West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has suggested that suitors for Winston Reid may have broken transfer rules by making a verbal agreement with the defender before speaking to the club.
The New Zealand international’s contract at Upton Park expires at the end of June and Allardyce has already come to terms with the possibility of a January exit. Current transfer regulations specify that only foreign clubs are allowed to make direct contact with the 26-year-old without permission of the club.
Sam suggests suspicious conduct
But Sam Allardyce is fairly confident that an unspecified Premier League club has already verbally agreed a deal with Reid.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “You hear rumours. But can we prove it?”
"If you can prove that clubs have broken the rules, then they are in serious trouble aren't they? But you can't prove it these days. You hear rumours, this, that and the other,” he continued.
"If you can prove that clubs have broken the rules, then they are in serious trouble aren't they? But you can't prove it these days. You hear rumours, this, that and the other”
"It might have nothing to do with the two clubs directly, it could be between two agents, so how can you relate that to the football clubs? You can't, so it can all get done that way."
Allardyce added: "If he is not going to sign a contract here, I would find it highly unlikely if it is not already verbally done.”
No fingers pointed
The former Bolton Wanderers boss has refrained from pointing the finger at any specific clubs but the general consensus is that the most likely destination for Reid is Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger is still fairly short-staffed in the defensive department and could do with a new centre-back proven at the top level. Reid has been one of the standout performers in West Ham’s surprise season this year and would be a good purchase for the north Londoners.