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 11:15 Fri May 12
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal will join Chelsea and Manchester United in the £50m race to sign Real Madrid's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata this summer. Morata, 24, has managed just 13 La Liga starts this season.(Sun)

Wales forward Gareth Bale, 27, is willing to move to Manchester United if Real Madrid decide to sell him in the summer. (Independent)

Inter Milan are ready to double the salary Mauricio Pochettino earns at Tottenham Hotspur to make him their new head coach.(Football Italia)

Paul Lambert could quit as Wolves manager over plans for agent Jorge Mendes to handle the club's transfers. (Daily Telegraph)

Atletico Madrid are interested in Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, 30, and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 28. (Independent)

Newly promoted Brighton want to sign Liverpool's long-serving Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva, 30, for their first season in the Premier League. (Daily Mirror)

Chelsea are considering selling the naming rights to their new stadium - but have told interested buyers they have to accept Stamford Bridge will stay in the name. (London Evening Standard)

And Blues fans have started an online petition - which has more than 5,000 signatures - for a 'John Terry Stand' at the new stadium. (London Evening Standard)

Chelsea's players will receive a £5m bonus to be split among the squad if they clinch the Premier League title. (Times - subscription required)

Chelsea want 17-year-old German forward Jann-Fiete Arp, who has been tipped for a bright future at Hamburg.(Daily Mirror)

Striker Mario Balotelli's contract when he was at Liverpool included a £1m bonus clause for not getting sent off three times in a season.(Daily Mail)

Arsenal are set to reassure manager Arsene Wenger they do not have plans to restrict his power. (Daily Telegraph)

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare believes the club could break their transfer record again this summer as they target a return to the Champions League. (Daily Express)

West Brom are set to agree a compensation fee of between £3m and £5m for Leeds left-back Charlie Taylor, 23, and avoid going to a tribunal. (Daily Mirror)

Middlesbrough have made a £300,000 bid for Hartlepool winger Nathan Thomas, 22, after Sheffield United had an offer accepted earlier in the week. (Daily Mail)

West Brom boss Tony Pulis encouraged his south coast neighbour Harry Redknapp to take the Birmingham City manager's job because he finds the three-hour commute "relaxing". (Express and Star)

Manchester United are considering approaching Paul Mitchell, who found Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli, after he resigned from his role as Spurs' head of recruitment. (Manchester Evening News)

West Ham are interested in signing Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta, but face stiff competition for the experienced 32-year-old. The Argentine is out of contract at the end of the season. (London Evening Standard)

Former Manchester United winger Nani, 30, says he wants to stay at Valencia amid growing speculation he will be sold in the summer. (Radio Marca, via ESPN)

Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes, 23, has been offered to rivals Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain. (Don Balon, via Daily Express)

And finally

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's former Sweden team-mate Emil Forsberg described the Manchester United striker as "incredibly annoying" in training - before trying to dig himself out of a hole. (Daily Mirror)

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is set to turn his hand to revolutionising the Davis Cup's tired format - and his project is backed by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. (Independent)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

Arsenal have joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the battle for Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata, Arsène Wenger seeing the Spaniard – who is miffed at being considered Karim Benzema’s understudy – as the man to step into Alexis Sánchez’s balletic shoes. Morata however would prefer to join Antonio Conte, who signed him for Juventus in 2014 before swanning off to manage Italy instead without ever coaching him, at Stamford Bridge. The bad news there is that Chelsea’s biggest wigs, according to the Sun, think signing Romelu Lukaku is a better idea.

Wouldn’t it be ironic, or at the very least mildly interesting, if Morata were to join Chelsea only for Conte to leave again? It’s a possibility, with the Italian apparently demanding a massive pay rise in return for him delivering the league title, and perhaps a domestic double, in his first season at the helm. The Italian is paid a mere £5m a year (that’s the Mirror’s figure; the Mail says he is paid £6.5m. Either way, reader, you’ll agree it’s a pittance), which makes him the least generously remunerated of all the managers of current top-six sides – Pep Guardiola makes three times as much, asserts the Mirror – and he is now ready for parity. “Money is important only to give the real value of a player or coach,” he says. “If you show you deserve it, you have earned the money.”

If Chelsea don’t offer it, and further to our lead rumour on Wednesday, he may be tempted to jump ship and head to Internazionale, who are offering £10m per season. Either way, it’s boom time for Conte’s bank balance, and he’s not the only person in Chelsea’s dressing-room who can start planning something of a spending spree: the players will split a £5m bonus pot if and when they secure the league title, reports the Times.

In the meantime, Chelsea are busily recruiting yet more promising young players to loan out indefinitely before forgetting about. The latest starlet in their radar is Jann-Fiete Arp, the 17-year-old Hamburg striker. Borussia Dortmund are reportedly also interested, but Hamburg’s sporting director, Jens Todt, wants him to stay precisely where he is and sign a new contract while he’s at it, saying: “We want to extend with him, without if and but.” Sure, but just imagine how good their front line would be if they managed to retain If and But as well.

Chelsea scouts have certainly been busy – they were in Bournemouth last week, watching Adam Smith in the game against Stoke and wondering if he might be the man to vie with Victor Moses for the role of right-flank shuttle-chugger next season. Tottenham, the club where Smith started his career but never made a first-team appearance, are also interested, says the Sun.

But the summer’s biggest bunfight might be over a less youthful full-back in Pablo Zabaleta, who according to the Evening Standard is wanted by West Ham and has – naming no names – “plenty of suitors”. In other veteran news, Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva says “I feel I have many years that I can still play at the top level” and might spend at least the next one of them at Brighton.

