West Ham promise transfers to help reprieved Grant beat drop

Paris St-Germain's veteran striker Luyindula a target as struggling club backs manager '100 per cent'

West Ham's disastrous search for a new manager ended yesterday with the club issuing a public show of support for Avram Grant – for the time being – after Martin O'Neill and Sam Allardyce both signalled they were not interested in taking over the Premier League's bottom-placed club.

After four days in which Grant had seemed fatally undermined, especially when he appeared to be a lame duck during his side's defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, the club issued a brief statement in support of their manager. "The club are committed to retaining Avram Grant as manager and have identified potential transfer targets to give us the best possible chance of retaining Premier League status."

In the meantime, the club's owners also raised their efforts to offload Benni McCarthy, the club's most embarrassing signing of the last 12 months, to Queen's Park Rangers. The South African, who unaccountably was given a two-and-a-half-year contract last January and is yet to score a goal for West Ham, played yesterday for QPR reserves against their Spurs counterparts at Tottenham's Chigwell training ground.

The club also said that they intended to take legal action over allegations vice-chairman Karren Brady had tried to encourage players to undermine Grant. Brady has in the past made no secret of the fact that it was not her choice to appoint Grant but neither she nor the club's co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have been able to find a viable alternative.

As the club now contemplate fighting for their survival in the Premier League, they are expected to make efforts to bring players in before the end of the month. The deal for Steven Sidwell was abandoned when it looked like O'Neill was to replace Grant, and the midfielder has since joined Fulham, but West Ham are again in the market for players.

Among those being looked at is the Paris St-Germain striker Peguy Luyindula, who is available but comes with the dubious record of having failed to score for his club in 18 league games this season. Luyindula, 31, said that he was amenable to a move. "They [West Ham] should discuss it with PSG. I could shoot my mouth off and create a showdown, but this is not my state of mind."

The club are hopeful that McCarthy will join Championship leaders QPR on loan to the end of the season, which will ease some of the burden on their wage bill. The reports of McCarthy's performance yesterday was that the 33-year-old looked trimmer than he has done in some time.

It fell to Sullivan to claim that Grant had the board's backing and that it was not simply a case of there being no viable alternative. Sullivan said: "The entire board is 100 per cent behind Avram. He is a really decent person who deserves our support.

"West Ham United is a club that does the right thing and the right thing at this time is to support the manager. We will do all we can to bring in players over the next 12 days and, once we have achieved that, we hope it will keep us up. I urge all supporters to rally behind the club at this difficult time."

Having been offered a short-term deal until the end of the season, O'Neill began having reservations about taking the West Ham job on Saturday when it became public knowledge that he was on the brink of succeeding Grant. Since then he has backed away from the offer. As for Allardyce, he regarded it as a non-starter and will wait until the summer to assess his options.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones