Hammers' shock target
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
West Ham are understood to be interested in bringing Fabien Barthez back to The Premiership.
The former Manchester United keeper is suspended from French football until the end of 2005 after spitting at a referee in a friendly game in Morocco.
As the extension of his ban only applies to French football, The Hammers have explored the possibility of setting up a shock deal for the World Cup winner.
Alan Pardew is known to be pursuing a new keeper with Jimmy Walker injuring himself during the Play-Off final win against Preston North End in the final game of the English season.
Barthez has been brought to the Upton Park chief's attention but it is believed that other clubs will be alerted by his possible availability.
Such is his standing in the game, there are likely to be plenty of sides keen to target the 33-year-old if he expresses an interest in returning to England.
Marseille are tracking Nicolas Penneteau, the Bastia keeper, as a possible stand-in for Barthez.