'we're Not Bati'

On the day that suggestions have once more appeared regarding a supposed interest in Gabriel Batistuta, both Glenn Roeder and MD Paul Aldridge have strenuously denied any possible association with the Argentine.

For the FOURTH time, one national newspaper has - rather mysteriously - implied West Ham were looking to bring in the highly paid Roma striker, but Glenn Roeder insists:

"I don't know why it keeps coming back; we have never been involved in anything to do with Batistuta and why they keep using us I don't know.

"That is the bottom line and I cannot say any more - because I don't know any more.

"I assume that his agent or agents acting for him in this country have been brandishing his name around to all Premiership clubs, and for some reason they have used us to see if they can stir any interest anywhere else.

"But it isn't something we have pursued, we don't know where the stories keep coming from, and that is it.

"I don't know anything other than he has been a fabulous player; he is still at Roma, and his contract runs out, apparently, in the summer.

"He is a world famous footballer over the past 10 years and everyone has been aware of Gabriel Batistuta - but West Ham have not been involved in any form of negotiation for him."

And, if that doesn't kill the story once and for all, MD Paul Aldridge confirms:

"To say we have had talks with him, or about him, is totally erroneous."