Money talks for Hammers squad

West Ham boss Avram Grant says the owners will do everything they can to bring in new players in January, starting with Steve Sidwell from Aston Villa.

WEST HAM are on the verge of signing Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell and manager Avram Grant insists there are more to come.

With four points from two games over Christmas, Grant’s job seems more secure at Upton Park and he confirmed that the club owners are working hard on strengthening their squad during the January transfer window.

“I can tell you something about the owners,” said the manager after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Everton.

“They bought the club with over �100million in debt. It is not small money, but they are trying to do everything they can to stabilise the situation.


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“But they also know that we need to make the team stronger. For example against Everton we were without even one midfield player on the bench.

“So they know we have a lot of long-term injuries and we need to be stronger as we are facing a lot of games now and I think this squad needs to be bigger and stronger.”

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Grant confirmed that Sidwell, 28, is set to complete his move to Upton Park as soon as the window opens, but he is also looking to add a new left back to the squad with Manchester City reserve Wayne Bridge top of their shopping list.

Mentions have also been made of Luke Young at Aston Villa, but he is more of a right back and he will only come into the equation if Lars Jacobsen’s troublesome heel injury becomes a long-term problem.

With imminent arrivals, there is still speculation about the potential departures of star players, but Grant was keen to pour cold water on that possibility.

“Look, come January there will be January stories,” said Grant with a hint of irritation. “There were others at the start of the season and I think we will hear a lot more stories in the next weeks.

“But not even one of them is true.

“Unless somebody comes in and offers �25million for Freddie Piquionne then we will think about it. I’m not sure they will do it, but we will think about it.”

Valon Behrami’s agent has been talking in the press about a potential move to Roma in January, something that West Ham will allow to happen if the price is right.

The Swiss midfielder is likely to be back in contention for Saturday’s clash with Wolves, with Tal Ben Haim and Danny Gabbidon likely to return after being rested against Everton.

Mark Noble has started light training and is a couple of weeks away, so too is Kieron Dyer, while Jack Collison and Thomas Hitzlsperger should be back in February.

Saturday’s game looks like a must win for West Ham, so does Grant consider it his most important?

“I don’t think like that,” he said. “All the games are big games.

“I don’t think there are any weak teams in this league.

“We play against Wolves and I think we owe them something because we scored a goal against them which was disallowed,” he concluded.

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