West Ham are prepared to sell Bobby Zamora in the January transfer window but only if their valuation of £5m is met. Fulham and West Bromwich Albion have shown the keenest interest in the 26-year-old striker but, as yet, no club has submitted a formal bid.
With a host of others, including Reading, Derby County and Sunderland monitoring developments, it appears that a bidding war is likely for Zamora, who was West Ham’s top scorer last season but has struggled in this campaign mainly because of injury.
West Ham are not necessarily looking to sell Zamora, who arrived in January 2004 from Tottenham Hotspur as part of the £7m deal to take Jermain Defoe to White Hart Lane. But with Carlton Cole, in particular, Luis Boa Morte and the on-loan Henri Camara providing cover for their first-choice strike pairing of Dean Ashton and Craig Bellamy, they will not stand in Zamora’s way if terms can be agreed.
Zamora is unlikely to want to make the drop down to West Brom even if the Championship side are one of the favourites for promotion.
Fulham have spent heavily under their manager, Lawrie Sanchez, and may balk at the asking price for Zamora, who they value at closer to £3m – as do most of the other clubs vying for his signature. However, Sanchez, despite signing the strikers, David Healy, Diomansy Kamara and Shefki Kuqi, and with Brian McBride set to return in the new year from a knee injury despite a minor setback, is keen to improve his attacking options.
The Fulham owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, has already pledged that more funds will be made available to Sanchez – but only as long as he starts to see improvements in the team before Christmas.