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 1:22 Fri Jun 16
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

There is "mutual tension" between Chelsea and their manager Antonio Conte after the Italian told striker Diego Costa by text message that he is not part of the plans for next season. (Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)

The club wish to patch things up with Costa, 28, who is willing to discuss his future, but Conte is refusing to back down. (Sun)

Conte has also set a number of conditions which include a direct line of communication to owner Roman Abramovich, if he is to stay as manager at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Record)

Also at Chelsea, contract negotiations with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 25, have stalled over his wage demands. The Belgium keeper is on a £100,000-a-week deal, which comes to an end in two years' time.(Times - subscription required)

Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, has told Real Madrid he wants to leave Spain and his decision is "irreversible". (A Bola)

Jose Mourinho has valued Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, 26, at £100m amid interest from Real Madrid and has told the La Liga champions they can sign the Spaniard for £45m plus striker Alvaro Morata, 24. (Daily Star)

But Real say they want £78m for Morata despite details of a "hugely attractive package" being agreed with Manchester United. (Independent)

Meanwhile, Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, 28, is already planning for life as a Manchester United player. The two clubs are yet to agree a fee for the £44m-rated Croatia player. (Manchester Evening News)

After completing a deal for defender Victor Lindelof, Manchester United could go back to Benfica to sign £15m-rated midfielder Anderson Talisca, 23, who spent last season on loan at Besiktas. (Daily Mirror)

Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, 27, remains a target for Everton despite the Merseyside club signing Dutchman Davy Klaassen. (Wales Online)

Liverpool want to raise about £60m on player sales by offloading defender Mamadou Sakho, 27, for £30m, full-back Alberto Moreno, 24, for £12m and 23-year-old forward Lazar Markovic for £20m. (Times - subscription required)

New Watford manager Marco Silva could move for Markovic, having worked with the player last season when the Serbia player was on loan at Hull. (Times - subscription required)

Arsenal have had a £17.6m bid rejected for Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado, 29, but the Serie A champions are looking for about £30m for the former Chelsea player. (Sun)

The Gunners have also made a £10.5m bid for Fenerbahce centre-back Simon Kjaer, 28, who is also wanted by city rivals AC and Inter Milan. (Turksvoetbal - in Turkish)

Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal, 31, says he is "almost certain" fellow full-back Hector Bellerin, 22, will stay at the club next season amid interest from Barcelona. (Evening Standard)

West Ham have dropped their interest in £15m-rated Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, 27, but Everton, Newcastle and West Brom are all keen. (Daily Star)

Manchester City striker Patrick Roberts, 20, who scored 11 goals on loan at Celtic last season, has held talks with French side Nice over another loan move. (Sun)

But newly promoted Huddersfield are set to offer him the chance to play in the Premier League. (Daily Record)

Tottenham are a number of clubs interested in signing Lazio forward Keita Balde, 22, who is valued at £30m by the Serie A club. (Daily Mirror)

Southampton intend to interview former Ajax boss Frank de Boer and ex-Valencia manager Mauricio Pellegrino to replace the sacked Claude Puel and hope to make an appointment by the end of next week. (Daily Telegraph)

However former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel has ruled himself out of the Southampton vacancy. (Sky Sports)

Stoke would want more than the British record £30m Everton paid to sign Jordan Pickford, if they were to sell goalkeeper Jack Butland, 24. (Stoke Sentinel)

Several Premier League clubs, most notably Newcastle, have enquired about Valencia's £13.1m-rated centre-back Aymen Abdennour, 27. (Foot Mercato)

French Ligue 1 side Paris St-Germain have ended their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 27, as the club's new sporting director Antero Henrique deems the £61m-rated player to be too expensive. (Goal.com)

Marseille are trying to sign full-back Bacary Sagna, 34, who is a free agent after being released by Manchester City. (Daily Mirror)

AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 18, has rejected the club's offer of a new £80,000-a-week contract. His current deal expires in 2018. (Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare has made a bid to appoint Oxford manager Michael Appleton as his assistant. (Daily Mail)


