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Serie A

QPR move for McCarthy

ESPNsoccernet understands Championship-leaders QPR have made a bid to take West Ham United striker Benni McCarthy on loan.

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• Latest January moves

QPR have offered to pay some of McCarthy's £50,000-a-week salary and would then be prepared to make a permanent move if they secure promotion to the Premier League.

West Ham are open to offers for McCarthy and even England striker Carlton Cole as they attempt to sign two new strikers.

The Hammers have bid for the £6 million rated Senegal international Demba Ba, who is also on Blackburn's wanted list. Ba has scored six goals so far this season in the Bundesliga, and Hoffenheim are keen to secure a cash deal for the striker.

But with the Hammers thought to have asked to take him on loan until the end of the season, Blackburn have emerged as favourites for his signature as they are willing to take him on permanent deal now.

The player's lawyer, Ran Ronen, confirmed that West Ham have made contact with Hoffenheim, but played down chances of a move going through.

"On Monday, nothing really new happened," Ronem told Spox. "Today he will fly to La Manga with Ernst Tanner [Hoffenheim general manager]. It does seem he could move and Demba would like to join a Premier League outfit, this is no secret.

"Joining West Ham? This is something I would put in doubt. I cannot say anything concrete, West Ham did come up with a bid, but at the moment Hoffenheim don't appear to be working on it."

The Hammers remain in the hunt for Tottenham forward Robbie Keane, but they face stiff competition from Newcastle United.

It now appears West Ham could back out of the deal to sign Steve Sidwell from Aston Villa. A transfer had been agreed and Sidwell underwent a medical at Upton Park but completion of the deal has been delayed.

With West Ham still £80 million in debt, they are weighing up all their options and, with Mark Noble returning from injury and the club determined to keep Scott Parker, their priorities are in attack and defence.

The deal has not yet foundered, but two other Premier League clubs - Wolves and West Brom - have expressed interest in Sidwell.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Avram Grant said: "I like Steve. I worked with him at Chelsea. He never let me down and he's a good person but January stories - part of them are true and part are not.

"I have nothing to say until the deals are done. We have followed many players like many clubs, we are following players to make us strong, but we will not bring in 15 players, not even five."

He did, however, confirm that he would be interested in David Beckham.

"There are other teams who want him," he said. "He's a big player and a big personality, but if David Beckham wants to come to West Ham he is welcome.

"I like him as a player and as a person, and he's a local lad. Many clubs want him but if he wants to come to West Ham I would be happy."


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