Nolan to West Ham

Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan set for West Ham after clubs agree fee

The Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan is undergoing a medical at West Ham ahead of completing a move to the Championship club.

West Ham targeted Newcastle's top scorer from last season after he rejected a new contract at St James' Park. Newcastle dismissed an initial bid for the 28-year-old as "derisory", but accepted a subsequent offer.

Nolan, who has two years remaining on his Newcastle contract, will be reunited with the former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce at Upton Park if the deal goes through.

I'm not sure why Nolan wants this move. Obviously money is always an issue - perhaps always THE issue. And Nolan knows Big Sam. But does he really want to be the best player in the Championship again? Hasn't he been there, done that?

Maybe Newcastle was no longer the place for him. Certainly they've been adding Gualic pieces to central midfield with Yohan Cabaye able to play in Nolan's spot or deeper, and Hatem Ben Arfa sure to be a key player when he returns to fitness.

So for Newcastle, maybe this isn't a terrible move. Maybe it will even see a striker - Ba or CCole - move in the other direction. Though that's just wishful thinking on my part. However, I do worry about the chemistry implications of this. Look at this year's Boston Celtics. And apologies to Bill Simmons for stepping on his toes here... the Celtics had a set squad with defined roles, and they really did believe in each other. Then midseason, Kendrick Perkins was traded to Oklahoma City and all that belief and trust was under-cut in an instant. The Celtics never recovered.

You can easily imagine that sort of unravelling happening on Tyneside with the likes of Joey Barton leading the charge. In fact, with news of the deal breaking today he just tweeted this:

Great player, leader, captain, person, trainer and mostly a friend for life. Devastated to see him SOLD! #mejoseandjonasnextless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

I have no idea if it is true and if he, Gutierrez and Enrique are set for exits but the worry is that Newcastle United will be a very different team next season. And regardless of the talent they bring in, that they will be a team un-used to the Premier League and the expectations of representing the Geordie nation.

UPDATE: Read Neal's take on the Kevin Nolan to West Ham news here:

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