A hair restoration company has tweeted images of Wales midfielder Joe Ledley - a free agent after being released by Crystal Palace - who is having surgery for a hair transplant. (KSL Hair)

Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian has returned to Italy... as he married his long-term fiancee at a ceremony close to his home town of Legnano. (Sun)

Darmian's new team-mate, defender Victor Lindelof, headed to a well-known Chinese restaurant in Manchester after sealing a £31m move to Old Trafford. (Daily Mail)

Best of Thursday's transfer news

Arsenal are prepared to use French striker Olivier Giroud, 30, as part of a deal to sign Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, 18, or Lyon counterpart Alexandre Lacazette, 26. (London Evening Standard)

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is interested in reuniting with 30-year-old defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva, who is believed to be available for about £4m from Liverpool. (Northern Echo)

Paris St-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, 24, could be nearing an £88m move to Barcelona after being spotted - with his agent - in the same Ibiza restaurant as the Spanish side's superstar forward Lionel Messi. (Goal.com)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

The front page of today’s A Bola carries shock news that will send Europe’s biggest and richest clubs into a frenzy: “Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Spain!” they squeal. “The decision is irreversible and he has already told the Real Madrid president”. It seems the player is “outraged” by the charges of criminal tax fraud that have landed on his doorstep this week and is planning to take his revenge by personally snubbing their country of origin. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain could both be interested in sealing a – deep breath – £157m deal for the 32-year-old.

If he does take the former option he wouldn’t be the only Portuguese player moving to Manchester, with the £15m-rated Benfica midfielder/striker Anderson Talisca also on his way to the club, according to Anderson Talisca. “I’ve had a good season and Mourinho has a love for me,” he roars in the Mirror. “I will not lie. His love is old and I like his work. He’s a great coach and I hope everything works out. My representatives are dealing with the situation. Soon, they’ll have news.” The good news is that United still have Benfica on speed dial, having sealed a deal for Victor Lindelof on Wednesday. The bad news is that they signed Lindelof, not Talisca.

Ivan Perisic is also on his way to Manchester United, according to “sources close to the player” and the Manchester Evening News, who reveal that the Croatian midfield schemer “appreciates” and “enjoys” Mourinho’s management skills – which is another way of saying he didn’t watch much of United last season – and would be happy to leave Internazionale. Fortuitously, Mourinho also appreciates Perisic, and “a source close to the potential move” has told the Mail that despite a hefty £44m asking price “we’re looking at it going through within weeks”.

And the Mill’s final United update of the day concerns their negotiations with Álvaro Morata, with whom they have apparently agreed a massive £350,000 a week contract. This adds up to a little over £90m over the course of a five-year deal, which given that they may end up paying a £90m fee for the player – though £78m might do it, according to some papers – amounts to a £180m outlay, for a player who started 41% of Real Madrid’s league games last season, and only one of 13 in the Champions League. Meanwhile Arsenal are ready to send Olivier Giroud to Monaco if it will help them take Kylian Mbappé in the other direction. Which it won’t, because he’s going to Madrid.

Tottenham have joined the chase for Lazio’s Keita Baldé, the £30m-rated, 22-year-old forward who also figures prominently on the Everton and Liverpool shopping lists, according to the Mirror. The player “is understood to be holding out for a move to Juventus”, but should his desires turn out to be unrequited a rival suitor could swoop. Meanwhile Chelsea are ready to hand Napoli all the loose change jangling around their purse – some £52.5m once you add it all up – for Kalidou Koulibaly, who they tried to sign last summer and are ready to bid for again. Asked about the speculation, Koulibaly’s agent apparently said: “Chelsea? I don’t want to talk about this now.”

M’Baye Niang, the French forward who starred very sporadically while on loan from Milan to Watford last season, could soon make a permanent move to England – though to Merseyside, rather than Hertfordshire. Sources spotted him at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground on Thursday, and a £15.7m transfer could now be sealed within days.

