Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are reportedly ready to take advantage of the financial problems at West Ham United, with the Premier League duo ready to lock horns in luring England International Dean Ashton away from Upton Park in January.
25-year-old Ashton, who has suffered from a series of injuries since joining the Hammers from Norwich City in 2006 and is currently on the sidelines of the Premiership club after injuring his ankle in September, is expected to return to action for the East London club in the New Year.
Ashton has been continually linked with a move away from West Ham in January, with Spurs and Villa understood to be ready to test the resolve of the Hammers board with offers in the region of £10million to secure the services of the big striker.
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has always maintained that despite reports of financial trouble at the club, with a ‘Fire Sale’ being mooted at Upton Park in January. That West Ham will hold on to their best players, which includes Ashton along with Robert Green and Matthew Upson, who are also believed to be on the radar of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
However, whether Spurs or the Villans are prepared to take a £10million gamble on the injury prone Ashton remains to be seen, with Zola revealing that the striker is on course for a return to the West Ham side in early January.
Zola said: “Dean is in rehab and seeing his physio.
“He's doing very well but I don't how long he will be out for. Hopefully it'll be the very beginning of the New Year.”