Friday, 16 January 2009

West Ham United: Daily News Report (3)

Newcastle united last night abandoned a seemingly muddled and one-sided attempt to sign West Ham United captain Lucas Neill after the east London club said they were "astonished" by talk of any move.

Just hours after Joe Kinnear, Newcastle's manager, had spoken of taking the Australian full-back on loan until the end of the season, a Newcastle spokesman said: "With regards to Lucas Neill, West Ham United have made it clear he is a player they value as a highly important member of their squad and who they have no desire to sell. Newcastle United respect West Ham's position and will therefore not be pursuing this matter."

This was all news to West Ham, who released a statement on the club's website, saying: "West Ham would like to make it clear that Lucas Neill is a contracted West Ham United player and that we have received no approach from any club for his services, including Newcastle United.

"We are astonished by reports that a Premier League manager has claimed contact with one of our players."

Earlier Kinnear had spoken of the move as if it were well under way. "It would be a loan until the end of the season," he said. "Being happy to match his wages would probably be one of the reasons why we are taking him, or probably one of the reasons why they want to get rid of him."
(The Independent)

West Ham have reacted angrily to Premier League rivals Newcastle's interest in captain Lucas Neill. The defender, 30, is out of contract in June, with Magpies boss Joe Kinnear saying he had spoken to Neill's agent.

A Hammers statement said: "We'd like to make it clear Neill is a contracted player and we've received no approach from any club, including Newcastle.

"We are astonished by reports that a Premier League manager has claimed contact with one of our players."

Neill joined West Ham in January 2007, helping the club avoid relegation that season.

"West Ham have made it clear he is a player they value as an important to of their squad and they have no desire to sell," said a Magpies spokesman.

"Newcastle United respect West Ham's position and will therefore not be pursing this matter." (BBC Sport)

Craig Bellamy

Manchester City are in danger of missing out on Craig Bellamy after it emerged last night that Tottenham have stepped up their interest in the West Ham striker. Spurs are understood to have proposed a £12m deal for Bellamy, below, and that could well be accepted by West Ham, one of whose executives said yesterday that the Wales international will leave if the club is offered 'a substantial amount'.

City, who have had several bids turned down, may now match or even exceed Tottenham's offer in the hope of landing Bellamy but the player favours a move to White Hart Lane.

Officially, none of West Ham's best players are for sale as they seek to trim their squad by offloading the fringe members. Yet the club are conscious Bellamy is keen to move and, although Gianfranco Zola wants a smaller squad, there could be money available for the manager if Bellamy goes. (The Guardian)

Matt Upson

Arsene Wenger is ready to admit a £9m mistake on Matt Upson - and offer Nicklas Bendtner to take the West Ham defender back to Arsenal.

Wenger is desperate for a centre half and midfielder in January and Upson fits the bill even though it would mean an amazing U-turn.

Arsenal boss Wenger sold Upson to Birmingham for just £3m in 2003 and now hard-up West Ham want at least £12m for the England defender.

Wenger, who is also “hopeful“ of signing Andrei Arshavin, does not have limitless funds and may be willing to offer Danish striker Bendtner as a £5 million makeweight in any Upson deal.

Bendtner is a bit-part player at Arsenal and Wenger also has Eduardo coming back from injury and therefore may be willing to let him go to strengthen his central defence which is a major area for concern.

West Ham have knocked back bids from Tottenham and Manchester City for Craig Bellamy and are hoping to survive January without having to sell one of their prize assets of Upson, Robert Green and Scott Parker.

Upson is also reluctant to move to a club without Champions League ambitions and has been holding out to see whether Aston Villa or Arsenal would be interested. (Daily Mirror )

Luis Boa Morte

Luis Boa Morte has rejected the chance to join Hull City after failing to agree personal terms at the KC Stadium.

The Tigers had concurred on a fee with West Ham for the Portuguese international but Phil Brown conceded earlier on Thursday that the deal was close to collapse.

West Ham are eager to offload a number of their fringe players in a bid to reduce both overheads and the size of Gianfranco Zola's squad, but it would appear Boa Morte is to stay at Upton Park for the foreseeable future. (Sky Sports)

Tyler Rix

Tyler Rix, who has played for West Ham's Academy, signed the deal with Universal Music on the turf at Upton Park.

The 16-year-old saxophonist, from London, was discovered by record executives when he took part in BBC2's Classical Star TV talent programme.

Bosses at Universal Classics and Jazz offered him the chance to join a stable which includes Amy Winehouse, Take That and Jamie Cullum.

Tyler had a tough decision of his own to make – whether to pursue football or music.

By the age of 15 he had experienced a string of successes as a footballer.

Snapped up on the day of his trial, he played several times at Upton Park and was prominently featured in Junior Soccer, a coaching guide produced in association with West Ham United.

Tyler said: "I always knew that one day I would have to choose between my music and my football commitments.

"I could never have dreamt of making that choice in such a spectacular way."

"Tyler Rix is a sensational talent," said Dickon Stainer, managing director of Universal Classics and Jazz.

"We're very glad he chose music. It's better than playing at left back."

Tyler began playing the saxophone at the age of nine.

The deal comes at a busy time for Tyler, who is taking his mock GCSE exams.

His debut album, Ascent, is released on February 2. (Daily Telegraph)

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