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Latest Rumours: Reading, Tottenham, West Ham, Liverpoool, Portsmouth, Crystal Palace

Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou provides guest coverage of the Premier League’s daily rumours. 

Reading will offer Nicky Shorey a ‘Royal’ salary and make him the club’s best-paid player of all time in order to stop him joining West Ham in the next transfer window (Daily Mirror). However, there are many reports that claim nothing will stop the full-back from joining the east London club (various).

Ironically, the 26-year-old England international was spectacularly off-form when the Hammers annihilated Steve Coppell’s side at the weekend.

Alan Curbishley’s £4m bid for Shorey prior to the window closing was deemed derisory by Reading and would, I imagine, need to be doubled before Coppell gave up and let the want-away defender leave.

Another player on his way out may be Wayne Routledge, who is set to be off-loaded by Tottenham (Daily Mirror). According to this source, Routledge’s White Hart Lane days are numbered after just three starts since arriving two years ago.

The former Crystal Palace winger has been something of an enigma since arriving at White Hart Lane, I don’t think he has really been given a chance to shine and he will always find himself behind someone in the queue. Still only 22, he may look for pastures new. I don’t think he will fall below the Premier League radar and come January could find himself doing a good job at a smaller club where he would at least be given a fair crack of the whip. Harry Redknapp is a fan so maybe Portsmouth will bring him to Fratton Park to revive his stuttering career.

The Times reports that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is not planning to name a replacement for former assistant manager Pako Ayesteran. Having appointed Paco de Miguel as a fitness coach and Angel Vales as head of technical analysis this summer, Benitez reportedly believes he has the staff to compensate for the loss.

However, these appointments are said to have undermined Pako, who felt he had no choice but to leave. It’s a shame that Rafa and his assistant have fallen out, having worked for a number of years at Tenerife, Valencia and Anfield. Whilst it is a big deal to lose such a key member of the backroom staff, I do not imagine this will have a long-term effect on the success of the current Premier League leaders.

Staying at Liverpool (unlike Ayesteran), Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp will try again for striker Peter Crouch in January (various). The Pompey chief is banking on the giant striker becoming increasingly unsettled in the coming months as he struggles to find a place in Benitez’s first-team plans.

Meanwhile, Rafa has beaten Real Madrid to sign one of Europe’s top prospects. Real’s former youth and B team coach has landed central defender Aridine Hernandez, 18 (Daily Mirror). He’s clearly attempting to adopt a similar approach to squad building as Arsene Wenger, persuading the cream of young talent from Europe to begin their education in England.