West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has accused clubs of ‘tapping up’ defender Winston Reid, as reported by BBC Sport.
The New Zealand international has been heavily linked with a move away from Upton Park when his contract runs out at the end of the season, and has refused to sign an extension on a number of occasions throughout the last year.
And after admitting Reid is likely to be leaving on a Bosman next summer, Allardyce also hinted that he fears a ‘verbal agreement’ has already been made with another club in England, which is illegal.
He said: “You hear rumours. But can we prove it?
“We have had the regulations for a long, long time. If you can prove that clubs have broken the rules, then they are in serious trouble aren’t they? But you can’t prove it these days. You hear rumours, this, that and the other.
“It might have nothing to do with the two clubs directly, it could be between two agents, so how can you relate that to the football clubs? You can’t, so it can all get done that way.
“If he is not going to sign a contract here, I would find it highly unlikely if it is not already verbally done.
“You have to accept the way it is and contrary to whether it breaks the rules or it doesn’t, it happens. It is just one of the ways the football world works.”
He added: “There is no future for Winston Reid at West Ham at the moment as his contract finishes on 30 June. He hasn’t said he is or isn’t going to sign.
“You would err that he isn’t, by the feel and look of it, at this moment in time.”
Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Man United are rumoured to be interested in the defender.