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Alan 1:36 Wed Mar 20
Wednesday news (includes West Ham)

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made England manager Gareth Southgate his top choice to replace Erik ten Hag in the summer, and would like a decision from the 53-year-old sooner rather than later. (Star)

Manchester City might let England winger Jack Grealish, 28, leave this summer as they look to raise funds to enhance their squad. (HITC)

Newcastle United and Sweden striker Alexander Isak, 24, is on Arsenal's shortlist with the Gunners aiming to bring in a forward during the summer. (Football Insider)

Arsenal are also interested in Sporting Lisbon and Sweden striker Viktor Gyokeres, 25. (Teamtalk)

Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham have all expressed an interest in signing England striker Ivan Toney, 28, as he continues to catch the eye with Brentford. (Sun)

Germany striker Timo Werner, 28, wants Tottenham to activate the option to sign him permanently this summer for 17m euros from parent club RB Leipzig. (Florian Plettenberg)

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, 32, has told Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag he is unhappy with his lack of game time. (Tipsbladet)

Former Chelsea recruitment chief Scott McLachlan is a target for Newcastle to replace sporting director Dan Ashworth, who is heading to Manchester United. (Teamtalk)

Rangers are willing to accept £15m for England goalkeeper Jack Butland, 31, with interest growing in the Premier League. (Football Insider)

Everton, Nottingham Forest and West Ham are keeping tabs on English winger Karamoko Dembele, 21, who has impressed this season after joining Blackpool on loan from French club Brest. (HITC)

An appeal by Nottingham Forest against their four-point deduction for breaching financial rules could risk the punishment being increased. (Times - subscription required)

Nottingham Forest face having to sell one of their star players by the end of June to avoid another points deduction for breaching financial rules next season. (Times - subscription required)

Belgium forward Johan Bakayoko is attracting the interest of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain, with PSV Eindhoven wanting 50-60m euros for the 20-year-old. (Sky Sports Germany)

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, 23, has given his club a scare by limping out of training while on international duty with Norway. (Guardian)

Sky Paper Talk


Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made Gareth Southgate his No 1 choice to replace Erik ten Hag as Manchester United boss this summer.


Several Manchester United players are already on board with the idea of Gareth Southgate becoming the club's new manager.

Newcastle United's ownership will come under renewed scrutiny when football's independent regulator comes into power.


Nottingham Forest will face another points deduction next season unless they sell one of their star players by the end of June. They are believed to be around £25m above this season's limit on losses.

Conor Coady has admitted he is saddened by Ben White's self-imposed England exile because of his stellar form for Arsenal and his link-up with Bukayo Saka.


Raheem Sterling will snub a big-money move to Saudi Arabia and fight for his Chelsea career.

Nottingham Forest face a battle to keep key centre-back Murillo as the club face a summer of major uncertainty.

Manchester United have lined up moves for two promising teenagers, Silva Mexes of Ipswich Town and Wolves defender Wesley Okoduwa.

Chelsea may be forced to lift lid on Roman Abramovich's alleged questionable transfers next month in ongoing legal case involving former Stamford Bridge director Marina Granovskaia.

Antonio Conte has now emerged as Bayern Munich's preferred candidate to replace Thomas Tuchel as manager in the summer, according to reports in Italy.


LAFC are in advanced talks with Olivier Giroud about a summer transfer.


Human rights organisations are warning that another World Cup will be tainted by the deaths and suffering of low-paid workers if FIFA does not take urgent action to ensure likely 2034 host Saudi Arabia deals with the widespread abuse of its migrant workforce.


Fluminense sporting director Fred admits Thiago Silva remains a "dream" signing for the club. The 39-year-old will be out of contract at Chelsea at the end of the season.

Chelsea face a headache leading up to the start of next season, with a significant number of players in line to be called up for the Olympics.


World Rugby is considering a global trial of the 20-minute red card - where the player sent off is replaced by a substitute after 20 minutes has elapsed - as part of a swathe of law changes aimed at improving the spectacle.

Alex Hales is among the players who have committed to featuring in the inaugural edition of the Super 10, scheduled to take place in Aberdeen in the second half of August.


Maro Itoje and Finn Russell are on course to break crucial player welfare limits, Telegraph Sport can reveal, as rugby's authorities stand accused of risking the health of the Premiership's "prized possessions".

Samuel Iling-Junior says he has no regrets about turning his back on Chelsea at the age of 16 to join Juventus, even though the move happened in the middle of a pandemic.

Reports in Australia claim the Queensland government has investigated pulling out of hosting the 2032 Olympic Games because of concerns over costs and a proposal to scrap renovations at the Gabba in favour of a new stadium costing nearly £2bn.


Chelsea and Roma are both considering a deal which would see them swap strikers - Romelu Lukaku making his move back to Italy permanent and Tammy Abraham returning to Stamford Bridge.

