Pardew may face injunction

West Ham's attempts to name Alan Pardew as their new manager have been further held up by Reading as the bitter struggle between the two clubs continued yesterday.

The Hammers wanted to appoint Pardew a week after he walked out on his post with Reading because they had refused to allow him to speak to their First Division rivals. However, as the east London club made plans to announce Pardew as their choice to replace Glenn Roeder, the Reading chairman, John Madejski, started legal action to place an injunction on his manager taking up the new job.

The two clubs have been trying to thrash out a compromise for the last few days but a settlement has yet to be agreed. Madejski was looking for around £800,000 in compensation but West Ham were not willing to pay that and, despite prolonged talks, the differences between the two clubs could not be resolved.

Madejski's injunction means that Pardew will not be able to change jobs and take over at Upton Park until the court sets a date - or West Ham come up with a "transfer fee" for him. It is an unwanted pressure for the Hammers, who have won their last four games under the caretaker manager, Trevor Brooking.

Madejski's action may also influence the next choice of manager at Reading. The first-team coach, Kevin Dillon, could be left in charge with a more experienced man appointed to assist him. But Reading would find it hard to appoint another club's manager after making such a fuss about Pardew, and that may rule out candidates such as Wycombe's Lawrie Sanchez and Colchester's Phil Parkinson.

Despite yesterday's developments, Brooking still hinted that Pardew could be in charge in time for this weekend's game at Gillingham. The Hammers' caretaker manager guided his side to a 3-0 victory at Crewe on Tuesday night, then admitted that it was probably his last game in charge.

Brooking still believes that a deal to appoint Roeder's successor could be imminent. He said: "I always felt I would be in charge for this game but Saturday's match against Gillingham is a different matter.

"We'll have a talk because we've got the day off now and we'll talk through what that situation is. We will look at how the situation has moved on since the weekend. If it's sorted out sooner then great, and I think whoever takes the side over will take them on from here," Brooking added.