West Ham United co-owner David Gold has confirmed the club have targeted 15 new players for the January transfer window, but admitted actually signing three would be seen as a success.
Gold and his partner, David Sullivan, are ready to back their manager Avram Grant, even though West Ham have debts of more than £100m, after seeing him pick up two draws and a victory in the last three games.
Gold said yesterday: "We've got 15 irons in the fire. We're just concentrating on incomings, and if you get three you've done good. There's a lot of secret stuff going on. We're trying to outwit our competitors."
Gold said the deal to sign the Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell still had some way to go. "We're waiting for a number of issues to be resolved. That's not a done deal," he said. "We know we're after a player who is the same type of player one of our competitors is looking for, and we want to keep that as quiet as we can and complete the deal."
He insisted the club would not consider selling players such as Scott Parker and Carlton Cole. "This club is fighting for its life. It's got to change what it's been doing. For 30 years it's been selling its best players. That's got to stop," Gold said.
West Ham host fellow Premier League strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. "We have to beat Wolves, and it will be a big six-pointer," Gold said.