O’Hara link back on
Totts midfielder Jamie O’Hara has lined up a move to West Ham United and hopes to push through the £5 million switch in January, Goal.com UK has learned.
The 24-year-old has told friends that he already knows the Hammers will be willing to meet his contract demands and wants to make the move to boost his chances of first-team football.
O’Hara spent last season on loan at Portsmouth under Avram Grant and the Israeli manager tried to take him to Upton Park during the summer.
That move collapsed because of Tottenham’s £6m asking price and a stress fracture in O’Hara’s back which required surgery and ruled him out for the opening months of the season.
But he is set to return to action in January and Grant will make another attempt to re-unite with the central midfielder when the transfer window re-opens.
Goal.com UK can reveal that O’Hara has told friends he is desperate for regular Premier League football and has his heart set on joining West Ham despite their fierce rivalry with Tottenham, his boyhood club.
A switch to the East End would also anger the Millwall fans he grew popular with during a loan spell at The Den in 2007 but O’Hara is determined to convince Spurs to sell him to the Hammers.
O’Hara has told friends that he is destined for West Ham, who would be willing to meet his wage demands of around £30,000 a week.
He believes West Ham is the most attractive option from a professional and personal point of view as he wants to stay in London with his fiancee, model Danielle Lloyd, and their young son.
O’Hara has never been given formal permission to talk to West Ham but contact has been made through his representatives, something Harry Redknapp acknowledged earlier this season.
“They [West Ham] were talking to Jamie O’Hara all through the summer,” said the Spurs manager. “Jamie told me he’d been getting phone calls all summer.”
Spurs are aware that O’Hara is agitating for first-team football and has grown frustrated by being restricted to substitute appearances since making his debut in December 2007.
His stock is high after he shone for Portsmouth last season and enhanced his reputation with inspirational performances as Pompey reached the FA Cup final.
West Ham believe they can sign O’Hara for around £5m in January but their chances of getting the left-footed workaholic on the cheap could be damaged by the strained relationship between the two London rivals.
Hammers co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan were furious with Tottenham over their attempts to sign Scott Parker in the summer and the war of words has continued since Spurs joined the Hammers in registering their interest for use of the Olympic Stadium after London 2012.
At one stage Spurs hoped to use O’Hara in a deal to sign Parker but have ended their pursuit of the all-action midfielder after he signed a new four-year contract.
O’Hara will make it clear to Spurs that he wants to join West Ham unless he can be offered a realistic chance of featuring for Redknapp’s side on a regular basis after his return from injury.
The former England Under-21 international, who made 28 appearances in all competitions for Portsmouth last season, has three years left on his contract at White Hart Lane.