The latest reports are claiming that West Ham will submit a revised £5m offer to Leeds Utd for Ross McCormack. Last week, a bid of £3.5m was submitted for the player, which was duly rejected by the Leeds Utd board. However, the speculation is that Leeds Utd would seriously consider selling the Championship’s leading goal scorer, but are holding out for a higher fee. It appears that West Ham may be about to test that theory with a revised offer. Although the player only signed a new contract last summer, it is thought that McCormack is keen for another crack at the Premier League. McCormack has scored 17 Championship goals so far this season in a average Leeds Utd team. He may be well worth a £5m punt, in the absence of other options. I would argue that Jordan Rhodes is a better long-term prospect, but the estimated £10m fee to secure his services is likely to be too rich for West Ham’s blood in this January window.
It was good to see the club finally making some significant progress in the transfer market. The double loan deal for Roma’s Marco Borriello and AC Milan’s Antonio Nocerino was a welcome development. Both players have a good pedigree, having played for some of the biggest names in Italian football. However, it is also something of a gamble, in the sense that both midfielder Nocerino and striker Borriello have had been in indifferent form for their respective Serie A clubs this season. Nocerino had lost his regular starting place to Nigel De Jong and would have been pushed further down the AC Milan midfield pecking order with the impending signing of Michael Essien from Chelsea. While Borriello has been less than prolific in front of goal, scoring 1 goal in 11 appearances for Roma.
However, if the players had been in top form this season, would we have got them in this transfer window? Most probably not. We have to hope that both Borriello and Nocerino respond positively to a new club environment and quickly recapture the form that previously saw Borriello score regularly at Genoa and Nocerino rise to prominence at Palermo. Borriello has been characterised in Italy as ‘inconsistent,’ although it is probably true to say that he is a confidence player who responds positively to the adulation of the crowd. He will need careful handling by the coaching staff, but if they get it right then Borriello will score goals. While Nocerino is a powerful box-to-box type of player and if he can regain his form he will be a a very good addition. Significantly, this is, of course, a World Cup year and both players nurture ambitions to make the Italian squad. What greater incentive do they need to make an impact at West Ham?
Elsewhere, it appears that West Ham have pulled out of the deal to sign Osasuna’s defensive midfielder, Raoul Loe. It was reported that the player had attended for a medical and the clubs had agreed a £1.5m deal. However, it transpires that West Ham have pulled out of the deal, much to the annoyance of Osasuna. It seems that Loe was a back up deal in case they could not agree terms with AC Milan and Nocerino. And when the latter deal went through, Loe was surplus to requirements it appears. While, the rumours still circulate regarding our alleged interest in, ex-Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder, Raul Meireles and, Man City central defender, Joleon Lescott. Of the two, the need for Lescott is probably the greater. However, to make the deal happen, the West Ham board will need to commit to paying his £90,000 a week wages for the remainder of this season and offer a £70,000 a week, three year deal, if he helps us to escape relegation. Will they ‘bite the bullet’ and agree to that? Its expensive, but relegation will cost a lot more and Lescott is a player that can make a real contribution to our PL survival.
Finally, there is a story in the Monday morning papers that West Ham Utd are going to make a surprise bid to sign Southampton’s out of favour striker, Dani Osvaldo, on loan to the end of the season. It seems pretty unlikely, on the face of it, but stranger things have happened! It’s more likely that Southampton will seek to to retrieve the majority of Osvaldo’s £15m fee by offloading him to Juventus or AC Milan. That would probably be the player’s preference. And in all honesty, do we need such a potentially problematic signing, who has only managed 3 goals this season?