Taylor in talks with West Ham
PUBLISHED: 18:00 21 July 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Midfielder set to become Sam Allardyce’s third summer signing
West Ham are in talks with Bolton Wanderers’ versatile midfielder Matt Taylor over a prospective move to Upton Park.
Taylor, who can play anywhere along the left-hand side has flown back from Bolton’s USA tour to discuss joining the Hammers’ chase for promotion, in a deal thought to be around the £2 million mark.
The 29-year-old was in and out of Owen Coyle’s side last season after battling with Bulgarian Martin Petrov for a starting place on the left-hand side of midfield, and is keen on a move down south, where he still owns a farm in Oxfordshire.
It is thought that the midfielder is seen as a replacement for Thomas Hitzlsperger, who left West Ham at the end of last season following the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship.
Taylor began his career at Luton Town as a trainee before making a £400,000 move to Portsmouth in 2002, where he made over 200 appearances and scored 29 goals.
In January 2008, Taylor made the switch up north to Bolton, for a fee of £3.5 million. The midfielder has gone on to make 139 appearances for the Trotters, scoring 23 goals in the process, including a thunderous free-kick that sailed past the helpless Rob Green at the Reebok in 2009.
If West Ham’s bid is successful, Taylor would become the third player with a Bolton connection to join the Hammers since Sam Allardyce took over as manager, following the summer arrivals of Kevin Nolan and Abdoulaye Faye.
A fourth player that could potentially join that list is midfielder Joey O’Brien, who is currently on trial with the Hammers.
Allardyce also attempted to sign three other players he had previously managed at Bolton in the form of Jlloyd Samuel, Ricardo Gardner and Eidur Gudjohnsen.
However, the West Ham manager pulled the plug on a move for Gudjohnsen after questioning the striker’s desire to play for the club, after he stalled on signing a contract within a specific deadline.
With Gudjohnsen failing to put pen to paper, Allardyce remains in the hunt for a striker who can help fire the Hammers out of the Championship at the first attempt.
One player whose chances of joining West Ham seem to be fading is Leeds winger Max Gradel.
The Ivory Coast international was the subject of a £2.5 million bid from the Hammers, which was rejected by Leeds. The winger is now thought to be keen on a move to French side Lille, who play in the Champions League.