Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hammers Set to Make Jack an Offer He Can't Refuse; London Outfit Poised to Swoop with Lucrative Deal for Black Cats Product

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hammers Set to Make Jack an Offer He Can't Refuse; London Outfit Poised to Swoop with Lucrative Deal for Black Cats Product

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer james.hunter@ncjmedia.co.uk

WEST Ham are ready to offer Sunderland's Jack Colback PS50,000-per-week to win the race for the out-of-contract mid-fielder.

Academy product Colback can leave Wearside for nothing this summer and has attracted interest from neighbours Newcastle United as well as the Hammers, although the Black Cats are fighting hard to keep him.

The Hammers have offered the 24-year-old a deal which would more than treble Colback's current wages, and it is unlikely either Sunderland or Newcastle would be willing to match those terms.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce's position was under threat at the end of last season, but the Hammers' board have given him their public backing and reportedly handed him a PS20m transfer budget.

Colback would be valued at between PS3m-4m on the open market and the prospect of signing him for no fee has convinced Allardyce to sanction the bumper salary.

Sunderland have been in off-and-on negotiations with Colback for almost a year, but have failed to meet the player's demands.

Last summer, then-director of football Roberto De Fanti offered him an increase described as 'derisory' by someone close to the deal.

When those terms were later improved, they still fell well short of what Colback's camp was looking for.

Negotiations were put on ice while Sunderland made sure of Premier League survival, the midfielder playing an integral role in the run that saw them reach safety.

While further talks have been held since, West Ham's offer is far and away the best on the table and will prove almost impossible for him to turn down.

The only slender hope for Sunderland is Colback, who was born on Tyneside, is unwilling to uproot his wife and two young children.

That seems unlikely, though, such is the money on offer at Upton Park.

Meanwhile, Watford have approached Sunderland over a move for out-offavour frontman Danny Graham. The Championship side are understood to have made a formal enquiry for the 28-yearold, who spent the best spell of his stuttering career with the Hornets. …

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