West Ham want Gray as part of Sinclair sale

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The Independent Online

Glenn Roeder, the West Ham United manager, is trying to sign the Sunderland captain, Michael Gray, as he prepares to strengthen his team using funds from the imminent sale of Trevor Sinclair.

Roeder has made an approach for the former England international to fill his problem left-back position and, surprisingly, he has not been rebuffed. West Ham will want to invest the Sinclair fee on two or three players to strengthen their squad and Gray could be sold for the right price – around £4m. Roeder is willing to sign Gray for straight cash or in part-exchange for Sinclair and hopes to complete the move quickly.

The Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, can sell Gray, who was a Middlesbrough target earlier in the season, because of the form of the developing youngster George McCartney.

Gray knows of West Ham's interest and the possible sale, but he would want a handsome pay-off before he left. The former Manchester United trainee is due a windfall from a testimonial and would risk losing some of that tax-free money if he left.

Sinclair is also wanted by Newcastle United, who are proposing swap deals to sign him. However, West Ham want Gary Speed rather than Nolberto Solano, who is being offered by Newcastle. Robert Lee could also move to Upton Park if a price can be agreed, but that deal would be unrelated to any Sinclair transfer.

The Newcastle manager, Bobby Robson, is to take no action after a training ground fracas between Laurent Robert and Andy Griffin. The pair came to blows at the club's training ground on Friday as they prepared for United's 3-1 win at Everton the following day.

"The players shook hands, and the matter is now closed," said Robson. "I am taking no disciplinary action other than accepting an apology from both players."

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