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Alan 1:19 Sun Feb 26
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
BBC

Chelsea have told Chinese Super League Club Tianjin Quanjian that Diego Costa, 28, will cost a world record £127m. (Daily Star)

Two Chinese clubs are willing to offer Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez £30m a year and make him the highest paid manager in the world. (Daily Mirror)

Leicester City players have been asked if they want Nigel Pearson to return as manager. The response was so positive, he could be back in charge within days. (Sun)

Sacked Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has made it clear he wants to return to football management as soon as possible. (Daily Telegraph)

Meanwhile, the Foxes want former Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink to replace Ranieri, with talks already understood to have taken place.(Daily Telegraph)

Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is also in the frame and Leicester could appoint a new manager by the middle of this week depending on the team's performance against Liverpool on Monday. (Daily Mail)

Arsenal's number one target to replace Arsene Wenger is Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, but Barcelona have entered the race to sign him. (Daily Express)

Alexis Sanchez, 28, should leave Arsenal and join Inter Milan according to Chile team-mate Gary Medel. (Daily Mail)

Juventus' former Barcelona defender Dani Alves, 33, is being linked with a reunion with Pep Guardiola as Manchester City weigh up their full-back options for next season. (Manchester Evening News)

Monaco have valued 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe at £51m amid interest from Arsenal and Tottenham. (Metro)

'The new Thierry Henry' is also at the top of Pep Guardiola's wishlist after impressing against Manchester City in the Champions League. (Sun)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has made personal contact with Barcelona's Neymar, 25, in a bid to lure him to Old Trafford. (Daily Mirror)

Mourinho says he is happy for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to lift the EFL Cup if his side beat Southampton in Sunday's final at Wembley whether the 31-year-old plays or not. (Times - subscription required)

Liverpool are leading Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in the chase to sign Fulham left-back Ryan Sessegnon, 16. (Daily Express)

Former England and Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes hopes Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will manage England one day. (Sun)

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, 25, has confessed to France team-mate Paul Pogba that he wants to play in the Premier League and that Pogba's Manchester United is his likely destination. (Don Balon via Daily Star)

Liverpool have sent scouts to watch 20-year-old Lyon striker Maxwel Cornet. (Liverpool Echo)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino wants patience with his team as he believes they may not yet be ready to win a trophy. (Guardian)

And finally

Frank Lampard addressed the Stamford Bridge crowd at half-time during Saturday's match against Swansea. The Chelsea legend said he never got chance to say a proper goodbye when he left the club. (Sky Sports)






Guardian

André Ayew pounces to earn West Ham hard-fought draw against Watford

Paul MacInnes at Vicarage Road

Bravery matched caution on a gusty night as Watford and West Ham United shared the spoils in a match that was controlled by the visitors but could easily have ended in a home victory.

Two late opportunities after West Ham had been reduced to 10 men might have given Walter Mazzarri’s side three points, but they were lucky to take one after choosing to sit on the early lead given to them by Troy Deeney’s third-minute penalty.

Slaven Bilic’s side dominated the second half and André Ayew’s equaliser had looked like a platform for victory until the dismissal of Michail Antonio, West Ham’s best player, took the wind out of their sails.

“I have mixed emotions,” Bilic said. “We told them at half-time we could definitely raise our level and play with more confidence. The second half was one of our better performances this season.

“We deserved the equaliser and in my opinion we deserved to win but as we played the last 10 minutes with 10 men, they used their physical strength and could have won it.”

Deeney opened the scoring with his eighth goal of the season and his third spot-kick after Mauro Zárate had been fouled by Cheikhou Kouyaté. Zárate, a former West Ham player, was carried off in agony after sustaining what looked like knee ligament damage. The club expect to learn the extent of his injury on Monday.

Mazzarri opted to replace the forward with a midfielder, Abdoulaye Doucouré, for the second half. It was a cautious move that, combined with Bilic’s encouragement, simply invited West Ham to go at Watford, which they did.

Mazzarri said he made the decision for tactical reasons to counter numbers in the West Ham midfield, but also because he believed his substitute striker Isaac Success was unable to last even 45 minutes.

“In games like today, anything can happen,” Mazzarri said. “With the substitution my thinking was that we were one up and they were pushing us in midfield so I chose to add a player there. Success does not have 70 minutes in him at this moment. To be clear, if Zárate had got injured 10 minutes into the second half I would have brought Success on.”

West Ham’s comeback was led by Antonio. With Andy Carroll out with a groin injury (he is expected to return to full training next week), Antonio, the England international who has played at least four different positions for Bilic this season, was selected as a lone frontman and terrorised the Watford defence.

