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Keane: Utd won't win Prem

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Benni McCarthy move held up by permit issue

Soccernet understands West Ham's move for Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy has stalled due to a work permit complication.

• Sullivan confirms Ruud bid
• Quashie leaves Upton Park

The South Africa striker will need to re-apply for a work permit if he joins the Hammers and that might delay a move from Blackburn beyond the end of the present transfer window.

New owners David Sullivan and David Gold were frustrated by the long process of acquiring the club which means they are tight for time in signing up at least one striker, possibly two, before the window closes at the end of the month.

An insider told Soccernet: "The work permit problem could be overcome as the player has a Spanish wife, and could soon obtain a Spanish passport, but that too will take time.

"West Ham are working on all the complicated issues, and one way out might be to take the player on loan subject to a permanent deal, [but] then he would not be able to play against Blackburn, which would not be a good idea."

West Ham are tracking Ruud van Nistlerooy as well as McCarthy in a sign of their intent to snap up a quality striker - something manager Gianfranco Zola believes is the key to avoiding relegation.

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