IRONS SWITCH TARGETS - KEEPER CRISIS
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Irons had inquired about a loan deal for Milan's West, who proved so effective for Derby County last season, but with manager Glenn Roeder admitting that attention has switched elsewhere there are suggestions that veteran Michele Serena could be next on the list of targets.
"We did talk last week," Roeder said of West. "but the deal is not going to happen and we will keep looking."
Serena is an obvious target, with the Inter defender surplus to requirements at the Giuseppe Meazza under new coach Hector Cuper.
The former Atletico star forged a fine reputation whilst at Sampdoria, and continued his success with Fiorentina before a brief stint under Arrigo Sacchi in Spain.
Serena is yet to feature this year, but the well-respected 31-year-old would bring a wealth of experience to the Hammers defence.
The Italian is just the latest in a string of Serie A defenders that The Irons have been linked with.
Alessandro Pierini very nearly joined from Fiorentina, but the deal fell through at the last minute, and Thomas Repka has looked superb after arriving from the same club, although he has picked up two red cards already as he adjusts to the English game.
Meanwhile, Steven Bywater has admitted that he is likely to be out until well after Chritmas after picking up a broken wrist that expedited David James's return to the match day squad despite long term injury.
Bywater admits that the club are hopeful James can recuperate and stay on the bench after coming back from a serious knee injury, and that a loan move may not be necessary.
"It happened a few days ago," Bywater told the West Ham official site. "Shaka Hislop hit a shot and my wrist went back.
"I've had the same before on my right hand so I know what it is about and I know it will recover alright.
"It's just that it takes a bit longer than other breaks.
"I will definitely be out for a few months, about four, before I get back.
"[David James] is there and although he hasn't played yet he has done well in training."