Defender Winston Reid has what Arsenal need
Speculation is increasing All Whites star Winston Reid may be about to make a lucrative shift from West Ham to Arsenal as the English Premier League gets set to kick off this weekend.
Reid's future at West Ham has been in the headlines for some time despite the big defender having a year to run on his contract.
Glamour London rival Arsenal have consistently been mentioned as an option and that possibility was in the British headlines again today.
The departure of Belgium star Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona has left Arsenal in a desperate search for defensive reinforcements.
And having collected plenty of cash for Vermaelen's $30 million move to the Spanish giants, Arsenal have the ability to be persuasive as the transfer deadline loomed at the end of the month.
Website Givemesport believed Reid was high on the Gunners' shopping list.
West Ham were desperate to keep Reid and have moved early to extend his contract with a significant offer.
But West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has conceded that negotiations with Reid remained "in the air".
Givemesport has suggested all the power was in Reid's corner and West Ham might be better to try to earn some money off him now.
"Reid could leave Upton Park for free in 2015, and the Hammers would surely be keen to recoup some money after two summers of significant spending if they are backed into a corner by the player and his representatives," they reported.
"Under Sullivan and David Gold the club have been strong negotiators, and they would not be prepared to give up lightly on one of their most prized assets. But, as is often case in these situations, the want of the player could win out."
They suggested Arsenal's scouring of the European market could eventually end just 16km across London at West Ham, given the 26-year-old Reid's class. His ability to cover right back also made him an attractive option to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
As the transfer talk swirled around him, Reid was simply putting his head down and preparing for West Ham's juicy season-opener at home against Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham beat Spurs 2-0 in their final home game last season to help avoid relegation. Reid anticipated an increased challenge from Spurs this weekend under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
"They've brought in a new manager and might change their play a little bit, so we'll just have to wait and see. It's the first game of the season and everyone's going to be up for it. We've all been looking forward to this ever since the last game finished and we've been working hard over pre-season to get fit," Reid told the West Ham official website.
He believed West Ham had made progress over the tricky preseason that included losses to the Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC on their tour to New Zealand.
"We've been improving gradually over the games we've played. We finished with a win last Saturday, and it was important to get that under our belts before the first game of the season. It was good for the players.
''We hadn't won in 90 minutes over preseason so it was nice to end that. It's not the main thing of course, we're trying to perform, avoid injuries and get minutes under our belts," Reid said.
"I think everything's shaping up well for all the new players who have come in. We're improving and getting to know each other more and more so things are looking bright."
Reid said the trip to New Zealand had been enjoyable on a personal level.
"I very much enjoyed it. Not so much the results, but apart from that it was good. The people were very friendly and they were always going to be like that, and the organisation was really good as well. For me, to go back was nice personally as well."