West Ham Issue Ultimatum to In-Demand Midfielder - Report
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | January 20, 2013 7:39 PM EST
West Ham United have given midfielder Mohamed Diame an ultimatum. Goal.com believes West Ham will wait until 24 January for Diame to respond to their £50,000 per week contract offer before planning for his transfer and replacement.
The 25-year-old Senegal international is being courted by north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and the Hammers are desperate to get their player to sign an improved contract at Upton Park. Diame is believed to have a £3.5m release clause in his contract with Sam Allardyce's side and the new contract is expected to raise that figure to £9m.
Allardyce has already admitted talks with Diame over the new contract have not progressed satisfactorily but has also stated that despite the rumours, the Gunners have yet to table a formal offer for his player.
The Senegal midfielder has been in impressive form this season. He was reportedly scouted by the Gunners during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers and also during the replay of an FA Cup third round match against Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger is believed to want Diame as a long overdue replacement for Cameroon midfielder Alex Song. The 25-year-old Song was a vital part of the Gunners' midfield last season but left for Catalan giants Barcelona in the summer. The club does have French international Abou Diaby in that position but the 26-year-old is famously injury-prone and it would appear Wenger has finally realised the need for depth in that position.
Spurs and Diame
Meanwhile, Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham are also believed to be interested in Diame, given the injury to Brazil midfielder Sandro. However, the Daily Mail believes Spurs are more likely to target French midfielder Yann M'Vila to fill in for Sandro.
The £8m-rated M'Vila, who now plays for Ligue 1 side Rennes, is also attracting interest from Premier League strugglers QPR and David Moyes' Everton, as well as Russian side Rubin Kazan. However, it is understood that M'Vila prefers to play in England. The 22-year-old French international was strongly linked with Arsenal in the summer but no offer was made from the Emirates.
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