In the first half he was in effect playing by himself, contesting high balls, running the channels, breaking with the ball down the wing. “Antonio was our best player,” Bilic said. “But he can’t get the ball, run down the wing and cross it to himself. Well, maybe sometimes, but not today.”

Antonio looked like he had missed his team’s best chance when he made an awful connection with an excellent Aaron Cresswell cross in the 69th minute. But three minutes later he broke an impossibly high Watford line to run on to Manuel Lanzini’s through ball and burst forward on to goal.

With Younès Kaboul trailing in his wake, Antonio let off a rocket of a shot with his weaker left foot which cannoned off both posts before falling to a gleeful Ayew, who turned the ball home.

“If you ask me about Antonio’s performance up front I was really pleased,” Bilic said. “He had a great game, a great game.”

Sadly for Antonio, that great game came to an unfortunate end when a deliberate handball, in an attempt to stop a counterattack, led to him receiving a second yellow card. Watford at last were prompted into doing some attacking and two corners could easily have won the match in the last moments.

Miguel Britos headed José Holebas’s kick over the bar when unmarked and in the last second of the game, Success failed to get a touch on the ball when it squirmed past Darren Randolph less than six yards out. Perhaps he was a bit tired.




Express

Watford 1 - West Ham 1: Andre Ayew rescues point for 10-man Hammers

ANDRE AYEW climbed off the bench to rescue a point for battling 10-man West Ham.

By Greg Makin


Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring West Ham's equaliser against Watford

The Hammers were trailing to Troy Deeney’s third-minute penalty until Ghana forward Ayew tucked in the rebound after Michail Antonio’s shot had hit both posts.

It was no more than West Ham deserved, but they had to hold out for the final five minutes with 10 men after Antonio was sent off for a second yellow card.

It was also a bitter-sweet evening for Watford’s former West Ham winger Mauro Zarate, who won his side’s penalty but was carried off with a serious-looking knee injury before half-time.

Zarate had an immediate impact against his former side, darting into the area before being sent sprawling by Cheikhou Kouyate.

Deeney rolled in the penalty for his fourth goal in five Premier League games.

West Ham pushed for an equaliser and Younes Kaboul did superbly to block a goalbound Robert Snodgrass shot.

Snodgrass should have levelled in first-half stoppage time when Heurelho Gomes pushed Aaron Cresswell’s cross straight to the winger, but Watford cleared.

Worryingly, Zarate had collapsed to the ground in the build-up to that chance after twisting his knee awkwardly, and he needed lengthy treatment and oxygen before he was carried off.

After the break West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was furious when Kouyate was wrestled to the ground by M’Baye Niang in the area, only for referee Craig Pawson to wave play on.

But the leveller arrived in bizarre fashion in the 73rd minute after Antonio outpaced Kaboul before seeing his shot clip the near post, roll along the goalline and back out off the far post – and record signing Ayew slotted home.

Then Antonio, booked in the first half, deliberately handled the ball after he had been tackled and was shown a second yellow card, but the Hammers survived a late onslaught to hold on for a point.

MATCH FACTS (Mail)

Watford (4-3-3): Gomes 6.5; Janmaat 6 (Cathcart 6, 52), Kaboul 6.5, Britos 6.5, Holebas 6.5; Cleverley 6, Behrami 6.5, Capoue 6.5; Zarate 6 (Doucoure 6, 45+9), Deeney 7.5, Niang 7

Unused subs: Arlauskis, Prodl, Zuniga, Success, Okaka

Goal: Deeney (3 pen)

Booked: Janmaat, Cleverley, Holebas, Zarate

Manager: Walter Mazzarri 6

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Randolph 6.5; Kouyate 6, Fonte 7, Reid 6.5, Cresswell 7; Noble 6.5, Obiang 6.5; Feghouli 6.5, Snodgrass 6 (Ayew 6.5, 65), Lanzini 7.5 (Fernandes 90+1); Antonio 7.5

Unused subs: Adrian, Collins, Byram, Masuaku, Calleri

Goal: Ayew (73)

Booked: Antonio, Kouyate

Sent off: Antonio (86)

Manager: Slaven Bilic 6

Referee: Craig Pawson 5.5

Star man: Antonio





C&H

West Ham leap frogs Everton

West Ham has leap frogged Everton in terms of turn-over to become the club with the seventh largest turn over. Historically the clubs with the largest turn over and wage-bills consistently finish the season relative to the amount they have spent.

Last year West Ham sat in ninth position in the Premier League’s turn-over table on £121m behind Newcastle (7th £129m) and Everton (8th £126m).