Gareth Bale’s possible move to Manchester United was mentioned in Tuesday’s Mill and Friday’s Independent exclusively announces that the Welshman is ready to accept the move, though José Mourinho isn’t sure he wants it to happen. “United officials are currently working exceptionally hard to deliver the key signings to make the team champions this season,” they write, “and are at the point where a number of different options are being broached or investigated every day.”

The Mill finds the use of the word “exceptionally” particularly interesting, suggestive as it is that United officials are working significantly harder than all the other officials from other clubs who are also working hard to deliver key signings. It is all the more curious for the newspaper’s later assertion that “only three targets have seen any kind of significant progress”, which suggests they have been working half-heartedly at best, taking regular time-outs to enjoy extended coffee breaks, take in the latest blockbuster at the cinema, and brief friendly journalists who promise to write about how hard everyone is working. You’ll want to know who those three targets are, and the answer is: Antoine Griezmann, Torino’s one-man gossip factory Andrea Belotti and Burnley’s Michael Keane.

Southampton are getting ready to usher Claude Puel towards the exit, and have identified the miracle-working Hull manager Marco Silva as their first-choice replacement, reports the Express. The Independent goes a step further, naming Sheffield Wednesday’s Carlos Carvalhal as their second choice, and saying both have already been “sounded out via intermediaries”. And Galatasaray want to sign Danny Welbeck from Arsenal but won’t, reports the Mail.


West Ham look to save £15m per year in wages

West Ham will be looking to save a further £11.4m in wages by ditching four more players over the summer which will free up the wage budget up for incoming players.

Gokhan Tore will come to the end of his loan on wages thought to top £60,000 per week, it will also be the end of Alvaro Arbeloa one-year contract with West Ham which reportedly cost £65,000 per week in wages despite making just four appearances.

It seems Jonathan Calleri will be off too as his loan comes to an end along with his £40,000 per wages. Havard Nordtveit is another who could be off after joining on a free transfer and therefore saving £55,000 per week.

West Ham already saved £70,000 per week by terminating Simone Zaza’s season long loan early so the real saving from the wage bill is £15m per year which can be re-invested.

If as reported Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho leave the club over the summer they both earn a combined £6m per year in wages between them with Carroll on £85,000 per week and Sakho on £30,000 per week.

West Ham flop Alvaro Arbeloa heading for exit after just FOUR appearances as defender skips end-of-season awards

West Ham defender Alvaro Arbeloa will not be offered a new deal at the club
Arbeloa has failed to make a postive impact since his free transfer to Hammers
Former Liverpool defender did not attend West Ham's awards dinner on Tuesday
Swansea boss Paul Clement could come to the Spaniard's rescue this summer

By Kieran Gill for the Daily Mail

West Ham's forgotten man Alvaro Arbeloa is heading for the exit at the end of the season.

There are no plans for the Premier League club to keep the former World Cup and European Championship winner who has not appeared since featuring as a substitute on December 3.

The Spanish right-back – a two-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid – has barely been used by Slaven Bilic since signing a one-year contract in August.

The former Liverpool defender did not attend West Ham's awards dinner on Tuesday, despite being allowed to join the rest of his team-mates at the bash in London.

It has been a curious season for 34-year-old Arbeloa, who in Spain was hailed for his professionalism and hard work by past coaches.

Swansea's Paul Clement could hand him a lifeline, with the two having worked together at Real Madrid.

Clement, 45, is known to be an admirer of Arbeloa.

Jose Mourinho has also never hid his admiration for Arbeloa, though any move to Manchester United would only be to start a coaching career.


Michail Antonio admits he might not be fit for start of 2016/17

West Ham may have to begin next season without Michail Antonio.

Dan Coombs

West Ham winger Michail Antonio says he is unable to guarantee he will be fit for the start of the 2016/17 season.

Antonio signed a new contract at West Ham yesterday, committing his future to the club until 2021.

He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury and it is a serious one which will hamper his pre-season.

Speaking to the official club website, Antonio says he may only be recovered for late August, rather than the beginning of the campaign.

He said: "The rehab is going well, right now I’m still on the crutches and will be for the next week and after that I’ll be off them.

"I’ll start doing some strength work for the next two, three, four weeks, then I’ll be outside doing running and I’ll be in and out of training to get my way back in for the start of the season.

“It’s either I’ll be back for the first couple of games or, the worst case scenario, I’ll be back fully available for the team after the international break at the end of August."

Antonio, 27, scored nine goals and provided three assists before sustaining his season ending injury and the club's medical staff will be doing everything they can to try and get him up to speed by the start of the next campaign.

Even so, Antonio has given the club's hierarchy forewarning that he may not be back in time and West Ham should not rush him.

Getting Antonio tied down is key for the club moving in the right direction but they need to bolster their ranks by adding quality new signings who would help them further kick on.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

BubblesCyprus 4:34 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Southampton in for the gaffer at Hull is no surprise.

Texas Iron 3:49 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Keep dreaming 3:07 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Don't believe Nordtveit is going, and who the fuck will grab hold of the northern primadonna om 75 k wages?

wansteadman 2:15 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
The arbeloa one is a strange one. We have needed a right back all season and he has sat there apparently fit and not even considered. Very odd

Takashi Miike 12:09 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks Alan

Banjo 12:05 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I like the fact that we are offloading the dross. I would also like to see Carroll and Sakho both offloaded and the club buy, amongst other player, 2 top line forwards.

Percy Dalton 12:02 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Antonio possibly not fit for the start of next season.
Whatever next lurching from one disaster to another.

BubblesCyprus 11:53 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Just as the Norwegian guy looks like coming good we offload him to save Wages ??

BubblesCyprus 11:39 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated.

Thanks Alan 11:35 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton. 11:21 Fri May 12

ted fenton 11:21 Fri May 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

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