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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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West Ham aiming to snatch Gudjohnsen on loan

West Ham have made a bid to sign Eidur Gudjohnsen from under the noses of Blackburn, with the Hammers hopeful of prising the Icelandic forward from the grasp of Sam Allardyce.

• Hammers make Benjani bid

Blackburn confirmed yesterday that the Hammers have bid for striker Benni McCarthy but, with deal still in the balance, West Ham have approached Gudjohnsen, who has already made contact with Rovers to replace their want-away South African striker.

Sam Allardyce spoke to Monaco at the start of the week to ask about Icelandic forward Gudjohnsen, who was under his wing at Bolton a decade ago, and West Ham have followed suit, preparing to bid if they fail to sign McCarthy.

The Hammers have bid £2 million for McCarthy and await a deal with Blackburn, who are thought to be seeking more money for the AWOL South Africa striker, while a €1.25 million offer has been made to take Gudjohnsen on loan, according to the Hammers' new joint owner David Sullivan.

"I can confirm we have bid for McCarthy and I can also confirm we have been in contact with Monaco regarding a loan for Gudjohnsen," Sullivan told Soccernet.

"Everybody tells me not to go for Gudjohnsen as he missed pre-season, but our manager, Franco Zola, rates him highly, and clearly so does Big Sam as it appears they have gone for him as well."

It is reported that Gudjohnsen underwent a medical with West Ham on Tuesday night as the Hammers drew 1-1 with Portsmouth in the Premier League.

Sullivan conceded that they are anxious to land a big-name striker before the transfer deadline expires.

"We are not experiencing normal circumstances," he said. "We have just taken over the club, time is running out on the January transfer window - we really only have five days to go - and we need a striker. We need to stay up, that is imperative, so we will do our best.

"In the long term, we will build up the team with young players but, if you recall, Harry Redknapp needed strikers and went for Hartson and Kitson, and we are looking at the very short term - staying up."

Gudjohnsen is though to be seeking a return to the Premier League, where he starred for Chelsea, after failing to settle in France following his move from Barcelona.

The striker is on £80,000-a-week at Monaco and Rovers want to pay half of his wages for the rest of the season, while the Hammers are aiming to make a more tempting offer to Monaco.

  • Hammers make Benjani bid

    Benjani is another player linked with West Ham, but while Manchester City may have been prepared to sell their reserve centre-forward a month ago, he appears to have worked his way into Roberto Mancini's plans and they are now reluctant to let him go.

    West Ham have made a bid but Robinho's impending departure could make a move even more unlikely.

    A source close to Benjani told Soccernet: "Benjani has only six months left to run on his contract, so it would make sense to sell him now.

    "West Ham urgently need a striker, and Benjani wants to go to West Ham. But City are thinking about it, and don't seem too keen to sell all of a sudden.

    "The problem is that City are talking now about releasing Robinho on loan and need players as cover. Benjani was no where near the squad only a month ago, but suddenly Roberto Mancini has been using him regularly."

    With Eidur Gudjohnsen and Benni McCarthy also in the picture, ESPNsoccernet understands that only two of the three will be signed.

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