West Ham in for Ljungberg as Arsenal line up Dutch star

West Ham United last night made an audacious bid to sign Arsenal's Fredrik Ljungberg. No fee has been discussed so far for the 29-year-old Swedish international, although Arsenal do appear prepared to sell him and West Ham have the funds available.

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has lined up Ajax's Dutch international left winger Ryan Babel as Ljungberg's replacement. The 20-year-old is keen to join Arsenal although no deal will be done before the end of the season as Wenger wants to look at other targets. Babel was recently described by the Netherlands coach, Marco van Basten, as having the potential to be the "new Thierry Henry".

If West Ham sign Ljungberg, they will shelve their interest in Shaun Wright-Phillips, who remains reluctant to move to Upton Park despite a £10m bid being lodged, with the winger also offered the same £50,000-a-week wages he earns at Chelsea. Indeed, it is thought that the bid is now close to collapse.

West Ham are confident that they will also be able to match Ljungberg's personal terms - which means he could earn an astonishing £70,000 a week - but although the midfielder is keen to stay in the Premiership, they are unsure if he will want to join a relegation-threatened club.

It is likely that Ljungberg, who is now captain of the Swedish national team, may insist on an exit clause should West Ham be relegated. West Ham could also try to revive Arsenal's interest in their midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, who wants to leave the club after a traumatic season, and offer him in a possible swap deal.

Wenger was interested in signing Reo-Coker last summer as was Sir Alex Ferguson. It is thought that he has cooled on the player since but is still looking for young central midfield talent which would raise question marks over the future of Gilberto Silva as well as Ljungberg. Arsenal have also, in the past, shown interest in Yossi Benayoun although West Ham are adamant they want to recruit players not sell them.

Ljungberg, who has two years left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium, joined Arsenal in 1998 for £3m from the Swedish club Halmstad and has been a key member of Wenger's squad. However, the signings of Alexander Hleb and Tomas Rosicky have limited his opportunities this season and, although he had a fine Champions' League campaign last season, it is believed he is not central to Wenger's plans.

If West Ham manage to sign Ljungberg, it would represent a huge coup. They also believe it will help them in their attempts to secure their other transfer targets.

West Ham's potential bid for Ljungberg once again shows the determination and ambition of the Icelandic consortium which took control of the club last autumn. The chairman, Eggert Magnusson, promised that money would be spent in the transfer window and West Ham have been busy lining up a number of targets. They have already signed Luis Boa Morte from Fulham for £5m and last night completed a move for West Bromwich Albion midfielder Nigel Quashie. The 28-year-old Scottish international has joined on a three-and-a-half-year deal for an initial £1.5m with a further £250,000 payable if West Ham avoid relegation. He may start against Fulham on Saturday.

West Ham are also in the hunt for Alexei Smertin, who is set to leave Dynamo Moscow. They also want Bolton Wanderers defender Talal Ben Haim, although his advisers may still try to secure a move to Chelsea, and they have not given up hope of signing Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka.

Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Arts & Entertainment
The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot
TV The second episode of the hit series featured a surprise for viewers
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?