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Alan 12:31 Mon May 15
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Real Madrid and Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez, 25, will only sign for Manchester United if they qualify for the Champions League. (Don Balon, via Daily Express)

Manchester United have targeted Tottenham's 26-year-old England defenders Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, as well as midfielder Eric Dier, 23, and hope to tempt them to Old Trafford by doubling their wages. (Daily Star)

Liverpool and Brazil attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 24, says he is "happy a great club has an interest" as he continues to be linked with Spanish giants Barcelona. (ESPN Brasil, via Daily Express)

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is set to make an ambitious move for 30-year-old Napoli and Belgium winger Dries Mertens this summer.(Sun)

Chelsea and Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, 23, could still be on his way out of the club - despite scoring the goal against West Brom which clinched the Premier League title on Friday. (Daily Mirror)

Paris St-Germain and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani says Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez would be "welcome" should the 28-year-old Chile forward decide to join the French club this summer. (Evening Standard)

Chelsea midfielder Willian, 28, insists he is happy at Stamford Bridge after reports linking the Brazil international with a move to Manchester United.(Daily Star)

Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson has admitted he is ready to replace manager Steve Agnew as the club seek an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation. (Daily Mirror)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says not playing in Europe has helped Premier League title winners Chelsea this season but warns the next campaign will be "a different story". (Daily Mail)

Manchester United are facing a battle with Ajax as both clubs try to sign Malmo's 23-year-old Swedish forward Pawel Cibicki, 23, in the summer. (Sun)

Sunderland boss David Moyes wants funds to rebuild if he is to stay on after the side's relegation to the Championship and says he will "understand a bit more in a week or so". (Guardian)

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha's hopes of signing 24-year-old Ghana defender Rashid Sumaila have been dealt a blow.(Daily Record)

AC Milan and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 18, has told friends he is set for a transfer to England as his contract with the Serie A giants enters its final season. (Sun)

Borussia Monchengladbach say they would be open to signing Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen permanently after the 21-year-old Denmark international's impressive two-year loan spell in Germany.(Kicker, via Daily Express)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has warned the club's supporters not to expect them to spend big in the summer. (Daily Mail)

And finally

Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke appears to have become the latest footballer to publish a pre-written social media post after his side's win against Hull on Sunday. (Telegraph)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

Gianluigi Donnarumma, the 18-year-old Milan goalkeeper, has “told pals he is heading to the Premier League”, prompting massive excitement at Manchesters City and United and allowing the Sun to wheel out the headline “Donna summer” as they report his imminent transfer. Apparently it might cost as little as £20m to snaffle the glove-toting tyro, whose current contract expires in a year. The current incumbent at Old Trafford, David de Gea, is so likely to leave that his 20-year-old understudy Joel Pereira is set to play in the final home game of the season, against Crystal Palace next week, but his departure would leave a massive talent-hole that only a signing of Donnarumma’s ilk could possibly fill. On the plus side, Real Madrid are so desperate to secure De Gea that they are now offering James Rodríguez in part-exchange, according to Diario Gol. “For the moment no precise figures have been mentioned, though Real’s interest is absolute,” they write. “There will be no problem in producing the chequebook to complete the deal.”

But according to Don Balón, Rodríguez has stipulated that he will only agree to the Manchester move on the condition that United qualify for the Champions League. Following their defeat to Tottenham means that in order to buy the 25-year-old United must beat Ajax in the Europa League final – and that won’t be those two clubs’ only battle in the coming weeks. Their representatives are also set to vie for the services of the 23-year-old Malmo striker Pawel Cibicki, a player who is also a target for Napoli, Celta Vigo and Real Betis and would cost somewhere in the region of £7.5m.

Even if Rodríguez leaves Madrid this summer, the city is not going to be Colombian-free for long: both Atlético and Real, plus Barcelona and a variety of other clubs across Europe, are keen on the Ajax defender Davinson Sánchez. Diego Simeone has already given his blessing to the move, with the Dutch side expecting to receive between £25m and £30m for the 6ft 2in 20-year-old, signed from Atlético Nacional a year ago for just £4.2m.

“Arsène Wenger has a huge shopping list,” reports the Express, who say the Arsenal manager will remain at the club to oversee their search for “a striker, a winger, a central defender, a left-back and a goalkeeper”. Riyad Mahrez and Ben Gibson are both on said huge list, but less encouragingly both carry enormous £30m asking prices at which the club’s bigwigs may balk. The Algerian would most like to move to Real Madrid, but those dreams seem certain to be shattered: Zinedine Zidane has apparently already discussed and dismissed the idea of bringing him to Spain.

One player more likely to be Iberia-bound is Héctor Bellerín, with Arsenal busy discussing terms with Barcelona over the full-backs departure. They would like £34m in cold hard cash, but with Barça considering that a little de trop it may be that they send some players the other way instead of stumping up all the cash. Arda Turan is one of the names being considered, with the Spanish side amenable to the possibility of him leaving, but Arsenal would also like to get Marc Cucurella. This opens up the intriguing possibility of Arsenal signing a highly-rated teenage Barcelona full-back, watching him blossom to such an extent that his old club want him back, and then swapping him for a big bag of cash, a big-name international midfielder and another highly-rated teenage Barcelona full-back, whereupon the entire routine can begin again. The circle of life. Alternatively, the Catalans might give up on the whole deal and steal Benfica’s Nélson Semedo from under Manchester City’s noses instead.


