Roeder: Taribo Truth

Glenn Roeder says that negotiations to bring Taribo West to West Ham are only at a "preliminary" stage.
Commenting on the speculation that the defender, formerly of AC Milan and Inter Milan, could become a West Ham player, he says:
"It has come to my attention in the past that Taribo West is looking to possibly come back to the Premiership, but I'm sure other Premiership clubs have been alerted as well as us.
"At the moment I'd have to say it's in the very early stages and it's by no means certain that it will happen.
"We have had preliminary talks with his advisors but it is at such an early stage it is difficult to say whether Taribo will be coming to Upton Park or not."
In any case, says Glenn, he has a range of options and says:
"He is just one of several players that I am looking at at this present time.
"I would still like to have more strength in depth in two or three positions, but I am looking at the defensive situation especially as that needs to improve away from home.
"But it's not the only position we are looking at and we are covering two or three positions."
He is keen not to raise supporters' expectations about the player, who played 18 games for Derby on loan last season, definitely coming to West Ham, and adds:
"I would have preferred these preliminary talks with Taribo's people to have remained a secret but it is so difficult nowadays for that to happen.
"Whether we get into further talks and take it a step nearer is debatable."
There are several hurdles to come, and he admits:
"We are looking at all aspects of a possible deal and you have to take into consideration the fact that he has not played since playing for Nigeria in the summer, so there is the fitness issue.
"There is also the fact that he would be off in early January for up to a month playing for Nigeria in the African Nations' Cup.
"We are already losing Rigobert Song for that length of time with Cameroon and this is a major consideration when signing current internationals, because you don't want to be losing your players for too many games on international duty.
"It is far too early to say that Taribo will be coming to West Ham, and, though it is fair to say we have spoken to his advisors there is no imminent decision to be made."
At least there would be no transfer fee, and Glenn explains:
"He hasn't signed for a club this year, and I don't exactly know why, but what I do know is his last competitive games were for Nigeria in the summer and we would obviously have to evaluate how long it would take to get him to match fitness, which is a big consideration."
And, as to the question of whether it would be a 'loan' or a more permanent arrangement, he concludes:
"That has not been decided: as we understand it he actually holds his own registration and is not technically attached to anyone at the moment."