Hammers are Ice breakers!
THE LONG-RUNNING saga to land Icelandic international striker Eidur Gudjohnsen is set to end this week, when he finally signs for West Ham United, writes DAVE EVANS. The 30-year-old was in London at the weekend with Barcelona for the Wembley Cup competiti
THE LONG-RUNNING saga to land Icelandic international striker Eidur Gudjohnsen is set to end this week, when he finally signs for West Ham United, writes DAVE EVANS.
The 30-year-old was in London at the weekend with Barcelona for the Wembley Cup competition, and it seems that Hammers negotiators Gianluca Nani and CEO Scott Duxbury finally persuaded the former Chelsea man to return to the Capital.
A deal is expected to be concluded by the end of the week and Gudjohnsen's arrival will at last add to Gianfranco Zola's attacking options, as he continues to be frustrated by the uncertainty over Mancini's move to Upton Park.
With just two-and-a-half weeks to go until the beginning of the new campaign, and four weeks to the end of the transfer window, time is running out for Inter Milan's Brazilian winger to be integrated into the West Ham squad.
The more experienced Gud-johnsen should have few problems however. He has worked with both Zola and assistant boss Steve Clarke before at Stamford Bridge, and is likely to adapt to West Ham's style of play quickly.
One player linked that does not seem likely to come though is Italian forward Luca Toni.
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The 32-year-old Bayern Munich marksman is said to have fallen out with coach Louis van Gaal, and an Italian newspaper linked him with a move to Upton Park this week.
It would certainly be quite a coup for the club, and there is a connection, as Nani brought him to Brescia during his time with the Serie B side.
Toni has made 47 appearances for the Italian national side, including the World Cup winning team in 2006, while during his time at Bayern, he has netted 38 goals in just 56 games.
However, the big stumbling block with such a world class player is undoubtedly his huge wage demands, and with the Hammers currently attempting to reduce their salary commitments, the introduction of a 32-year-old player may not be the wisest move they could make.
Meanwhile, West Ham face competition from Italian side Fiorentina for the signing of Swiss left back Fabio Daprela.
The 18-year-old has just returned from the European under-19 Championships in Ukraine, where his team were pipped to a semi-final place by the hosts and England.
Talks will now begin again with the youngster over a move to London as back-up to Herita Ilunga.
Another full back who West Ham seem to have missed out on is Sedan defender Paul Baysse, who is set to sign for Sunderland.
The 21-year-old said: "The wages on offer at Sunderland are 20 per cent bigger than the ones offered by West Ham and Blackburn."
n West Ham face Spurs in the Asia Cup today (11am) with Matty Upson set to take the captain's armband, while Scott Parker is expected to sit the game out.