Hammers line-up Clapham
Left-sided Ipswich Town man Jamie Clapham could be on his way to Premiership rivals West Ham in a deal approaching £2 million.Town boss George Burley confirmed today that the Hammers boss Glenn Roeder had made an enquiry, but he indicated that so far there has been no bid.
By Mel Henderson
Left-sided Ipswich Town man Jamie Clapham could be on his way to Premiership rivals West Ham in a deal approaching £2 million.
Town boss George Burley confirmed today that the Hammers boss Glenn Roeder had made an enquiry, but he indicated that so far there has been no bid.
However, negotiations are believed to be on-going and the likelihood of something happening may have been increased by yesterday's signing of French left-winger Ulrich Le Pen.
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A London source said today: "West Ham are certainly keen on Clapham and something may happen soon.
"Ipswich are asking for a £2 million fee, but the Hammers may be after paying a bit less than that. However, there is no doubt that they are very interested."
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Clapham said today: "I don't really want to say too much. We're having a day off and I'm doing a bit of decorating at home.
"If the manager pulls me over at training tomorrow and tells me something then we'll have to look at it."
Despite Clapham's comment the Hammers' interest in him is very much there and it remains to be seen whether the man who wears the Blues' number three shirt will be leaving.
The former player of the year was signed from Tottenham for £300,000 in January 1998 after a period at Portman Road on loan.
Earlier this season there was speculation linking him with Middlesbrough.
Just before Christmas last season he was being talked about as a possible candidate for the England left-back position, but he was in and out of the side for the rest of the campaign and it has been a similar case for much of this term.
Clapham, who has made 189 appearances for Ipswich, has played from the start in the last five Town games, including the 3-2 defeat against the Hammers at Portman Road at the end of October.
West Ham coach Paul Goddard is someone who knows Clapham particularly well. He left the youth team job with Ipswich in the summer to become Roeder's number two at Upton Park.
Clapham, a key member of Town's Wembley play-off winning team that beat Barnsley to reach the Premiership, has been having an unsettling time at the club.
Not long ago he was stressing his determination to get a regular place again, but the arrival of Le Pen may have changed that situation.
The Hammers are particularly keen to strengthen on the left side, with Roeder and his number two Goddard seeing Clapham as an ideal man.