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West Ham set for some duty free buys as defender hunt continues

| 02.02.2015

It appears that West Ham are set to do a bit of shopping on the continent on Transfer Deadline Day, with owner David Sullivan in France to thrash out deals to bring extra bodies to the Boleyn.

The chairman’s son Jack has confirmed that his father has made the journey to the continent with signings in mind, but gave no indication as to who he is there to meet.

The Hammers have been linked with a number of players, currently plying their trade in France, and with the Daily Mail today stating that the Hammers will sign a centre back, with three first-choice defenders out injured, we speculate who could be coming back across the channel.

Nicolas N’Koulou

Linked with a move to Upton Park earlier in the season, the Cameroonian centre-back has been a focal point in helping Marseille challenge for the Ligue 1 title this season, so a big bid will be necessary.

But with the east Londoners resigned to losing Winston Reid at the end of the season, they will be keen to find a ready-made replacement and N’Koulou could be that man.

The Irons will have to move fast though, with Manchester United and Arsenal also reportedly interested.


A team-mate of N’Koulou, Doria has had less of an impact since joining Marseille – in fact, he’s had none.

It is believed Marcelo Bielsa, in charge at L’OM refuses to play the Brazilian in protest at the club president’s meddling in the club’s signings.

An under-21 international for the Selecao, the centre-back comes highly rated though, and could be available for less than the £7m the French club paid Botofogo for back in September.

Simon Kjaer

Things could be clearer as to West Ham’s potential business if only we knew which part of France Sullivan has flown to.

South of the country, and Marseille could be the destination, but if he’s stayed nearer the UK, a raid of Lille’s Danish centre back Simon Kjaer could be on the cards.

A top class centre-back in his prime and valued at €10m, Kjaer has already stated that his next move could be to the UK;

“I believe that the French Ligue 1 is a good stepping stone for anybody for a move to the Premier League”, he is quoted as saying.

For Hammers fans, they could be hoping that step comes in the form of a switch to Upton Park.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.