The Waiting Game

Despite the absence of a major new signing so far this summer, new manager Glenn Roeder is still working hard behind the scenes to bring new faces to Upton Park.

Roeder, who returned from a brief holiday in France at the end of last week, is stepping up his search for new players following his capture of Sebastien Schemmel for a bargain £465,000.

But Glenn, who admits he found it difficult to relax on his break, assures frustrated fans that he is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to strengthen the squad.

He says: 'We are proactive on a daily basis but the days of being able to sign a player in the space of hours have long gone.

'You used to be able to pick up the telephone after training, speak to another club's manager and have a deal done by five o'clock. But it doesn't work that way any longer. There are more people and many other factors involved.

'Now, it can take at least 14 days, from when you begin your approach for a player, until everything is sorted. And it often takes longer than that.

'I have a list of players I am interested in but I've tried for several without getting very far and it's a case of being very patient if we're going to get the right people in.

'The thing is, it's very easy to sign a bad player, and there are millions of average players out there looking to change clubs. But they are no good to us.

'It's much harder to sign quality players, because their clubs don't want to let them go and they take a lot of persuading before they do.'

Although Glenn admits the job is now all-consuming, he is enjoying his new role very much and says he has not been surprised by anything he has seen or heard since succeeding Harry Redknapp in May.

He continues: 'I worked closely to Harry and I knew and understood the problems he had to deal with when he was attempting to buy and sell players, so nothing that happens to me now comes as a surprise.

'You sometimes have to pursue avenues that are promising but eventually lead to nothing.

'But it's not just ourselves who are finding it hard to get in new players. I know of two of three other Premiership clubs who are awash with money yet still can't make a signing because they have been unable, so far, to sign the type of quality players they are seeking.'

Is Glenn on the verge of selling one or two squad players who are unlikely to feature regularly in the first team reckoning next season?

He says: 'I'll be speaking to a few of them, individually, when they report back for pre-season training on Wednesday, to see what they are thinking. But after selling both Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, the squad has already been weakened since last season, so I don't want to dilute it any more.'

Which brings us on to Paolo Di Canio and the future of the Italian playmaker?

Recent newspaper reports have linked Di Canio with champions Manchester United.

Glenn adds: 'I spoke to Paolo on the telephone for an hour two weeks ago and had a very good, positive conversation with him. He's looking forward to returning for the start of training on Wednesday.'