GEORGE McCartney has refuted claims that he handed in a transfer request before being allowed to return to Sunderland on Monday.

The Northern Ireland international insists that while he did want to head back north for family reasons, he was happy to accept Alan Curbishley's stance that he wasn't going to sell him.

And following the former Charlton bosses departure on Wednesday from Upton Park, McCartney's quotes could well be viewed seriously, as he believes he is being made a scapegoat for Curbishley's departure.

“I have seen on the West Ham website I handed in a written transfer request,” stated the full-back.

“I never did anything of the sort. Probably the board at West Ham are trying to cover their tracks.

“I did propose that for family reasons I would like to move back north. But the manager said 'no' I wasn't leaving and told me just to concentrate on West Ham.

“I was happy to stay. That was on the Friday and I played my part in the Blackburn game on the Saturday.

“The thought of leaving was finished as far as I was concerned but then something changed. I got an indication on Sunday that I could be on my way.

“These are strange times at West Ham and no-one really knows what is going on at boardroom level.”