Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce: Reid likely to leave

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes defender Winston Reid has probably already agreed to play somewhere else next season.

The 26-year-old New Zealand international is out of contract with the Irons in the summer, and has so far failed to agree new terms at Upton Park.

Allardyce, who takes his side to Everton in the third round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, now feels the player has decided to further his career elsewhere, with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United having been touted as possible destinations.

"(With) what other managers are telling me it doesn't bode well. Who knows? Only Winston and his agent can decide at the end," said Allardyce.

"But from what other people are telling me, what is going on in the world of football makes it difficult to think he is going to stay here."

Allardyce claims West Ham have put "a million offers" to Reid over the past year, but there has been no progress.

As a free agent in the summer, the defender can, under FIFA transfer regulations, now talk to other sides - but as Allardyce was quick to stress "only foreign clubs".

The West Ham manager continued: "But can we prove it?

"We have had them (regulations) for a long, long time. If you can prove that they (clubs) have broken the rules, then they are in serious trouble aren't they? But you can't prove it these days. You hear rumours, this, that and the other.

"It might have nothing to do with the two clubs directly, it could be between two agents, so how can you relate that (back) to the football clubs? You can't, so it can all get done that way."

Allardyce added: "If he is not going to sign a contract (here), I (would) find it highly unlikely if it is not already verbally done.

"You have to accept the way it is and contrary to whether it breaks the rules or it doesn't, it happens.

"You are not going to prove it anyway. It is just one of the ways the football world works."

Allardyce believes while Reid may well "think he can do better" than West Ham, there is no reason to freeze the defender out of the team.

"Why cut your nose off to spite your face? It doesn't look like he is playing with his mind somewhere else to me, with the position we are in at the moment," Allardyce said, who stressed there was no real need for the club to look to "cash in" on Reid during this month.

The Irons boss continued: "What is it £1.8million a place (in the Premier League table)? So you might not be losing that (transfer fee) money actually and you have to balance it out.

"It is not just the fact if somebody offers a certain amount of money you should grasp it because you are going to lose them for nothing in the summer and anyway whatever money we get won't be enough to replace him in January."

Allardyce is not expecting a busy transfer window, but hopes his squad will be able to get through what is set to be a testing spell with players away at the African Nations Cup.

West Ham are continuing to assess the extent of the back injury suffered by forward Diafra Sakho against West Brom, which could prevent him from being able to join up with Senegal.

"Our major concern is making sure he is fit whenever he is fit," Allardyce said.

"If they (Senegal) want to come over here and assess him they can do, but you can't really want him to fly all the way out there,"

"If he has to go Senegal afterwards, then so be it, but it is not as if he is a major player for Senegal. He has only played 15 minutes."

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