Matt Turner believes Nottingham Forest have only themselves to blame for the four-point deduction which has dropped them into the Premier League relegation places.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been given a lifetime membership by Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, who he scored a hat-trick against on his debut for Rangers in a pre-season friendly in 1967.

Nicky Henderson has revealed he could send his 2023 Champion Hurdle winner Constitution Hill to the Punchestown Festival in May after missing out on Cheltenham because of a lung infection.


Rangers left-back Borna Barisic has reportedly agreed terms with Trabzonspor as he approaches the end of his Ibrox contract.

Sport Witness

West Ham can get signing for €30m – Situation could be falling into Hammers hands

With Lazar Samardzic having little playing time with Udinese recently, the rumours linking him to a West Ham United move are now boosted by the Italian media.

A fresh story from Calcio Mercato points out that the midfielder has only had 16 minutes in three games, following the real chance of a January departure.

It’s said it’s very likely that Samardzic will end up leaving Udinese in the summer, and that’s when West Ham get named as one of the possibilities.

The report claims that the Hammers are among the Premier League sides who are attentive to him, just like Italian giants like Juventus.

The problem is that Samardzic’s little playing time will also harm the chances of a big sale, with Calcio Mercato claiming the valuation should be worth around €30m.

The next few months should then be decisive for him, as both the player and his club could benefit in case he starts getting more minutes to play. However, whatever happened in January appears to be playing a part.

With West Ham being linked to him since last summer, they’ll certainly be watching the situation and could find a deal much easier to do than perhaps it should have been.


Ex-Celtic starlet may get big move as West Ham watch ‘brilliant’ ace

Dan Owen

Everton, Nottingham Forest and West Ham United are just three of the Premier League clubs looking to sign one-time Celtic wonderkid Karamoko Dembele this summer following an impressive loan spell at Blackpool.

HITC Football understands that a player who set social media alight a couple of seasons ago – dancing through defenders far older than him as a 13-year-old playing for Celtic’s under-20 side – could belatedly be about to take one big step towards fulfilling his potential this summer.

Under contract at French side Brest, Karamoko Dembele has been a revelation on loan at Blackpool in England’s third tier. And his reward for a series of dazzling displays could be a move to the Premier League, Everton, West Ham United, Fulham, Brentford and Wolves all keeping tabs on a player who was linked with the likes of Chelsea before eventually leaving Celtic on a free transfer back in 2022.

West Ham among Premier League suitors

Dembele has seven goals and 12 assists for Blackpool. Still only 21, the former England youth star has clearly not lost the devastating dribbling ability that made him such a YouTube sensation north of the border. There is also interest, HITC has been told, from a Nottingham Forest side who came up against Dembele’s Blackpool side in the FA Cup in January.

Leicester City, Southampton and Leeds United – three clubs with Premier League ambitions – are also interested. As are a Middlesbrough side who are looking to bounce back from a disappointing campaign, and having already improved the attacking qualities at their disposal by bringing in Finn Azaz from Aston Villa.

“Karamoko Dembele now has three goals and eight assists in his last 17 games which, from his position, is excellent,” EFL expert Ali Maxwell told the Not The Top 20 podcast a few weeks back.

“For someone from a central position like Dembele to be putting up those kind of numbers (against) congested midfielders, where he picks up the ball, bursts and darts away and then threads a through ball…

“It’s really impressive what he’s doing.”
Karamoko Dembele ‘brilliant’ at Blackpool

Dembele is under contract at Stade Brestois until 2026. It remains to be seen if he has a future at the Ligue 1 outfit, who will be tempted to cash in if the likes of West Ham or Wolverhampton Wanderers are willing to stump up a sizeable fee.

“He’s a lovely player to watch,” Tangerines team-mate Owen Dale tells the Blackpool Gazette. “He’s a great asset for us to have in the team. He gives us a different dimension and likes to pop up in those pockets. He draws one or two defenders over to him which leaves someone else free.”

“He’s a great asset for us. He’s been brilliant since he’s come in.”

The Athletic

Michail Antonio admits he’s not the ‘prettiest footballer’ – but he is still vital to West Ham

By Roshane Thomas

On the train heading up to Liverpool from London, it was interesting listening to a group of West Ham United fans assert reasons why Michail Antonio deserves more respect.

It was early this month, before the league game away to Everton. Antonio had only just returned from a knee injury he sustained in training two months before. During that two and a half hour rail journey, topics varied from manager David Moyes’ future to technical director Tim Steidten’s impact and Jarrod Bowen’s form, but those supporters were unified in their support of Antonio.

After all, the 33-year-old is approaching club-legend status, and is West Ham’s top scorer in Premier League history having earned the trust of three managers across four eras (Slaven Bilic, Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini and now Moyes again). While Bowen remains a consistent performer, having registered 18 goals in all competitions this season, Antonio has shown his attacking presence, too, impressing in Thursday’s 5-0 Europa League demolition of German visitors Freiburg before scoring his first goal since August in the 1-1 home draw against Aston Villa three days later.

