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Daily Archives: July 17, 2012

West Ham weigh up bid for ex-Chelsea wide man

Gökhan Töre

West Ham are weighing up a move for out-of-favour Hamburg winger Gökhan Töre.

Töre has been told he is free to quit the Bundesliga outfit this summer, despite a number of impressive displays, after falling out with new manager Thorsten Fink.

The quicksilver winger, who moved to Hamburg from Chelsea just 12 months ago, turned out 22 times in the league last term, but he has been omitted from Fink’s first-team plans ahead of the new season.

Russian outfit Spartak Moscow have been strongly linked with a move, but it appears the 20-year-old is keen to return to the Premier League, where his agent has offered his services to newly-promoted West Ham.

Töre would bring an injection of pace, power and genuine width to the Hammers line-up, and while boss Sam Allardyce is keen, he has requested a trial run out first, something Hamburg have rejected.

The news of Töre’s switch away will be good news for Chelsea, who will earn 50% of the fee Hamburg receive, after including a hefty sell-on clause in the deal to sell him to Germany.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Bristol City show interest in Sam Baldock and Craig Gordon

Bristol City manager Derek McInnes is weighing up potential moves for West Ham striker Sam Baldock and former Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

With less than five weeks remaining before the Championship campaign kicks-off on August 18, McInnes is stepping up his recruitment drive.

  1. Sam Baldock right

     

In the market for a forward, a goalkeeper and a centre-back, the Scot is working his way through a long list of targets.

Livewire former MK Dons raider Baldock and ex-Hearts stopper Gordon both feature on City’s radar.

Still to replace top-scorer Nicky Maynard, who moved from Ashton Gate to West Ham for £1.65 million in January, McInnes has made public his wish to recruit a quick forward capable of playing on the shoulder of the last defender.

Interestingly, Maynard’s arrival at Upton Park forced Baldock further down the pecking order, as did West Ham’s promotion to the Premier League.

Although Baldock has stated his intention to remain in east London and fight for his place, opportunities in the top flight are likely to be few and far between for the 23-year-old.

Hammers manager Sam Allardyce has been linked with Sochaux striker Modibo Maiga and Copenhagen’s Senegal international star Dame N’Doye, increasing speculation that Baldock could be sold.

Baldock scored 43 goals in 82 appearances for League One MK Dons and earned a move to West Ham for an undisclosed fee following the London club’s relegation to the Championship in 2011.

Although he made 24 appearances for the Hammers in the English second tier last season, scoring five times, he last started a game at home to Nottingham Forest on January 21 and was used only as a substitute following Maynard’s arrival at the club.

However, his goals-to-games ratio is impressive and City, having made initial contact at agent level, are monitoring Baldock’s situation.

McInnes is also in the market for a goalkeeper to replace former England man David James, who was released at the end of last season.

He is on the lookout for an experienced custodian to compete with Dean Gerken for the goalkeeper’s jersey and has already made an inquiry for West Brom’s Boaz Myhill.

However, Scotland international Gordon also features on his list of possible targets and the 29-year-old is a free agent after being released by Premier League Sunderland at the end of last season.

Once again, contact has been made at agent level and McInnes is now considering his options.

Sunderland paid Hearts £9million for Gordon in 2007, a record fee for a goalkeeper in Britain at the time, but the Scot’s time at the Stadium of Light was marred by serious arm and knee injuries.

Sidelined by anterior cruciate ligament damage last season, he was third choice behind Simon Mignolet and Keiren Westwood, making just one Premier League appearance against Bolton in April.

Under pressure to cut the wage bill, Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill released Gordon at the end of the season and he is now looking to re-launch his career, possibly in the Championship.

McInnes has heard nothing from Myhill’s representatives since making his initial inquiry in late May and is now casting his net elsewhere.

Contrary to national newspaper reports, City’s manager will not be signing Norwich City striker Simeon Jackson.

He made an informal inquiry for the 25-year-old at the end of last season but has since dropped his interest.

Meanwhile, Kalifa Cisse is unlikely to return to Ashton Gate after being handed a trial by relegated Bolton.

Out of contract at the end of last season and offered the chance to stay at Ashton Gate, the Mali international has instead spent the summer exploring alternative options.

Despite his agent making contact with McInnes last week for the first time in more than a month, Cisse has accepted an invitation to train with the Trotters.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

West Ham youngster determined to enter Hall of fame

Hammers striker Rob Hall is learning the game fast both with West Ham and England under-19s

 

Just 48 hours after he suffered heartbreak in the semi-final of the European under-19 Championships in Estonia, youngster Robert Hall was standing in the driving rain ready for West Ham’s pre-season friendly clash with Southend United.

The 18-year-old missed a penalty in England’s surprise 2-1 defeat against 10-man Greece in Tallinn on Thursday, but it says much for the confidence of the youngster that he was able to travel nearly 1,200 miles to show what he could do in claret and blue.

“I got back yesterday (Friday) at about six in the evening after travelling all day,” revealed the striker turned midfield player who proved to be one of the stars of the tournament for England, despite that penalty miss.

“It was a long time away from home, but I learned a lot out there and had a lot of good experiences.

“Some bad of course, like going out in the semis, but it was a very worthwhile trip. You see different coaches and you learn to live in certain ways. I have done it before, but I think on this trip I learned a lot more.”

It certainly looked as though the Academy team star had moved on from last season when he spent valuable time on loan at Oxford United and MK Dons as well as breaking through at West Ham with four substitute appearances.

Playing on Saturday from the opening kick-off was certainly something he had not anticipated though.

“I wasn’t expecting to start to be honest,” he said. “I came in and did a couple of things and I heard I was only playing for 30 minutes, but I thought it would be at the other end.

“But I came into the changing room and saw my name on the starting list so I went out there and did my best.”

Hall was only on for 33 minutes but in that time he set up a good chance for Matt Taylor which led to Kevin Nolan’s disallowed goal, while he also saw a shot of his own fly inches over the top.

The saturated conditions were certainly an eye-opener for the England man though.

“It was a lot different to Estonia,” he said. “It was hot out there and dry, so coming back home to England and playing on a greasy pitch with a couple of puddles was different!

“That is football though and you have to put up with these things and in the end it was great.”

Hall will not be expected to play many times in the first team this season, but he has his own agenda about the Premier League campaign.

“I think I just need to stay in and around the first team,” he said. “I need to try and grab opportunities like this one and take them as much as I can.

“I want to try and stay around the lads. They are great players, Premiership players now and they have been for years.

“I’m just trying to learn from them to help me on the way.

“It would be a dream come true to play in the Premier League. Hopefully it will come true, but if it doesn’t I’ve just got to keep going, keep pushing on and hopefully one day it will come.”

Few would bet against that and some may even wager that it happens this season.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized