Irons Join The Predators For Kipre

West Ham United are preparing to do what most other clubs do when there is a lower league club in crisis, hover around and pick off their best players at bargain basement prices. Such is the case with the Irons pursuit and interest in Wigan Athletic's centre back Cedric Kipre. Kipre moved from PSG to Leicester in 2014 before being released after three years and joining Motherwell, described as a natural footballer but a relatively late developer, Kipre found life very hard at Leicester as he was still developing physically from a skinny less than 6' 0" waif in to the 6'3" powerhouse that he is now.

Wigan are entering administration as per the club’s announcement just days ago, meaning their best players will be sold off for cheap this summer, and while the administrators are tasked with getting 'top dollar' for the best players available, they are NOT instructed to include brinkmanship in their negotiations with interested parties, consequently deals can go through a lot faster and with fewer complications.

Kipre is 23 years old and has already played over 70 times for Wigan since joining from Motherwell, although born in France he is eligible to play for the Ivory Coast and is still able to choose either country. It is believed his 'dual' entitlement is attractive to UK suitors because it means that he doesn't necessarily have to go off to play in the African Cup of Nations. West Ham are not alone in their interest, but it seems that David Moyes' propensity for buying young players and actually playing them is reaping great rewards when it comes to the club's recruitment, so there's a rare positive for the manager!

If Hammers can land Kipre for a bargain price it may sound alarm bells among fans fearing the potential departure of either Declan Rice, Issa Diop or both! However Fabian Bulbuena is probably the player who might be sold off as opposed to the other two centre backs, but it should also be remembered that Angelo Ogbonna, signed from Juventus five years ago and who is line to be voted this season's Hammer of the year, is not getting any younger at 32 years old and is approaching the stage where players start to pick up long term injuries.

Without Ogbonna the Hammers defence looks rickety to say the least, so it is entirely logical to seek a player to fill the ranks, that said Balbuena has done little wrong when playing at the back, and in an ideal world his services will be retained. The irony of the situation is that fans have great expectations at the beginning of each season, and if the club can survive the current relegation battle the first thing on the agenda will be to build a squad capable of competing across the board, and of course that means having strength in depth, an asset not seen at the club since 'H's 'down to the bare bones' philosophy.

Redknapp would regularly 'tweek' the owners at the time in order to ensure he had plenty of 'bodies' available, a policy that generally worked well. Moyes does have a unique opportunity to raise the bar while getting rid of a lot of the deadwood at the club, and if he is supported in his quest to acquire younger and hungrier players there is no reason that West Ham, United cannot emerge from the 'fug' that has hung over most of the club's transfer dealings of the past.

Admittedly the signing of Jordan Hugill did not exactly instill confidence in Moyes' ability to spot a bargain, but he has more than made up for that 'error of judgment by bringing in Jarred Bowen and Tomas Soucek, the latter on loan at the moment but the deal to make the transfer permanent will definitely happen so long as the club stays in the Barclays Premier League.

Two further wins and a draw will be enough to survive, although there is the prospect that the final game of the season could have an awful lot riding on it. One player who has not been available since project restart began is Robert Snodgrass who picked up a bad back injury but is likely to be available fort he last game, which is of course against Aston Villa, the club he spent a very successful spell with on loan from the Irons, the Villa fans loved him and had they got promoted that year instead of the next they would surely have signed the Scotsman. It would be typical of 'football heartbreak' if he were to be the one to put the 'final nail in the coffin' of a club he clearly still has a great affinity for! - Ed

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Bondsy's picture

I think as soon as Premiership survival is known (hopefully before the Villa game) West Ham will be in a position to buy two or three players they have been scouting but unable to pursue at the moment. Frustrating and still a possibility we could go down which has stopped all transfer activity. I wont get excited yet until we have 37 points!

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