Speculation for an idle Sunday? According to rumours, both Arsenal and Manchester United are interested in signing West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker before the transfer window shuts on Friday.
The story doesn’t sound right because it would mean that Manchester United have given up on Hargreaves and that Arsenal, who have recently been linked with Mascherano, have given up on him as well.
Both clubs have other targets lined up to fill the midfield spot and with no links to Reo-Coker for the whole summer, any move would strike of desperation and lack of preparation – something you don’t expect from either Manchester United or Arsenal.
Arsenal need to add numbers and quality to their central midfield, and Reo-Coker would represent just the sort of young untapped talent that Wenger pursues. Plus the West Ham captain would also be a cheaper alternative to Mascherano, and his experience in the Premiership would count for him as well.
Wenger has said that he has the funds necessary to buy, and from the long delay Arsenal have made in signing players it seems like they are after one or two key targets and will be able to sign someone significant right at the death of the transfer season. Still, the delay in Cole’s sale to Chelsea is holding up funds that could allow Arsenal to bring in even more players and strengthen the squad further.
Could Reo-Coker be a short-term, low-priced solution? Doesn’t sound like Wenger or Arsenal.
Manchester United’s Interest
Manchester United’s midfield problems are well documented, and were made glaringly obvious in the Watford vs Manchester United match where Fletcher’s anonymous performance in midfield meant that Ferguson can only rely on Carrick, Scholes, O’Shea and Giggs in that position. The fact that Giggs is better suited to the left-wing (where he has been in excellent form this season) and that O’Shea will be needed in defence this year means that United are woefully short of a defensive midfielder, hence Ferguson’s pursuit of Hargreaves.
Manchester United are also monitoring Kristofer Haestad, although keeping in tune with Ferguson’s purchase of Carrick it would seem that Man Utd are more interested in signing players who have experience in English conditions and Reo-Coker would fit the bill.
Then again, Kevin Nolan can play in that position as well (and is more experienced) so he could be an option as well.
West Ham’s position
Reo-Coker was key figure in West Ham’s return to the Premiership and run to last season’s FA Cup Final, and it doubtful that West Ham would allow their captain to leave. However, rumours are that Reo-Coker has a clause in his contract at Upton Park stipulating that he can leave if any of the clubs finishing in the top three places in the Premiership the previous season come in for him.
That would open the door to an approach from Manchester United (but not Arsenal).
So, what do you think? Will West Ham sell their captain? And will Manchester United and Arsenal drop their foreign pursuits and go after Reo-Coker?