WEST Ham have dramatically upped the ante in the race for Jack Colback’s signature – with a ‘treble your money’ offer to the out-of-contract midfielder.
And that mega deal is all but certain to scupper both Sunderland and Newcastle United’s hopes of keeping the player in the North East.
The Hammers have released a brace of midfielders this summer – former England midfielder Joe Cole and Wales international Jack Collison – and are on the lookout for new blood.
And West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has identified Sunderland’s young Academy product as the best value of the Bosman midfielders around.
A wage offer in the region of £50,000 a week is seen as economically justifiable by the Hammers for a player who would have been rated in the £3m to £4m bracket had he been under contract, and who was on Everton’s radar last season. And that ambitious offer will blow Sunderland and Newcastle out of the water, with neither club prepared to go anywhere near that figure for the player.
Sunderland had substantially improved the derisory offer made to Colback last summer by former director of football Roberto De Fanti.
Newcastle have been monitoring Colback’s situation closely, but have yet to make an offer and are not expected to do so now in light of the West Ham development.
The only hope of newly-married Colback staying in the North East is if the player himself and his family decide to stay in the region.
But it is hard to see how he can turn down such a lucrative offer.