Watford hope to boost their Niangless creative ranks with the signing of the Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic, who worked with their new manager, Marco Silva, at Hull last season with some success. They will have to fight off Zenit St Petersburg and “clubs in Portugal”, according to the Sun, who assert that Markovic is “one of a handful of fringe men Jürgen Klopp will look to flog” this summer. The bad news for the Hornets is that this will be no bargain buy: they may scarcely have played him, they may be looking to flog him, but Liverpool want £20m for him anyway.

Planet Football

A tribute to Nenê at PSG and his ‘right man, wrong time’ act at West Ham

Tom Victor

Nenê was hardly a rip-roaring success during his short spell in the Premier League with West Ham, but having seen the Brazilian at Paris Saint-Germain it’s hard not to wish he’d arrived sooner and stayed longer.

Back in August 2011, Paris Saint-Germain positioned themselves as the next superclub-in-waiting.

Flush with Qatari money, the Ligue 1 title contenders spent more than €75million on a hatful of new signings, including club-record buy Javier Pastore. There was hope that the new arrivals would help the club bludgeon their way to a first domestic title since 1994.

It was not quite on the Manchester City level of slow starts under new money, but the first title challenge of the Qatari era still came up empty.

Manager Antoine Kombouaré was dismissed at the halfway point in the season with the club holding a precarious lead at the top of the table, but they couldn’t hold on under Carlo Ancelotti. Instead, an unheralded Montpelier side lifted the title, inspired by Younes Belhanda, Olivier Giroud and, oddly, John Utaka.

And the goalscoring charts didn’t exactly pan out as expected, either. Pastore may have delivered, recording the best goals tally of his PSG career to date, but fellow attacking recruits fell short of one man about whom much less of a fuss was made.

Nenê top-scored for PSG in his first season, 2010-11, but many expected him to be sidelined by the new arrivals. Certainly, few would have predicted him to lead the title challenge with 21 league goals including several braces and a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Rennes.

Watching Nenê play, you wouldn’t expect him to be known for his stats, and it almost feels accidental that he found the net so frequently during his time in Paris.

He was a proper Brazilian number 10, possessing a left foot that redefined the word ‘deft’. Watching him play in Paris was like watching Álvaro Recoba borrowing Diego Forlán’s magic goalscoring boots.

Already the wrong side of 30 by the time he left Paris in 2013, Nenê almost vanished as quickly as he emerged.

In one sense, his heroics of the prior season mean it feels like a travesty that his two Champions League starts in the 2012-13 campaign were the only ones of his career, but one might counter that by pointing out that he showed little before moving to Paris to suggest he would even achieve that much.

If anything, his style of play is more along the lines of ‘former young talent snapped up by Sam Allardyce after seeing his career stall in the Middle East’. Which, now that I mention it…

Nenê was snapped up by Allardyce during the future England boss’ final season at West Ham, after a spell with Qatari club Al-Gharafa which is best remembered for what can only really be described as an episode of ‘Tekken-lite’.

If you speak to most West Ham fans about Nenê, he’ll probably fall into the ‘wait, when did he play for us?’ category alongside the likes of Mladen Petrić, Luis Jiménez and Jérémie Aliadière.

However, unlike the others, there remains a sense that the Brazilian might have been able to achieve more at Upton Park had he arrived at a different time.

Four days before his arrival, West Ham had capitulated in a 4-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat at West Brom, a game in which Morgan Amalfitano was sent off for slapping an opponent in the face in front of a referee who was already in the process of booking him for a separate offence.

The fallout from that game, coupled with the launch of the Dylan Tombides Foundation in memory of the former West Ham youngster who lost his battle to cancer, meant minds were elsewhere when Nenê was handed his debut in claret and blue.

That afternoon, West Ham were in the midst of a run of one win in nine league games when they welcomed Crystal Palace to E13, with potential victories over Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur snatched away by stoppage-time equalisers.

