West Ham ready raid on Rams for Cyrus Christie capture
European hopefuls West Ham United are looking at Derby County right back Cyrus Christie, after Sam Allardyce’s successful signing of fellow homegrown defender Aaron Cresswell from Championship club Ipswich Town.
The weekend tabloids claim the Hammers hierarchy have identified 22-year-old Christie as a long-term option to bring to Upton Park, with on-loan Carl Jenkinson likely to cost a premium if they want him from Arsenal permanently.
A product of Coventry City’s academy during their crisis years, Christie has come through adversity and risen from League One to be linked with a Premier League side.
Purchased by Rams head coach Steve McClaren for an undisclosed fee last summer, Republic of Ireland cap Christie has made six assists in the Championship from 32 matches so far.
Although Allardyce’s own West Ham future is up in the air, Big Sam is believed to be looking at a bargain buy here. Christie’s own story is similar to that of left back Cresswell, 25, who came through the ranks at Tranmere Rovers before joining Suffolk side Ipswich and then moving to east London for £4m.
If Christie commands a similar fee, then he will definitely be a cheaper alternative to Jenkinson, who has enhanced his own prospects by impressing during a season-long loan with the Hammers.
Derby’s recent wobble has resulted in their odds to win the Championship title drifting to a still tasty 10/3 with Coral and, should they once again fail to earn promotion (after losing last season’s play-off final to QPR), West Ham would be in a strong position to capture Christie.
Behind Seamus Coleman for selection in the Ireland XI, national boss Martin O’Neill has certainly been impressed by Christie, fast-tracking him into the senior set-up.
Qualifying to represent the Republic through his grandmother, Christie would link up with compatriot and Allardyce acolyte Joey O’Brien at the Hammers.