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Hands off our players is clear warning from Hammers boss Sam

11:44 17 January 2013

Sam Allardyce issued a 'hands off' warning to other clubs

Sam Allardyce issued a 'hands off' warning to other clubs

PA Wire/Press Association Images

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has always described the January transfer window as ‘total lunacy’ and it seems this year’s version is following along those lines.

The boss was greeted on Saturday morning by a story suggesting that Carlton Cole would be allowed to leave the club, while there have been rumours brewing since the end of last year that Mo Diame may be on his way.

Added to that, Newcastle United are said to be interested in bringing defender James Tomkins to St James’ Park as they look to bolster their own squad.

Cole is currently the number one choice striker at the club with Andy Carroll out injured, but with Marouane Chamakh and Wellington Paulista coming into the club, that place could be under threat.

Carroll too is slowly returning to fitness, but Allardyce has always insisted that he is looking to recruit rather than sell his players.

“I’m not looking for anyone to go out during this month,” said Allardyce. “We need to strengthen our squad, especially with so many injuries. So unless we get a silly bid of £15 million for Tomkins then we are not planning to sell.”

Tomkins has been in and out of the team this season, but with James Collins currently injured, he is likely to play an important part over the next few weeks.

Diame, meanwhile has a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for £3.5m, but despite rumours of interest from Arsenal, the manager has denied that there has been any offers.

“We have had no official bid at all from Arsenal for Mo Diame, and I can’t see where he would fit in there,” insisted Allardyce, who admitted that he was worried at the prospect of him going.

“I can’t see who he’s going to replace. There wouldn’t be any point in him going unless he’s playing, would there?”

Diame himself is said to be keen to stay, but if an attractive offer finally arrives then the temptation may be too much.

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