WHO Poll
Q: Manuel Pellegrini
a. A great signing for the Club and maybe the change of direction we all need
b. It will only be a great signing if the Board back him with decent funds
c. This is West Ham so it will only end in farce
d. I'm not sure about this one, I'll wait until SKY is back to hear what Gary Neville thinks, then I'll voice my opinion

Alan 12:47 Mon Apr 24
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has identified Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, 25, and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 23, as his summer transfer priorities. (Mirror)

And the Blues boss has been handed a huge transfer boost as Napoli's Club president says £60m-rated defender Kalidou Koulibaly, 25, can join the London club in the summer. (Express)

Manchester City have the upper hand over Manchester United in the race to sign Monaco's 22-year-old left-back Benjamin Mendy. (Daily Star)

Aaron Ramsey says Arsenal want to win the FA Cup for Arsene Wenger after admitting that he and his team-mates let their manager down in the Premier League this season. (Evening Standard)

And Gunners boss Wenger has insisted that striker Alexis Sanchez, 28, will be at the club next season. (Sun)

Manchester United fear midfielder Paul Pogba, 24, will miss Thursday's league match at Manchester City after he hobbled off injured at the end of Sunday's 2-0 win over Burnley. (Daily Mail)

Antoine Griezmann's adviser says Manchester United have shown the most concrete interest in Atletico Madrid's 26-year-old forward. (TF1 - in French)

Former Chelsea assistant manager Henk ten Cate is the Dutch FA's favoured candidate for the Netherlands job. (De Telegraaf - in Dutch)

Tottenham striker Harry Kane, 23, believes his side will remain mentally strong in the Premier League title race, despite losing to leaders Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday. (London Evening Standard)

Hartlepool boss Dave Jones has been sacked, a day after TV presenter and Hartlepool president Jeff Stelling called on him to "quit now" in an impassioned on-air message. (Northern Echo)

Newcastle want to sign Fulham's 26-year-old attacking midfielder Tom Cairney, whom the club value at £10m. (Mirror)

Everton are having to explore alternatives to Burnley defender Michael Keane, 24, after Manchester United entered the race to sign him. (Liverpool Echo)

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has revealed that changing the colour of his side's nets to white played a role in their thumping of Middlesbrough on Saturday.(Daily Mail)

Wolves plan to take up an option to sign on-loan striker Andreas Weimann, 25, from Derby for £1.5m. (Mirror)

Southampton, Bournemouth and Liverpool sent scouts to watch Henry Onyekuru play for Belgian side Eupen on Saturday. The coveted 19-year-old striker is a contender for Belgium's player of the year award.(Daily Mail)

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will delay his hip surgery in order to get his side over the 40-point mark. (Telegraph)

And finally

After Gabriel Agbonlahor, 30, scored his first goal in 14 months as Aston Villa beat Birmingham City 1-0, new Blues boss Harry Redknapp said: "That'll keep him happy for another year, won't it. Fantastic." (Daily Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

From Aberdeen’s rather fortuitous Scottish FA Cup semi-final win over Hibs on Saturday lunchtime until Real Madrid’s last-minute, late-night La Liga heartbreak at the hands of Barcelona more than 24 hours later, the Mill watched so much exciting football action over the weekend that reverting back to more mundane speculation regarding the future whereabouts of various players seems like little more than methadone for what passes for our soul. The Daily Express reports that Manchester City are ready to spend a record-breaking amount to bring Monaco’s teenage striker Kylian Mbappé to the Etihad Stadium and will spend more on him than the £89m Manchester United splashed out on Paul Pogba. Whether or not the 18-year-old has any desire to leave Monaco remains to be seen, although the club’s vice-president has stated that neither Mbappé nor his equally sought after team-mates Thomas Lemar or Bernardo Silva have asked for transfers.

“No player has told us they want to leave,” said Vadim Vasilyev to French TV show Telefoot. “Of course, we will talk with the players. But with the World Cup taking place in 2018, Thomas, Kylian nor Bernardo would not want to leave. But this is not the time for discussions. We will do everything to keep them. One thing is for sure; Monaco will have a very competitive team next year.” About a month ago, Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reported that Manchester United had already tested Monaco’s mettle with a bid of around £70m for Mbappé that was politely declined.

Should Luke Shaw decide he is sick of being publicly criticised by José Mourinho at United, the left-back will have no shortage of suitors. Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are all reported to be interested in a player who has already publicly stated his desire to stay at Old Trafford.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is lining up Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku for what can only be described in transfer-speak as the mother of all “summer double-swoops”, while Manchester United’s hopes of securing the signature of Paris Saint-Germain’s Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier could be torpedoed by Barcelona. French daily L’Equipe say the player’s “people” have been holding talks with the Spanish side, who have offered the French champions £20m to bring him to Camp Nou.

Arsenal will celebrate their FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City with a similarly sized bid for RB Leipzig’s Swedish winger Emil Forsberg. Meanwhile in Madrid those tedious Atlético striker Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United rumours refuse to go away, while reports from the Spanish capital say Real will offer James Rodríguez and Alvaro Morato to Juventus in exchange for the ridiculously talented Paulo Dybala.


