By Greg Stobart
West Ham have given Mohamed Diame until Thursday to sign a proposed new contract amid interest from London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
The Hammers have offered the Senegalese midfielder a deal worth £50,000-a-week (€60,000) but want a firm answer before January 24 so that they would have time to sign a replacement before the end of the winter transfer window should he refuse.
West Ham’s proposal would raise the buyout clause in Diame’s contract to £9 million as the Gunners and Spurs consider activating the £3.5m clause in his current deal.
The 25-year-old returned from a hamstring problem in Wednesday’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester United before playing 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with QPR.
Sam Allardyce, the West Ham manager, admitted following the game that the club have made little progress in trying to convince the midfielder to put pen to paper.
“The owners have tried to renegotiate the contract but they haven’t been successful at the moment,” the Hammers boss told the press.
Diame has been in fine form since moving to Upton Park on a free transfer from Wigan last summer at the end of his Latics contract.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger regards the midfielder as good value and has been waiting for him to overcome his hamstring injury, while Tottenham are monitoring the player’s situation after Sandro was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
Both clubs want a midfielder who can come straight into the team and make an immediate impact, with Spurs more likely to make a move for £6m-rated (€7.1m) Rennes star Yann M’Vila as they seek to gazump QPR.
They have also made an approach to take Lewis Holtby, already due to join on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer, six months early though the Bundesliga team knocked the offer back as “not acceptable”.
Arsenal are yet to make any January signings but remain in the market for a striker, a goalkeeper and a central midfielder. The Gunners are trying to sign Wilfried Zaha but look set to lose the head-to-head battle with Manchester United.
The north Londoners made an enquiry for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy earlier in January but were put off by the £10m asking price.
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