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West Ham assistant rules out move for ex-Bolton man Gardner

11:13 28 February 2013

Ricardo Gardner. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Ricardo Gardner. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Assistant manager Neil McDonald has poured cold water over rumours that West Ham could hand a short-term deal to Ricardo Gardner.

The 34-year-old played under the number two and Sam Allardyce at Bolton and has been training with the Hammers in recent weeks, but McDonald insists it is only to help the Jamaican build up his fitness as he looks for a new club.

Gardner has been a free agent since his contract at the Reebok Stadium expired last summer but McDonald says the Hammers have no spaces in their 25-man squad to consider signing the versatile left-footer.

“Ricardo has just been in for a few weeks trying to get his fitness back and we’ve helped him out with a couple of games [for the development squad] as well,” said McDonald.

“We’ve got no spaces in our 25-man squad so there’s nothing doing.

“We had a great relationship with him at Bolton and he has to come in and do a little bit of training to try to top up his fitness, and that’s what he’s done.

“Fortunately we’ve let him play a couple of games so he’s ready and raring to go if somebody needs a left-back, cum left midfielder, cum left winger.

Asked if any other clubs have expressed an interest in Gardner, McDonald said: “I’m not quite sure. But he’s fit now, he’s ready to play and he’s hoping to get himself fixed up somewhere.”

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