Manager on Monday

Slaven Bilic is keen for his West Ham United side to build on their run of five points from their last three Premier League games as the 2016/17 finishing line comes into sight.

After picking up a useful point against Europe-chasing Everton on Saturday, the Hammers moved ever closer to the first target of 40 points - but the boss is still aiming higher with the top half of the table within reach.

Next up is a trip to Stoke City, with Bilic aiming to add a cutting edge to the solidity shown against the Toffees.

He said: "Maybe 38 points will be enough, but maybe not. For every team, every game is going to be extremely hard to win because almost every team is fighting for something.

"You don't want to go into the last couple of games or the last game with the radio on, wanting to know what the score is there and there.

"We want to avoid that and, to be comfortable, we need a few more points. We want it, not only to avoid [that situation] but also to climb up the table. Still we can finish really high if we win a few games.

"We need to approach every match game-by-game and try and win it. Or at least don't lose it. Then, move on to the next one and try and try.

"I'm not talking about only about keeping the distance, but also about climbing the table.

"Ronald [Koeman] said after the game, and he's very honest and straight, that only one team played today and only one team deserved to win. That was us.

"We were better than them on Saturday, they are not happy with their performance. If they played like that [regularly] they wouldn't be where they are.

"Part of the reason why they played like that was us. You can't say that they were a team without motivation to play for something. They are not middle of the table and waiting for the season to finish, but we were on top of them and aggressive."

U15s narrowly miss out on Prague title

West Ham United U15s lost on penalties in the final of the Slavia International Cup
They drew 0-0 with Spanish side Malaga after normal time, but lost 3-2 after spot-kicks
Danny Searle remained proud of his players after their terrific efforts

Head of U15-18 Coaching Danny Searle remained proud of his U15s after they missed out on winning the Slavia International Cup by the finest of margins.

The Hammers were the better side in the final – being played at the Eden Arena, home of Slavia Prague – but were eventually beaten 3-2 on penalties by Malaga after drawing 0-0 after normal time.

Kai Corbett had the Hammers’ best chance of the fixture, hitting the post just before half-time, and they restricted their Spanish opponents to very little in the way of chances on goal.

But after failing to find a breakthrough in the allocated 50 minutes, the lottery of a penalty shootout followed with Malaga prevailing.

“When you look at the semi-final, our class really shone through,” said Searle. “We hadn’t really hit the ground running at all on day one and two.

“But the boys, through their grit and determination, managed to keep themselves in the tournament. To get to the semi-final and to see them play with the style we know they can play with, I thought we did take that into the final against a very good Malaga side.

“We matched them all the way and probably edged it to be fair. To lose on penalties is just one of those things but I’m really proud of the boys.

The Hammers made it through to the event’s showcase match after battling to a deserved 2-1 victory over local side Sparta Prague in the morning.

They went behind early on but showed resilience to fight back and equalise just before half-time.

Amadou Diallo – who was named Player of the Tournament at the competition’s closing ceremony – let fly from 25 yards and found the bottom corner with a terrific curling strike.

There may have been an element of luck about the winner when Kamarai Swyer’s cross looped over the goalkeeper but the result was never in doubt after the Hammers’ dominance.

Then came the weekend’s climax and a meeting of the two best footballing sides in the competition.

It was a tense 50 minutes with both side’s having their share of pressure, but West Ham’s Corbett had the best chance of the match when he hit the post.

Penalties followed and Malaga eventually won 3-2, but Searle felt his side deserved more than the title of “runners-up”.

“We were the youngest team in the tournament so it was always going to be tough,” he added.

“We had teams from the Czech Republic, Spain and Austria so it was a good test for the boys. They showed great resilience through the tournament and we got better and better as the tournament went on. In the end, it was disappointing because I think we deserved more.”


Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak linked with Hammers move

West Ham United have been linked with a move for goalkeeper Onur Kivrak.

According to reports in Turkey, the Hammers are in talks with the 29-year-old Trabzonspor captain ahead of the summer transfer window.

Inconsistent performances from Adrian and Darren Randolph have meant that Bilic is on the lookout for a new keeper and Kivrak, who has kept 13 clean sheets in 27 appearances this term, is reportedly their ideal choice.

Kivrak is no stranger to Slaven Bilic - the Hammers boss tried to sign the Turkey international during his spell in charge of Besiktas.

The report also claims that Trabzonspor have already turned down an initial approach from West Ham for their prized shot-stopper.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Gazza_AZ 2:12 Tue Apr 25
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

although talk about a Turkish Shot-Stopper - r we sure that is a football term..

Takashi Miike 3:36 Mon Apr 24
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

BubblesCyprus 1:09 Mon Apr 24
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Apart from the Turkish GK that was

Thanks Alan 1:02 Mon Apr 24
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

BubblesCyprus 1:02 Mon Apr 24
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated

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