West Ham and Newcastle have been put on red alert after Dinamo Moscow defender Christopher Samba revealed his desire to return to England for a third time.
The centre back has racked up a mega amount of air miles in recent years by swapping the Premier League for Russia’s top flight on a number of occasions.
The Congo international’s first spell in England came when Blackburn Rovers signed him from Hertha Berlin. From there he moved to Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala before joining Harry Redknapp’s ill-fated survival attempt at QPR.
Rangers’ subsequent relegation saw Samba return to Russia for another short spell with Anzhi before moving on to the capital.
However, reports suggest that the 29-year-old is growing increasingly homesick and is angling for a move back to the Premier League in order to be closer to his family.
The news will delight West Ham and Newcastle, with both teams in great need of defensive reinforcement.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has seen his side cut to odds of 4/1 to fall into the Championship after a winless run of five games – scoring just two goals and conceding nine – has left them out of the relegation places on goal difference alone.
The reputation Samba built at Blackburn and the money on offer in Russia means that any deal will not come cheap but Big Sam’s record of getting the most from seasoned overseas players could persuade the Irons boss to give the player a third bite of the Premier League cherry.
Also said to be monitoring the situation is Magpies boss Alan Pardew, albeit with different intentions.
Newcastle are just one point outside the top six after stringing together three consecutive victories.
However, while the St James’ Park side have proven adept at finding the net – with 17 goals in 12 games – they have proven less able to keep them out at the back, conceding the same amount in that time.
As such, Pardew will be keen to shore up his defence in the January transfer window, in order to boost his side’s 14/1 chances of a top six finish, and could also be persuaded to offer Samba a route back to the English top flight.
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