Ted Scouts Around

Chief scout Ted Pearce says some clubs across Europe are stretching their finances to the limit - and that West Ham are keeping a close eye on developments.

The Hammers were able to buy Tomas Repka from Fiorentina last September after the Italian club were reluctantly forced to sell some of their best players to raise cash.

And, in the last few days, it has been reported that AC Milan are also having to offload star talent at the insistence of the bank.

"There are a lot of clubs overspending, they have probably got too many players, and are paying them too much money," says Ted.

"We are keeping an eye on all the situations that come to our notice like that, but you have to remember that they didn't give Tomas Repka away - he was £5m.

"Right at this minute in time that sort of transfer would be extremely difficult for us."

Nonetheless, Ted and his team are gathering all the information necessary to be able to move in if good players become available at the right price.

"We are building a dossier all the time on players that we see. We have got a very good hard working team of scouts and we are all over Europe travelling a lot of miles, seeing a lot of games," he says.

"Glenn is a deep thinker about it and we have regular meetings. I see him on a very regular basis and speak to him three or four times a day.

"We also have meetings with the senior scouts at the training ground. It is being done very thoroughly so that we get it right."

Ted thinks there might be some good 'free' transfers coming up this summer, and adds: "There are one or two decent Bosmans going around. We know who they are and are keeping tabs on it, checking on current form.

"It is too early to give any indications but we have certainly got our finger on the pulse.

"There will always be close season activity one way or another, but I just wonder whether, outside of the big clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Leeds, Chelsea, we will see a lot of money changing hands in the lower half of the Premiership."

As well as incomings this summer, there will be several players leaving, and Ted adds: "We have got players out of contract and precisely what happens there remains to be seen in the next couple of months."

As for loan deals, he says: "The loan market is very difficult to get the right players at this point in time. When we have got everybody available Glenn would tell you we have got a good team, but we lack the strength in depth."

Ted thinks there will not be a great deal of transfer activity in the top flight ahead of the transfer deadline five weeks on Thursday.

When asked if he thinks there will be the usual flurry of deals, he says: "No, to be honest, across the country I don't. I think money is tight and unlike the old days when there was lots and lots of transfers prior to the deadline I don't think a lot of money will be changing hands, though there will be some movement."

Ted is happy with the how the last major signing, Vladimir Labant, is settling in, and he says: "I think he will get better now. He has got his wife over now and is settling in, learning the language which is important.

"With players coming in from overseas there is always a bedding in period as it is a different culture for them.

"Once he finds out what we are all about I'm sure he will be a very good asset for West Ham."