Way clears for Ferdinand exit
Tuesday 19 August 2008
The anticipated return from injury of Wales centre-back James Collins could help speed the exit of Anton Ferdinand from West Ham after reports of a £6m bid by Sunderland.
Collins missed virtually all last season with groin and knee problems and eventually needed surgery in February for cruciate ligament damage.
But if he comes through a private practice match this week, manager Alan Curbishley will have an abundance of options in central defence and is likely to let former England Under-21 star Ferdinand go to further ease the inflated wage bill at Upton Park.
Ferdinand missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury but Matthew Upson and Calum Davidson formed a formidable pair at the back in Saturday's 2-1 win over Wigan - with an obviously impressed Fabio Capello promptly naming Upson in the England squad.
And Curbishley is also awaiting the return of outstanding young prospect James Tomkins who has been injured for three weeks after returning from duty with England's Under-19 squad.
With former Wales captain Danny Gabbidon, Collins' former partner for both club and country at Cardiff, recovering from a long-term groin injury, the Hammers boss knows he has a strong playing staff - when they are all fit.
American defender Jonathan Spector is also on the mend after a hip injury and striker Dean Ashton is back in training after the suspected calf injury which forced his early exit after a two-goal performance on Saturday, and ruined his chances of an England call-up, turned out to be no more than severe cramp.
But Curbishley has not ruled out diving into the transfer market again before the close of the August window, having bought only £5m Swiss right-back Valon Behrami from Lazio and reserve goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer - and seeing Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg being paid to tear up his contract.
He said: "Like everybody else we are trying to see if we can sign people but the hardest thing at the moment is to get somebody to say yes.
"I'm hopeful one or two of the injured will be back in contention for Sunday's game at Manchester City and so we'll see, but we've got two weeks left before the window shuts and it will probably go right to the end for us."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea players allowed 20 minutes to celebrate, says Jose Mourinho after Capital One Cup victory
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Liverpool vs Manchester City match report: Stunners from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson sink Manuel Pellegrini's side
Arsenal 2 Everton 0 player ratings: Who scored highest at the Emirates?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut