Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Hammers close in on Sidwell

Steve Sidwell

West Ham are closing in on the signing of Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell, Press Association Sport understands.

The Hammers are desperate to add to their ranks as they look to climb off the foot of the Barclays Premier League table.

Sidwell, who has made just three starts for Villa this season due to an Achilles injury, is understood to be in negotiations with the Hammers over a move to the capital, although reports that the former Chelsea man has undergone a medical at the club are thought to be wide of the mark.

The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and is thought to be keen on a move to his home city, having grown up in Wandsworth which is around 10 miles away from Upton Park.

Sidwell would give the Hammers more options in midfield where the team have struggled after losing Mark Noble and Thomas Hitzlsperger to injury.

The move would reunite Sidwell with Hammers boss Avram Grant, who managed the midfielder during an ill-fated stint at Stamford Bridge which saw him make 10 starts in a year-long spell following a move from Reading, where he played a key part in the Royals promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

Grant is under pressure having seen his side pick up just two wins so far this campaign to leave the East London outfit rooted to the foot of the table as the season reaches the halfway stage.

The Israeli recently said that he was looking to add up to three new players to his squad during the transfer window and has also been linked with a move for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton.

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