Filed: Thursday, 25th August 2011
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United are on the verge of signing former Portsmouth defensive midfielder Papa Bouba Diop on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old Senegalese international, who spent a few days at Chadwell Heath earlier this month is currently a free agent having been released by Greek club AEK Athens one year into a two-year contract due to 'family issues'.
Despite being part of the side that won the Greek Cup back in April during his year with AEK, that was one of only 19 appearances by Diop in a season dogged by injury.
The 6'5" midfielder, who began his career with Swiss minnows Neuchatel Xamax scored his first goal in English football for Fulham against West Ham back in 2003. He moved to Craven Cottage despite interest from Manchester United and remained there until 2007 when Portsmouth paid £3.5million to take him to Fratton Park.
A year after moving to Pompey he was the subject of a £4million bid - rejected by Portsmouth - from Italian giants AC Milan. However his spell on the South Coast continued until 2010 when he was sold to AEK for a knockdown price of just £300,000 in order to remove his considerable salary from the bankrupt club's wage bill.
Diop was first linked with a move to West Ham during this year's January transfer window but then-manager Avram Grant's deadline day approach failed to succeed.
In other transfer news, West Ham are said to have had a £1.5million bid for MK Dons striker Sam Baldock rejected.
The 22-year-old attacker was watched for a second time earlier in the week by Sam Allardyce, who has seen Baldock score four goals in his two viewings. The club are likely to return with an improved bid for a player who they believe possesses considerable potential.
Dad's Army: West Ham's summer signings
Abdoulaye Faye, 33; Kevin Nolan, 29; Matt Taylor, 29; Joey O'Brien, 25; John Carew, 31; George McCartney, 30; Papa Bouba Diop, 33?
Average age: 30
They might be giants: West Ham's summer signings
Abdoulaye Faye 6'2"; Kevin Nolan 6'0"; Matt Taylor 5'10"; Joey O'Brien 5'11"; John Carew 6'5"; George McCartney 6'0", 30; Papa Boupa Diop 6'5"?
Average height: 6'2"
by AUSSIE AL
12:01PM 25th Aug 2011
''Not sure this one's for us, especially if he's lined-up as a possible Parker replacement? At 33, he's also too old other than as a stop-gap.''
by Andy Weller
09:19AM 25th Aug 2011
''Dont do it - take it from a Pompey supporter with sympathies, this fella is expensive and - even if he is fit - awful!''
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