Tony: Les Beats Batigol

Tony Gale reckons the Hammers would be better off lining up a move for Les Ferdinand than Gabriel Batistuta - while Glenn Roeder has reiterated that signing the latter is not on his agenda.

Roma striker Batistuta was linked with the club earlier in the week, but as Glenn said at the time, it was speculation fuelled by the impending opening of the transfer window.

"It is driven by agents and I don't suppose the player is even aware of it," says Glenn.

"We were aware he could be available on loan, but then so are other clubs. It is just an agent's story."

Tony's personal viewpoint is that Les would be a better bet and says: "It is obvious Batistuta is available but whether or not he is past his sell-by date I am not too sure.

"There won't be many people of quality available in January and I suppose he is the type of player West Ham want - but he would cost a small fortune.

"I think the club were linked with Les as well and if you ask me which of the two I would take, it would be Les because he would know what is required to get us out of the relegation struggle we now find ourselves in at the moment.

"Batistuta looks better and sounds better but I would definitely go the Les Ferdinand route.

"Someone of that ilk is needed because of Paolo's injury and the fact that Fredi's injury situation is unreliable. We can't rely on Ian Pearce up front all the time."

Tony hopes that the Hammers will show the same positive approach at Old Trafford this weekend that got a win at fellow title contenders Chelsea earlier in the season, and he says: "I hope they don't just sit back and wait for it to happen. At Chelsea we went at them and it surprised them - and that is the approach we need again.

"All sides, however good, have their faults and we are looking for a performance that can leave us with our heads held high."

For a full preview of the game from Tony, click RealAudio.