Slav - Vital moments went against us

Slaven Bilic admitted West Ham United deserved to lose to Liverpool at London Stadium
But the manager did feel the major moments went against his side on Sunday afternoon
Big chances missed and a controversial third goal left the Hammers boss feeling frustrated

Slaven Bilic was honest enough to admit his West Ham United team deserved to lose to Liverpool – but felt the game’s major moments went against the Hammers in their 4-0 defeat at London Stadium.

Having started encouragingly, Sam Byram missed a decent opportunity to put his side ahead, only to fire his shot wide. Then, after Daniel Sturridge had rolled the Reds into the lead, as half-time approached Andre Ayew hit the post twice in the space of three seconds from point-blank range.

Finally, at 2-0 down, West Ham felt they should have had a penalty when Georginio Wijnaldum caught Winston Reid in the face with his arm, only for referee Neil Swarbrick to wave away the appeals, Liverpool to break the length of the field and Philippe Coutinho to score his second of the game.

However, the manager conceded his injury-hit side had simply not reached the level of performance or commitment they showed in beating Tottenham Hotspur at the same venue nine days previously.

“We spoke before the game and I expected the guys to put in the same kind of performance as they did against Spurs, with energy, organisation and teamwork, but it wasn’t to be,” Bilic began. “We were slower than on Friday night and they were quicker.

“We could have got the first goal and it would definitely have affected the game. We should definitely have equalised with that [Ayew] chance at the end of the first half, too, and then it maybe would have been different but it wasn’t good enough, especially in the second half.

“We had the first great chance with Sam Byram at the beginning of the game and we started well, but those moments were against us, to be fair. Before we conceded the third, we were asking for a penalty or at least for the referee to have stopped the game. To be fair, it then became very hard.

“But if you asked me about the performance, it was nowhere near the level we reached against Spurs.”

Speaking candidly, Bilic conceded that his players may have allowed their levels to drop after securing Premier League safety by beating Spurs.

The Croatian is not one for making excuses, but the fact remains that West Ham were without seven senior players through injury on Sunday – Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaku.

“Of course, you are asking yourself and asking your players [to reach the same level of performance as against Tottenham], but we were missing a couple of really good players and that little bit of complacency that we wanted to avoid [slipped in],” he continued.

“We knew there was no place for that because it was such a big game, but it was probably there subconsciously.”

The manager had had to deal with other issues too, but he is refusing to be downbeat, instead speaking optimistically about how he and the Club will work over the summer to ensure a better season in 2017/18.

“It was a very difficult one and a very long one, to be fair,” he observed. “We had many, many obstacles but it showed today it was not about the stadium. The stadium needs time to adjust but we knew that before – we simply had too many injuries, not only today but throughout the season.

“We had eight operations this season, which was kind of weird, to be fair, and that’s why I would like to give credit to the players because it was very hard.

“We had a minimum goal and we achieved it and we’re going to benefit from this season long-term with the knowledge and experience because it was a very tough season.

“First, we have to adjust to the stadium. That period is not over, but it’s going to be better because we already had one season here.

“Then we have to find good players in a few positions that we need to improve the squad. We have a good squad, but we need to improve the quality in the positions that we really need and where we had to improvise this season. That’s all, really.”


Slaven Bilic set to make an ambitious move for Napoli winger Dries Mertens this summer

The Hammers will take on Chelsea and Manchester United in the chase for the Serie A star

By Rebecca Louise Coles

WEST HAM are plotting an ambitious move for Napoli winger Dries Mertens.

The Belgian has been linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea but is now on Slaven Bilic’s radar.

Napoli are desperate to keep Mertens — yet he could be tempted by a £20million summer switch to the Premier League.

Hammers boss Bilic wants to add pace to his side after a frustrating campaign.

Mertens has scored 33 goals for Napoli in all competitions this season

Mertens has been in fine form and it's no wonder the Premier League are chasing the Belgian International as he is arguably the leading contender for Serie A player of the season.

The 30-year-old, who made his name at PSV Eindhoven in Holland, has been told good things about English football by countrymen Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.

It's been reported that Martens has been offered a new contract by Napoli with a £30million release clause, but they are yet to confirm he has signed it.

But the question remains on whether Dries Martens would be willing to give up a spot in Serie A.

And even more so now he is tasted success in the Champions League - with West Ham not able to realistically offer such competition.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Gazza_AZ 9:33 Mon May 15
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan
Mertens is likely just a good topic through ST renewals...

jimbo2. 5:32 Mon May 15
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mertens sounds good, but is probably an unrealistic signing for us? Thanks as always Al.

BubblesCyprus 1:32 Mon May 15
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Takashi Miike 12:46 Mon May 15
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

ted fenton 12:35 Mon May 15
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:31 Mon May 15

Thanks Alan 12:31 Mon May 15
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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