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Piq one from the hat

Filed: Thursday, 1st July 2010
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have had a second bid for West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans turned down, according to reports.

A story in today's Daily Mail suggests that the Irons have made a fresh bid of £4.5million for the 23-year-old Scottish playmaker, which is said to have been instantly rejected by the Premier League new boys. However this figure is just £500,000 higher than the £4million said to have been offered back in May, and with Avram Grant already having boosted his (extensive) midfield options with the capture of Tomas Hitzlsperger the barely-improved offer suggests that Dorrans is not considered an essential purchase (if at all).

Despite rumours regarding the likes of Thiery Henry and Neymar da Silva, Portsmouth's on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne is, sadly, the more plausible rumour with Sky suggesting that United are set to land the unwanted Lyon striker for around £1million. However West Ham are thought to have competition for the player's signature in the shape of the aforementioned West Brom, who see the player as a cheap option with which to boost their understrength squad.

Another forward being linked with a move to east London is Marseille's 24-year-old Mamadou Samassa. The French-born Malian international, who spent last season on loan with Valenciennes (for whom he scored six times in 11 appearances) is being touted as a potential loan signing.

With regards to outgoings - of which there is likely to be much conjecture in the coming weeks - Danny Gabbidon has been linked to Blackpool, who are set to appear in the Premier League for the very first time next season (and in the top flight of English football for the first time since the early 1970s). The Welsh centre-half has barely featured since being named KUMB.com's Player of the Year in 2006 due to a succession of injuries.

Matthew Upson, fresh from the England debacle in South Africa is said to be the subject of a most-generous £7million offer from Sunderland. The Black Cats, who delighted the Hammers when paying a quite astonishing £15million for the combined services of George McCartney and Anton Ferdinand two years ago are said to have tabled the bid after England's exit from the tournament was confirmed. Upson, who is in the final year of his contract at the Boleyn, is rumoured to be interested in extending his deal at West Ham having failed to prove his international credentials in South Africa.

Aston Villa, another club not shy of paying collossal amounts for bog-standard players (ie £8.5million for Nigel Reo-Coker) are rumoured to be interested in United captain-in-waiting Scott Parker, according to today's Sun. The combative midfielder, who was shockingly omitted from Fabio Capello's World Cup squad is the one player at the club that is unlikely to leave but for a ridiculous offer (the likes of which appears to be well out of Villa's scope).

There is no further news on the rumour that Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami is set for Roma in a cash-plus-player deal involving Brazilian international 'keeper Alexander Doni. Doni's aganet, Ovidio Colucci appeared to rule out the move yesterday when he said "I have read the stories in the newspapers but there is nothing concrete; for now we have had no contact with any other club."

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