Fredi Philisophical

Fredi Kanoute says that while others gossip about his future he is concentrating on West Ham.

Amidst rumours that Juventus coach Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer, and with Filippo Inzaghi, David Trezeguet and Allesandro Del Piero netting just 22 times between them thus far, it is natural that the Italian club should be looking around for firepower.

But the man himself insists: "People around me talk about my departure - but not me.

"It's often in the media and everything like that but I've NEVER spoken to anyone about leaving West Ham, so that's it.

"I think I'll be better next season and I will learn even more then. I don't know anything at the moment; there is often some noise like that but they didn't call me so I prefer not to think about it."

The reports suggest variously that a swap with Trezeguet or a straight cash deal is on the cards but Harry says: "I've heard about their interest and it is a worry. I think Trezeguet is a good player but I wouldn't want to swap him for Fredi.

"It doesn't surprise me that they are interested because he is a fabulous player but I don't want to sell him."

One report even suggested that an offer of £8m could be accepted - a ludicrous assertion when you consider that a higher amount of money has been bid, and rejected, already this season.

Harry adds: "We will do everything we can to hang on to him; I picked him up for next to nothing and I get on great with Fredi."

That comment is echoed by the player himself, who says: "Harry is a good man and I've learned a lot at West Ham.

"He wants to keep me; whatever happens I'll thank him for what he does for me."

Reports suggest a formal offer will be made in the next few days but MD Paul Aldridge insists: "We have had no contact with anyone about the player - the story is pure speculation."

The 23 year old adds: "It's always flattering but you can't concentrate very well if you are thinking about these things.

"It is sure that I am concentrating on West Ham - I am 100% for them and at the moment we have things to do because we are in the battle not to go down.

"I want to finish the season well and do my best for this club."

Fredi, a £3.7m summer signing, is struggling to be fit for the Leeds game after sustaining a hip injury at Newcastle. He says: "I can't say anything because I don't even know if I'll be OK - I'll try in training but I don't know yet.

"It was a knock on the top of my hip but I couldn't even move straight after, and it was very painful.

"Yesterday I ran but I don't know if I'll be able to play, though I hope so because it will be a good test to play against Rio."

Frank Lampard reckons Rio has improved this season and says: "He has added an extra dimension to his game and there is no doubt, having watched him in training with England, that he is a better player.

"He has always been the confident type but I get the impression that he is tougher mentally now. We've spoken about the fee but it is not something that bothers Rio; he doesn't worry about it.

"I was obviously sorry to see my best mate go but also pleased that he had the chance to play in the Champions' League."

*Frank's midfield colleagues Joe Cole and Michael Carrick have made the shortlist of six for the PFA Young Player of the Year award and are joined by Arsenal's Ashley Cole, Manchester United's Wes Brown, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Leeds United's Alan Smith.

The latter is suspended at the weekend which means Robbie Keane is likely to make only his second start in nine games as he replaces him. It was Harry Redknapp's attempt to sign Robbie for £10m that alerted Leeds to the availability of the striker. He is on loan at Elland Road but is likely to sign a permanent deal in the summer.

* Amos Foyewa could be close to signing for Southend after boss David Webb admitted he is impressed with the forward.

"He has been training with us for a week and I thought he showed a bit of life in the reserves - he certainly has bags of pace," says the Shrimpers boss.

by Khris Raistrick