Since joining West Ham from Nottingham Forest in 2015, the London-born Jamaica international has scored 78 goals for the club in 297 appearances. Following failed bids for Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke, Jhon Duran of Aston Villa and Hugo Ekitike, on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Paris Saint-Germain, among other forwards, he has been entrusted with playing as a lone striker. Gianluca Scamacca, Jordan Hugill, Jonathan Calleri, Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez, Simone Zaza, Lucas Perez, Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti have come and gone, but Antonio remains.

It is not just on the pitch where Antonio has been influential. He has formed a good bond with Mohammed Kudus and has helped the Ghanaian forward settle since his move from Ajax last summer. “You can see the quality he has, the boy is special,” said Antonio after the Freiburg victory.

Known for his affable nature, Antonio is dedicated to his profession. The Athletic reported how he changed his diet in an attempt to solve a long-standing issue with hamstring injuries. It had the desired effect and improved his contribution to the team. In 2021-22, he had 13 goals and 11 assists in 47 games. A year later, he scored 14 times across 48 appearances — his highest total in a season for West Ham.

This campaign, knee injuries have limited his availability, and he’s on three goals and two assists from 21 appearances. But the infectious smile of old was back following that second leg with Freiburg as West Ham secured a daunting quarter-final next month against Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen. His performance on the night was deserving of a goal and it was Antonio back to his best: bullying defenders and leading the line.

Antonio did not see a specialist when he sustained his most recent knee injury, instead going through a rehabilitation programme with West Ham’s medical team, Having felt his return to action in the 2-0 loss to former club Forest on February 2 came too soon, he felt sluggish during 75 minutes on the pitch, he gained confidence from his second-half cameo in the 3-1 victory that day against Everton two weeks later and has since been rewarded with Moyes restoring him to the line-up.

“I’ve been out for quite a while and before that I wasn’t giving the best performances, so it’s nice to be back out there performing the way I am now,” Antonio said. “At the start of the season, I started well, then I faded out with bad performances, I’ve got to be honest. Then, coming back from injury, I was a bit rusty. Now I’m showing the quality I have again.

“I’m not the prettiest footballer, but I know who I am and I understand that. When I step on the field I know what I bring and I know what I can do. And at the end of the day, every manager sees the positives I can bring to the team and ends up starting to use me.”

It was Moyes who converted Antonio into a centre-forward in a game against Norwich City late in the 2019-20 season. Antonio scored all four goals that day in a 4-0 win — the first hat-trick of his professional career and the first West Ham player to net four times in a league match since David Cross did it against Tottenham Hotspur in 1981.

Antonio has always appreciated his Scottish manager and to understand their bond, January 2023 is a good reference point.

West Ham received bids for Antonio in that winter window from Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers for Antonio, plus an offer from Chelsea to take him on loan. At the time, he was the club’s third-choice striker behind summer 2022 arrival Scamacca and the newly-signed Danny Ings. He was persuaded to stay by Moyes, and has not looked back.

In the family lounge at the London Stadium hangs a picture of Antonio and his children posing next to the Conference League trophy Moys’ men won in Prague last May.

West Ham now face a Leverkusen side yet to lose in 38 matches in all competitions this season in the last eight of the Europa League, and their long-serving front man is backing them to pull off another historic achievement.

“We always think about winning it,” said Antonio. “Whenever we get into Europe, we believe and have got the confidence to win it. There’s some big names out there (among the other seven clubs still in the competition) obviously, but one thing we know how to do is win games in Europe: we got to the final last year and won it; the year before, we got to the semis (in the Europa League) and felt like we should have done better. So hopefully this year we can do it again.

“Many players go through their career without winning anything and by winning the Conference League last year it gives you that hunger to do it again — especially me in my later years.”

Antonio was candid in an Instagram post when reflecting on 2023.

On the field, it was a great year having won the Conference League and helping Jamaica qualify for Copa America, being played in the U.S. this summer.

He might be reaching the latter stages of his career, but West Ham fans will always be indebted to their No 9.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Heavi995 9:39 Thu Mar 21
Re: Wednesday news (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan
Sir Jim on course to bethe biggest prick in the premier league

Texas Iron 4:25 Wed Mar 20
Re: Wednesday news (includes West Ham)

Lee Trundle 2:51 Wed Mar 20
Re: Wednesday news (includes West Ham)
"West Ham received bids for Antonio in that winter window from Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers for Antonio, plus an offer from Chelsea to take him on loan. At the time, he was the club’s third-choice striker behind summer 2022 arrival Scamacca and the newly-signed Danny Ings. He was persuaded to stay by Moyes, and has not looked back."

Not looked back? He's had 6 league goals in 14 months since then. hahaha

Thanks Alan 1:44 Wed Mar 20
Re: Wednesday news (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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