sport

Heitinga in West Ham claim

Everton defender John Heitinga has told the Dutch media that he is flattered by reported interest from West Ham United.

The Holland international, who is out of contract in the summer, is yet to feature in a league game this season, instead having to be content with a place on the bench for most of the campaign.

Now reports in his homeland claim that West Ham are closing in on a deal to take him on loan for the rest of the season, as they are in desperate need of defensive cover with Winston Reid, James Tomkins and James Collins all ruled out.

And Heitinga has been quoted in Holland as suggesting he is ready to make the switch to Upton Park.

"I am flattered with the interest of West Ham," he is quoted as saying by Voetbal International.

"Since this week the market is open and it's clear that I have to make an important decision."

Heitinga admits he needs to be playing in order to try and maintain his bid for a place in Holland's World Cup squad.

"The chance of playing more minutes is the most important," said Heitinga.

"I want to be at the World Cup and to realise that I have to play. Only then I can make it difficult to Louis van Gaal."