Zola eyes up top notch talent
West Ham United’s determination to strengthen their attack by signing Bayern Munich’s Luca Toni and Eidur Gudjohnsen of Barcelona increased as Luis Boa Morte suffered cruciate damage which could rule him out until the new year.
Boa Morte sustained the injury to his right knee during West Ham’s 1-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League Asia Cup in Beijing yesterday. The club’s chief executive, Scott Duxbury, and technical director, Gianluca Nani, had already decided to remain in Europe to pursue Toni and Gudjohnsen.
Boa Morte’s fate leaves West Ham with only two senior forwards in Carlton Cole and the injured Dean Ashton, whose future is still unclear. Despite reports linking Stoke City with the 25-year-old there has been no official approach for the striker – who has a long-term ankle injury. The wearing of his No9 shirt by Junior Stanislas in China was because competition rules state all players must be numbered from 1 to 23, rather than a definitive sign of Ashton’s imminent departure.
Duxbury and Nani decided to travel to two destinations in Europe rather than to Beijing, suggesting negotiations for Gudjohnsen or Toni or both may have reached an advanced stage. Gianfranco Zola is keen to sign an experienced striker with international pedigree as he seeks to improve on last season’s ninth-place finish.
The Source(The Guardian)
Plaudits for Duxbury and Zola for making in roads to capture either of these top performers but is there really a chance they could sign them? Well anyone doubting their chances would do well to recall the club’s double capture of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, the danger of course is that the Bayern Munich and Barcelona stars use the east London club as a stepping stone in much the same way the two Argentines did, but they would lose little in trying hard to seal either deal.
Gianfranco has done wonders in the relatively little time he has been at Upton Park and he could well be the best man to push the side as far as they can go and don’t underestimate the draw the former Chelsea man represents when it comes to persuading big names to join.
Toni/Gudjohnsen to West Ham: They may have a decent shot at get the Icelandic international but will struggle to persuade Luca to leave the Bundesliga just yet.