Matthew Upson will be sold next month if West Ham United receive an appropriate bid for the centre-half, as the 31-year-old has six months remaining on his deal.
Upson is one of six players who will be out of contract next summer and West Ham will also allow the midfielder Kieron Dyer, the right-back Lars Jacobsen and the defenders Jonathan Spector and Danny Gabbidon to leave at the right price.
Upson's departure would be the most significant blow. There is no desire at Upton Park to sell the England international, who is the captain and an integral member of Avram Grant's team. Yet his contract situation and the side's precarious league position mean club and player will await developments next month.
West Ham are bottom of the Premier League, three points from safety, having won only twice all season. Despite a strong belief among the directors that Grant will avoid relegation, the team's position makes the offer of a fresh long-term deal, and its acceptance by Upson, difficult.
Upson may interest Liverpool, with whom he has been linked, due to the long‑term injury to Jamie Carragher, and any funds generated from sales would be used by Grant to strengthen his squad. Carlton Cole may also be sold as the manager has stated that the forward can depart next month, and Valon Behrami, signed from Lazio in 2008, would like to return to Italy.
Grant would like to add a striker, a midfielder and a left-back. Steve Sidwell, the Aston Villa midfielder, was today undergoing a medical at West Ham. There is also an interest in Joey Barton but the Newcastle United midfielder and his manager, Alan Pardew, today ruled out a sale.
Pardew said: "We don't want to do any business. Part of my first week or so here has been spent trying to analyse what is the situation with the players we have and to try to secure their positions before we start looking elsewhere. That's been my main focus, rather than looking at other players who could raise the level."
Barton told the BBC: "I was actually laughing about it this morning, saying that I thought £1.5m [reported price] was a little bit cheap. People write what they write, it is silly season. I have always gone on record about the affinity I have got with the fans at this football club, and the football club and my fellow players. I have been on record as saying I want to stay here for the rest of my career. Nothing has happened and no one has told me otherwise, and as far as I'm concerned, that's what's going to happen."
West Ham are expected to sign Jamie O'Hara on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. O'Hara, recently recovered from a back injury and back in light training, spent last season on loan at Avram Grant's Portsmouth.
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