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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Joorabchian may make Hammers bid
West Ham United
Kia Joorabchian is interested in buying out West Ham, according to a statement released to the Stock Exchange.

But the Iranian-born investor added any move for the Premiership club would not be made in the immediate future.

The statement read: "Kia Joorabchian wishes to clarify that he has not ruled out the option of making a bid for West Ham United.

"There can be no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made."

The 35-year-old was first linked with a bid for the Hammers 12 months ago when he was president of Media Sports Investment.

That deal foundered when the two parties failed to agree on a valuation.

But following the recent transfers of Argentine internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, who are controlled by Joorabchian, speculation again mounted over a potential takeover.

With the club admitting exploratory takeover talks as well as signing Tevez and Mascherano it's all intriguing - it is to me too

Alan Pardew, West Ham manager

In their own Stock Exchange statement last Friday, West Ham confirmed that any potential takeover is not "contractually linked" to the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano at Upton Park.

And Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili also said he was considering investing in the club with Joorabchian.

A statement issued on his behalf read: "It is true that Kia Joorabchian is my friend and we have done business together in the past.

"At this time I am not involved in any possible bid for West Ham but I am thinking about it and cannot exclude such a possibility in the future."

Joorabchian is adamant no move is imminent as "the immediate focus of his attention is on family matters" following the recent death of his father, Mohammed.

He resigned from MSI in June, but his link to Tevez and Mascherano and their arrival at Upton Park on undisclosed terms means rumour is rife.

It has been reported, but not confirmed, that Joorabchian is building a consortium of financiers from the Middle East.

And as well as Patarkatsishvili, Joorabchian has also been closely linked to Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who has been granted political asylum in London and is a former business associate of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

But Berezovsky insists he is not interested in investing in West Ham now or in the future.

In 2004, Joorabchian fronted MSI's deal to take control of Brazilian club Corinthians on a 10-year lease.

He described MSI as "being backed by a diverse group of powerful men with interest in oil, the media and entertainment" and they helped fund a Corinthians spending spree that included the signings of Tevez and Mascherano.

The club went on to win the Brazilian title in 2005 and new sponsorship deals increased the club's income by 500%.

But there was internal conflict at Corinthians between club officials and MSI.

Seven managers came and went in an 18-month spell and all but five of the squad were owned by MSI and not Corinthians.

Hammers manager Alan Pardew admitted earlier on Tuesday that they were "intriguing" times at the club as he introduced Tevez and Mascherano to the media.

"But I don't care what people are saying," he added in light of the conspiracy theories that abound.

"I've got two world-class players at West Ham - let's rejoice."

Argentine deals intrigue Pardew
05 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd
West Ham on the up - Joorabchian
03 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd
Investor 'eyes 70m Hammers deal'
05 Aug 05 |  West Ham Utd
West Ham in takeover discussions
01 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd
How West Ham pulled off a coup
01 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd
West Ham sign Tevez & Mascherano
31 Aug 06 |  West Ham Utd


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