Brum deal?

FORMER Birmingham City supremo David Sullivan has ruled out an immediate move for control of West Ham United, writes DAVE EVANS. But the multi-millionaire insisted that he would be considering a return to football in the next few months and that could be

FORMER Birmingham City supremo David Sullivan has ruled out an immediate move for control of West Ham United, writes DAVE EVANS.

But the multi-millionaire insisted that he would be considering a return to football in the next few months and that could be good news for Hammers' fans.

With the sale of the Blues to Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung set to be completed in the next few days, it leaves West Ham-supporting Sullivan with money to invest in a new project.

But he confirmed this week that an approach is far from imminent.


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"I will look at what's available in the next three to six months and if something appeals to me on an emotional point of view or a financial point of view - ideally both - I would immediately step in and buy a percentage or controlling interest."

West Ham have had interest from two different consortiums over the last month, but it is understood that Sullivan was not one of them.

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The Icelandic owners have stressed that they are prepared to wait for two or three years until the economic climate improves substantially before selling one of their few assets, but with the club languishing near the bottom of the Premier League, the chance to grab some cash for the Hammers may be too tempting to turn down.

Sullivan already has a small stake in West Ham, but he feels his connection with the club at this moment is merely a matter of geography.

"I just think I'm being linked because they are down the road from me and they are obviously owned by a bank that's insolvent.

"But I have had no discussions whatsoever with West Ham and I have had no discussions with any other club at this stage."

The East Ender lives close by in Theydon Bois and has a personal wealth of around �600million.

His partner at Birmingham - David Gold - also has West Ham connections.

The Stepney-born businessman, who played schoolboy football for the Hammers is worth in the region of �450million, and if he was to team up with Sullivan once again at Upton Park, it would certainly be an exciting prospect for West Ham fans.

With the club in debt and being run by a holding company, they are unlikely to want to match the asking price though, and that may be a stumbling block when, and if, they decide to make a move.

n MEANWHILE, forgotten man Terry Dixon has made his first appearance in claret and blue in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

The 19-year-old, who was released by Spurs after suffering a career-threatening knee injury, was playing for the first time in two years.

The striker, who bears a resemblance to Wayne Rooney in appearance, played up front for 45 minutes in a friendly at Ipswich on Tuesday afternoon, alongside a team of youth players.

He seems to have come through the game without any reaction and will continue his rehabilitation, but he could provide a welcome boost to Gianfranco Zola's attacking options.

Dixon has twice been included in Republic of Ireland senior squads before suffering his injury.

Mexican striker Guillermo Franco, who has also yet to feature for the Hammers, is expected to travel to his homeland this week.

Franco is still not match fit and may well return from South America later in the week once he has seen their official doctor.

But with Mexico close to qualification for the World Cup, they may want their top scorer at least on the bench for their remaining two games.

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