Cardiff reject Collins bid
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Lennie Lawrence has confirmed that Cardiff City have rejected a bid from West Ham United for defender James Collins.
The Hammers are keen on the Welsh international, but their initial £350,000 offer was not deemed good enough by the financially stricken Bluebirds.
However, West Ham are expected to come back for the 21-year-old and they could bid up to £500,000.
The East London club are also still owed £100,000 by Cardiff from the Jobi McAnuff transfer and that will be wiped off following any deal.
"We haven't had a second offer yet from West Ham. Maybe they will come back with a second offer," said Lawrence.
"I spoke to Alan Pardew. We had a chat - and I told him he wouldn't be getting James for £350,000.
"So the ball is in West Ham's court, although I don't want to sell James at all.
"Danny Gabbidon is our best player but only Premiership clubs would be able to afford him. That means at this moment James is our most marketable player.
"I know West Ham are looking for a defender because they've got injuries and suspensions, but if they want James they are going to have to come up with more money."
Cardiff are understood to have defaulted on their last payment for McAnuff, but Lawrence insists that cannot be used against them if they do not want to let Collins leave.
"We still have to pay the last instalment for Jobi and West Ham may use that as a lever to try and get James, but we wouldn't be interested in that," added Lawrence.
"As far as I'm concerned, West Ham trying to get James and the money we have to pay them for Jobi will be treated separately."
Cardiff are deep in financial trouble and were forced to sell captain Graham Kavanagh to Wigan last week.
As well as Collins - McAnuff, Richard Langley, Andy Campbell, Paul Parry, Peter Thorne, Chris Barker, Tony Vidmar and Stuart Fleetwood are all being tipped to leave in the next few weeks.