Will Hammers have to sacrifice Winston in battle to balance the books?
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Futures of stars could be in doubt
The futures of star defender Winston Reid, full back Guy Demel and winger Stewart Downing are in doubt as West Ham look to bring in fresh talent for next season’s Premier League campaign.
With Argentinian Mauro Zarate already signed on and Senegal’s Cheikhou Kouyate following suit, the question of balancing the books comes into play for the club’s owners and that could mean some players being shipped out.
The future of former Hammer of the Year Reid is perhaps the most worrying development.
The 25-year-old New Zealand international captain has one year left on his contract and is in early discussions about a new one. But some reports are suggesting he wants a whopping increase in his wages to stay at the club, and that may mean that West Ham will be forced to sacrifice one of their best players.
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Reid’s campaign was ruined last season after he suffered a dislocated shoulder that kept him out for three months, but he is undoubtedly the club’s best defender and if they want to keep him then they are likely to have to meet most of his demands.
The centre back is reportedly on around £30,000 a week, but he is looking to double that to sign a new contract.
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The likes of Liverpool and Manchester United are sure to be monitoring the situation and may well come in with a bid to tempt both him and West Ham. Right back Demel has been linked with a return to Germany to play for Hamburg.
The popular defender arrived from Hamburg in 2011, but at 33 he may well be another who West Ham allow to leave the club.
Downing is prompting interest from abroad, despite a disappointing first season at Upton Park, and while West Ham are likely to want to keep the winger, there are others that they would like to see the back of him.
Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga are surplus to requirements and West Ham will look for clubs to take them off their hands, while others who may well depart before the season are Ricardo Vaz Te and Matt Taylor, who turned down a new deal last week.