Date: 22nd June 2007 at 2:11pm
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It is widely believed that Sam Allardyce has won the race for the signature of Alan Smith.

Smudger’s United career has not been a real success story: started brightly in the autumn of 2004, the Yorkshireman lost his place in the team when Ruud, Rooney and Saha all recovered. Used as a defensive midfielder next season, Smith never really got going and a horrible fracture at Anfield in January 2006 seemed to have ended his career at us.

However, he recovered, played some good matches, notably against Roma but seemed to have lost a yard of pace. Though it’s been rumoured he might be offloaded, Smith stressed he wanted to stay as far as the club needs him. It seems though it doesn’t.

Sam Allardyce could well use a striker like Smith: fiery character with a combative streak and a never-say-die attitude – and he’s quite good at playing football, too. Michael Owen’s reportedly got a get-out clause in his contract so despite the addition of Mark Viduka, it’s not surprising that Allardyce wants to bolster his strikeforce.

Reports suggest that the clubs have agreed a fee of Ł3,5M – a ridicoulus amount if you ask me considering how the prices of British players are rocketing upwards nowadays. A fee around Ł5 or 6 million would be realistic.

I’d be sad, of course, to see Smith go but it’s up to him: he could be a useful backup but he’ll never be a first-team regular: he’s simply not good enough. If he goes, he does so with my best wishes, if he stays, I’ll be glad.