May 31, 2000
Hammers rocked by PSG Suker bid
by Steve Stammers in Zagreb, Croatia
West Ham face major opposition from French giants Paris
St Germain in their bid to sign Davor Suker.
The 32-year-old Croatian striker is available on a free
transfer after Arsenal decided not to take up a year's option
on his contract after Suker's move from Real Madrid a year
Suker admitted in Zagreb, where he was on international
duty for Croatia's pre-Euro 2000 clash with world
champions France, that he is considering a number of offers
- including one from a London club.
He would not identify the club but West Ham have already
made their interest public and in their favour is that Suker
adjusted well to life in the capital.
Suker said: "I would like to
stay in London and that will be a factor when I make my
decision. I have no regrets about going there and I only
wish that we could have won a trophy.
The club was fantastic and so was the spirit within the
club. I still think about my big error in the UEFA Cup
Final when I missed a penalty. It was one of the poor
moments of my career.
"The only frustration I suffered was that the team did not
win a trophy. I wish we could have done that."
West Ham will be encouraged by Suker's preference to
stay in London and central defender Igor Stimac will also
be attempting to persuade his compatriot to to join him at
Upton Park. But Paris St Germain - in the process of
rebuilding their squad - have also been alerted to Suker's
availability and are ready to make him a 1 million-a-year
plus offer and a two-year contract. That may put him
beyond West Ham's reach. "I will spend the next two
weeks thinking about the offers, including the one to stay
in London," said Suker, who also believes that England
have a good chance to excel in the Euro 2000 finals.
"They certainly have the players to do well and I see no
reason why they cannot go a long way," said Suker.
"But they will have to handle the big expectations of their
"Two years ago, my country Croatia finished third in the
World Cup, well ahead of many big countries. What we
did was take one step at a time, not think about
progressing in the tournament. We had a great team spirit
and a togetherness. We helped each other and supported
"You have to concentrate, first, on reaching the next round
by finishing in first or second place in the group to reach
the next round.
"You have to forget about the pressure to win every game.
The secret is to get through, not how you get through."