Having sat in the Champions League places on Christmas Day, they were well on their way to a bottom-half finish that would ultimately see Allardyce dismissed at the end of the campaign, and the lack of January signings was beginning to expose the limitations of a squad that 12 months earlier was mired in a relegation scrap.

Some members of the squad were visibly tired even at this early stage of the campaign, while others, like Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis and Carlton Cole, were on their way out.

Nenê was facing an uphill battle, but that afternoon, under the unseasonal East London sunshine, he showed the kind of ability that could have made a difference if showcased at less of a mess of a club.

The former PSG man came off the bench to contribute to West Ham’s tally of 17 shots off target, but not all off-target shots are created equal.

After collecting the ball from Carl Jenkinson, he managed to take his marker out of the game without really moving, before opening up his body and preparing to curl one into the top corner from the edge of the box. Only it didn’t go in: Julián Speroni was beaten, but the ball clipped the outside of the post and dropped wide.

Perhaps it was the weeks of dire performances and minimal attacking threat. Perhaps it was the heat getting to me after a cold London winter. But this was the sort of flair we’d been waiting for. Just a shame it came when it did.

West Ham fell to a 3-1 defeat that afternoon and won just twice more before the end of the campaign (even those, 1-0 victories over Burnley and Sunderland, were almost by default).

Nenê made some more substitute appearances, but never made the starting line-up, possibly because Allardyce had done his usual thing of signing a number 10 despite never using a system that accommodated one.

That summer, Allardyce was replaced by Slaven Bilić, and Nenê was allowed to leave as the new manager felt there would be no place for him in a squad boosted by new arrivals Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio. Guess we’ll have to give him that one.

Considering West Ham’s development under Bilić, there’s no real case for Nenê staying on, but there are so many iterations of the club that could have benefited from his talents.

Those years spent watching a broken Freddie Ljungberg wandering up and down the touchline, or seeing Jonathan Spector as the creative threat in a three man midfield, or watching Mido – Mido! – lead the line: where was Nenê then?

In a sense, having had him on board for those few months only adds to the frustration of lacking that exact sort of player in years past.

There has been a ‘let’s see what you could have won’ element to West Ham’s creative players in the Premier League era – yes, even with Ljungberg – and this can be frustrating.

However, when watching your club whimpering towards a mid-table finish, flashes of pure class can still cheer up even the most pessimistic fan.


Report names the Arsenal player West Ham United are far more likely to sign than Olivier Giroud

John Verrall

West Ham United have been linked with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud in recent times.

According to Bleacher Report, West Ham United are unlikely to be successful in their pursuit of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.

West Ham are believed to have an interest in signing Giroud from the Gunners this summer, with Slaven Bilic’s side said to be prepared to offer the French international £100,000-a-week (London Evening Standard).

However, Arsenal are reportedly keen to keep Giroud around - as Arsene Wenger believes the 30-year-old has a role to play at the Emirates Stadium.

Although Giroud has not been a regular starter for Arsenal over the past campaign, Wenger is said to believe that the target-man is still an important weapon for his side.

West Ham are, therefore, more likely to have some success in signing Lucas Perez.

Perez is also believed to be on West Ham’s list of possible options, as they look to upgrade their forward line.

And Arsenal are believed to be more willing to part company with Perez, who they only signed last summer.

Perez scored seven goals in 21 appearances for Arsenal during his first campaign in English football.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

JAC 2:10 Sat Jun 17
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
The Planet Football bit sums up how bad it became.Whilst it's not great at the moment, look to the future and get behind the current set up.

If we don't ,our club could die.

And we know the posters who would love that.

Texas Iron 8:50 Fri Jun 16
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Russ of the BML 3:16 Fri Jun 16
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Liverpool want to sell Alberto Moreno, 24, for £12m and 23-year-old forward Lazar Markovic for £20m


Takashi Miike 2:45 Fri Jun 16
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

ted fenton 2:20 Fri Jun 16
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mart O 1:32 Fri Jun 16

Mart O 1:32 Fri Jun 16
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:26 Fri Jun 16

Thanks Alan 1:26 Fri Jun 16
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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