruits as Gianfranco Zola looks to enhance his squad ahead of the January 31st transfer deadline.
Stepney-born Silkman - who represented Middlesbrough's Joseph-Desire Job when the striker almost clinched a move to West Ham four years ago - is a long-term friend of new Hammers chief David Sullivan and revealed today that he had already spoken with him about potential transfer targets.
"David Sullivan is a great guy," Silkman told Sky Sports this morning. "I've known him for around 15 years. I know the situation with David and how they [West Ham] need to work, and you've got to do the best deal you can for them.
"They're willing to do deals now where if they loan the player, the player does well for them and they retain their Premier League status, then there's going to be another one, two, three year contract waiting for them.
"It's just a question of trying to get the right deals, because finance in football at the moment is very difficult - it's no different to the rest of us."
Following last night's discussions between the new owners and the management team, Gianfranco Zola is understood have have been given a transfer warchest of around £8million with which to bring in at least three players.
Right-back and striker are considered to be the two most critical positions, although Zola will also be looking to strengthen at centre half, having lost Lucas Neill and James Collins since the end of last season.
Barry who? Five facts about Mr Silkman
1. Eastender Silkman enjoyed a long pro career, mainly in the lower leagues, with clubs such as Crystal Palace, Orient and Southend. The Barry Silkman Soccer Consultancy is based in Enfield.
2. When not arranging transfers he is often spotted with his greyhounds, who he trains - or advising Sky Sports.
3. Silkman became the oldest substitute in FA Cup history when he came on as a second half sub for Harrow Borough against Wycombe at the ripe old age of 48 years and 142 days back in 2000.
4. He fell foul of Newcastle fans when he verbally attacked the late Bobby Robson for allegedly reneging on a deal involving Chilean Clarence Acuna in 2001. Silkman was caught on tape telling Robson: "See that cancer on your nose? I hope it spreads all over your face."
5. Silkman often works in tandem with Israeli agent Pini Zahavi, who was responsible for a number of deals at West Ham during Harry Redknapp's tenure as manager.
Grant: two more to follow [25th Jan 2011]
Hammers hire Silkman [20th Jan 2010]
Job - confirmation [16th Aug 2005]
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