Filed: Tuesday, 4th May 2010
By: Staff Writer
Tomorrow's papers are reporting that West Ham are set to make a second attempt to land West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans.
The 22-year-old Scot was the subject of an instantly-rejected £4million offer from the Hammers last week - and according to Wednesday's Daily Mail, West Ham are set to test Albion's resolve by making an improved offer of around £5million.
On the face of it that kind of offer would appear unlikely to sway Baggies chiarman Jeremy Pearce - who is said to value the player between £10-12million - for only last week he told reporters:
"As I have stressed several times since we achieved promotion over two weeks ago, our aim now is to retain our core players and try to strengthen our squad around them. I want to make it clear again that Graham Dorrans is not for sale."
The Mail add that West Ham are 'prepared to hand the 22-year-old a four-year £30,000-a-week deal'. Nice work if you can get it.
In other news, that old smoothy Arsene Wenger is said to have 'expressed an interest' in United youngster James Tomkins, whose season ended miserably after a torrid run of form. The Arsenal chief is said to be looking to expand upon his current list of domestic players. Which shouldn't be too difficult, given his penchant for selling virtually every squad player raised this side of the channel.
Wenger is also said to be 'monitoring the progress' of England duo Matthew Upson and Rob Green, both of whom have been linked with the Boleyn Ground exit door for some time having failed to sign extensions to their current contracts.
Upson, who has just a year left on his current deal has steadfastly refused to answer questions regarding his future at West Ham, whilst Green - with two years left to run - has kept similarly tight-lipped since complaints made publicly regarding his disappointment at the terms of his current deal were rebuffed - also publicly - by then-CEO Scott Duxbury.
On the manager front, Steve McClaren and Slaven Bilic are now said to head the race to succeed Gianfranco Zola, who has refrained to comment on his future until the end of the current campaign. Most people appear to agree that Zola's days are numbered - even if he himself has said nothing of the sort - which is why elsewhere Avram Grant and Martin Jol have also appeared as likely candidates this week.
The Grant link has probably persuaded one or two to run with stories regarding players likely to be available from Portsmouth in the summer; both Aruna Dindane and Frederic Piquionne - who are only at the club on loan anyway - have been linked with West Ham, along with a swathe of other unfortunate clubs that failed to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season.
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09:29AM 18th May 2010
''Why sign another midfielder? That's the last place we need more players, the squad is full of them. Where are our problems? Defence - centre and full backs. Attack - nobody near 20 goals a season and Cole likely to go. Loanees sent back - be good to see Diamanti regular, but Franco showing his age and Sears' unfulfilled promise...''
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