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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Hammers eye Guardiola
Josep Guardiola
Guardiola is said to favour a move to London
West Ham have joined the race to sign Spanish international midfielder Josep Guardiola from Barcelona.

The Hammers aim to pip their London rivals Tottenham for the 30-year-old's signature and boss Glenn Roeder is ready to fly to Spain to hold talks with the player.

Spurs have been linked with Guardiola - who is available on a free transfer - throughout the close season, but a deal has not been struck.

Who would not be interested in a player of Guardiola's quality?
  Glenn Roeder

The player's agent is believed to have contacted West Ham last week and suggested Guardiola would be interested in a move to Upton Park.

Newcastle and Liverpool have also expressed an interest in the midfielder but the Barcelona star would prefer a move to London.

That paves the way for a Hammers offer with Roeder keen to strengthen his midfield following the 11m departure of Frank Lampard to Chelsea.

Roeder said: "Who would not be interested in a player of Guardiola's quality?"

A possible stumbling block could be the player's wage demands, which would be at least 30,000-a-week.

But West Ham know they would have to pay around 8m for a player of Guardiola's age and quality if he was still contracted to his club.

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