West Ham has seen a 17.7% increase to a turn-over of £142m in their last season at the Boleyn Ground while Everton saw a £4m decrease in turn-over to £121.5m in the same period. Newcastle have yet to announce their figures but were relegated to the championship with the obvious financial consequences.

West Ham out performed Everton in every area of finances last season.

Everton earned £82.5m from TV money, £17.6m from ticket sales, £9.3m from retail and £12m from commercial activities.

West Ham’s TV income grew to £86.7m, ticket sales grew to £26.9m, commercial and sponsorship sales were up by 31% to £19m while retail and merchandising sales grew by 29% to match Everton on £9.3m.

However, the Hammers remain a long way behind the top six in terms of turn-over. Manchester United leads the pack with £515.3m followed by Manchester City on £392m, Arsenal are third on £350m and Chelsea forth on £329m.

Liverpool and Spurs have yet to announce their figures but Liverpool recorded figures of £298m in 2015 while Spurs had a £196m turnover in 2015 so we are unlikely to catch them up any time soon.




Sun

CHINESE CAR AUCTION West Ham transfer news: Slaven Bilic trying to flog Andy Carroll to Chinese Super League this month – and three clubs have spoken to England striker

Hammers' chief David Sullivan authorised selling the injury-prone striker at a board meeting - but negotiations broke down

Exclusive By NEIL ASHTON

WEST HAM have been trying to flog injury-prone Andy Carroll to Chinese Super League clubs.

SunSport can reveal that chairman David Sullivan authorised the sale of the striker at a board meeting earlier this month before negotiations began with potential new clubs.

Three Chinese outfits were given permission to discuss the transfer of Carroll — who Hammers are paying £130,000 a week — away from the London Stadium.

Tianjin Quanjian, Hebei China Fortune and Shandong Luneng Taishan were all in for the former England forward.

But it is believed negotiations have hit a brick wall and the struggling striker will now have to remain with West Ham.

The Chinese Super League transfer deadline is on Tuesday and although Hammers are still keen for the move to happen, they fear they have left it too late to get him out.

Carroll, 28, has been a disaster since he moved to the Londoners from Liverpool in 2013.

In nearly four years with the club he has failed to complete a full season.

West Ham are desperate to get rid of the forward and co-chairman David Sullivan also made it clear after a board meeting that he could leave for China.

Carroll has been plagued by injury throughout his career, which has included Newcastle as well as Liverpool and West Ham.




Sun

Lovre Kalinic wanted by West Ham and Southampton but Toffees lead race for Gent goalie

Croatia international helped dump Tottenham out of Europa League and is now ready to seal £10m Premier League switch

By ALAN NIXON

GENT keeper Lovre Kalinic is ready to grab his Premier League chance at the second time of asking.



The giant Croatian international starred against Tottenham as his Belgian club dumped them out of the Europa League last week.

Kalinic, 26, was watched by scouts from Everton, Southampton and West Ham at Wembley — and it is the Toffees who are poised for a swoop in the summer as manager Ronald Koeman looks for a new No 1.

The 6ft 7in keeper, who has only been with Gent since last month, was denied a move to Aston Villa last season when he was playing for Hajduk Split in Croatia.

He failed to get a work permit in a controversial case.

Southampton and England star Fraser Forster is Everton’s current top choice and the fact the Saints are actively checking out Kalinic is a sign Forster may be on his way at the end of the season.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is also an admirer and is ready to make a move when the bidding starts, with Gent looking for about £10million for the keeper.

A work permit should be a certainty if any club offers the right package, pushing up his points total under the new system.

Gent face fellow countrymen Genk in the last-16 of the Europa League.


Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

stomper 1:41 Mon Feb 27
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thank you Alan

jimbo2. 12:34 Mon Feb 27
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Gent v Genk, that's confusing! Antonio never
got on the pitch for England so far I'm afraid
Thanks Al.

COOL HAND LUKE 8:47 Sun Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al,

Essential reading for me daily. Good man.

CHL

Texas Iron 4:19 Sun Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers...

Btw...Did Antonio get an England cap...or just England Call up...???

Guardian said he was an Engkand international...

AlvinMartinAllen 3:38 Sun Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Leicester City players have been asked if they want Nigel Pearson to return as manager. The response was so positive, he could be back in charge within days. (Sun)"

I hope so. He's as shit as much as he is a cunt.

Something sinister about him too. Creepy, Ostrich hating arsehole.

Takashi Miike 2:22 Sun Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

BubblesCyprus 1:47 Sun Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan every day without fail a good read

ted fenton 1:28 Sun Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.





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