Chelsea's Frank signs for Hammers
WEST HAM have signed teenage Chelsea striker Frank Nouble from under the noses of both Arsenal and Manchester United, WRITES DAVE EVANS. The 17-year-old centre forward was offered his first pro contract by the Blues this summer, but with the high level of
WEST HAM have signed teenage Chelsea striker Frank Nouble from under the noses of both Arsenal and Manchester United, WRITES DAVE EVANS.
The 17-year-old centre forward was offered his first pro contract by the Blues this summer, but with the high level of competition at Stamford Bridge, the highly-prized player has decided to move across London for a chance of first team football.
The six feet four inches tall goal-getter made 20 appearances for the Chelsea youth team last season, top-scoring with 12 goals, while 10 matches for the reserves yielded two more strikes for the England under-17 international.
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola was pleased to land his latest capture.
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"We are delighted to have Frank here. Everyone has spoken about how he is a talented boy," he said.
"He is young, enthusiastic and the type of player we like.
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"So we welcome him here, will try and improve him further and hopefully he will help make us better too. He is young, but that is part of our plan."
Nouble, who began as a Millwall schoolboy, can play in a similar role to Carlton Cole, operating as a lone striker, or as part of a two, with the ability to hold the ball up well.
Obviously he is one for the future, but with Terry Dixon a long way from full fitness and Dean Ashton still rumoured to be on the way out of Upton Park, he may well be given his chance and could even make his debut in Friday's friendly at Thurrock.
The Hammers have also been linked with 19-year-old Swiss left back Fabio Deprela.
The youngster, who plays for Grasshoppers of Zurich, would be back up for established full back Herita Ilunga.
West Ham's battle to sign Inter Milan winger Mancini has continued for yet another week.
The Brazilian had been away on honeymoon and is now in the United States with his club, so it has been difficult to track the player down.
The deal has been agreed with Inter, but Mancini has yet to agree personal terms, and also has other offers to consider in Italy, France and Spain.
The longer negotiations drag on, the less likely he looks like coming, though West Ham should hear one way or the other by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Eidur Gudjohnsen's wage demands are still the main stumbling block over the signing of the Icelandic international striker.
The 30-year-old former Chelsea man is keen to return to the Premier League, and a fee said to be considerably less than the �5million quoted has been tentatively agreed between the two clubs.
But it seems that Gudjohnsen's salary is way beyond what West Ham would consider and if a deal is not forthcoming when Barcelona are in London this week for the Wembley Cup, then the Hammers may well turn their attention to Andy Carroll.
The 20-year-old Newcastle striker, who scored against West Ham last season at St James' Park, is keen to return to the Premier League.
With Julien Faubert set for a move to Germany, they will also need a right back to compete with Jonathan Spector and Jordan Spence.
West Ham return from Austria on Friday, but it will be a fleeting visit to this country. They fly out on Sunday to Beijing for the Asia Cup, where they will take on Spurs on Wednesday, and either Hull City or Beijing Guoan the following Saturday.