Gold defends Ruud approach

West Ham co-owner David Gold has denied gambling with the future of the club after confirming they did offer Ruud van Nistelrooy a £100,000 per week package to move to Upton Park.

Van Nistelrooy rejected the six-month deal from the Hammers in order to take up the offer of an 18-month contract from Hamburg over the weekend.

The former Manchester United striker was coveted by a host of clubs after being made available for transfer by Real Madrid.

But after being criticised for offering the sum to the veteran Dutchman, Gold insists the cash-strapped Hammers could afford to finance the deal.

Fellow co-owner David Sullivan revealed the club was in £110million of debt following his arrival in the Upton Park hot-seat last week.

"That was true, but to straighten the record, it is different if you are paying £100,000-per-week for a four-month contract, compared to example £50,000-a-week for a four-year contract," explained Gold.

"I wouldn't want people to think we were mad – if we were giving them a three or four-year contract we might be mad – but for the short-term for a super player like that I felt, and David Sullivan felt, it could be good value for money.

"We were very close, but Hamburg came in, they are secure in the top-flight and they gave him a two-year contract so the overall deal made the player that much happier.

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