WHO Poll
Q: 2018/19 Wolves (H)
a. At last we have a win now let's make it two, Win
b. A win against 10 men and two leagues below us is fine, but this will be much harder I'll take a point, Draw
c. Who are we kidding, a win against Wimbledon and all is rosy, forget it we're getting our arses kicked in this one, Lose
d. It's at times like these when you really do miss Love Island
e. I was all over this game until I found out it's not on the box, the broadcasting companies really don't care about us hard core fans do they, I might pop off to Thorpe Park for the day instead, obviously in my WHU shirt

Alan 10:29 Thu Jul 27
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Paris St-Germain remain confident of concluding a £198m deal to sign Barcelona's 25-year-old forward Neymar within the next 15 days. (L'Equipe - in French, subscription required)

Barcelona will try to sign Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho, 25, should they lose Neymar to PSG. (Talksport)

Coutinho has asked Liverpool to let him leave for Barcelona, and has already agreed personal terms with the La Liga club. (RAC1, via Star)

A move by Real Madrid for France and Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, 18, could see Real's winger Gareth Bale, 28, join Manchester United. (Independent)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his club have the finances to challenge Real Madrid for the signing of Mbappe. (Mail)

Meanwhile, Bale has rejected a possible move to Arsenal. The Gunners wanted the Wales international to replace Alexis Sanchez. (Don Balon, via Star)

Midfielder Jack Wilshere, 25, wants to stay in England if he leaves Arsenal. (ESPN)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has given the clearest indication yet that Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35, will re-sign for the club. (Times - subscription required)

Arsenal are closing in on a £45m deal for Monaco's French midfielder Thomas Lemar. (Sun)

Or, Lemar will stay at the Ligue 1 club after Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said the 21-year-old is not for sale. (Metro)

Manchester United are still keen to sign Chelsea's 28-year-old midfielder Nemanja Matic, and believe they can persuade the Premier League champions to sell for a fee over £40m. (Independent)

Borussia Dortmund's Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino, 21, is close to signing for Newcastle. (Evening Chronicle)

France centre-back Mamadou Sakho, 27, has not been included in Liverpool's 30-man squad for their three-match tour of Germany. (Liverpool Echo)

Chelsea want to borrow £500m to fund the building of their new stadium, rather than relying on the cash reserves of owner Roman Abramovich. (Times - subscription required)

The Blues are in talks with interested parties over a naming rights deal for their new stadium, but the club insist the name Stamford Bridge will be preserved in some way. (Evening Standard)

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says if he could buy any striker in the world, he would go for Tottenham's 23-year-old forward Harry Kane. (Daily Mail)

Tottenham are chasing Benfica's 28-year-old Serbia midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa. (Sun)

Everton boss Ronald Koeman wants to sign three more players - a centre-back, a forward and Swansea's 27-year-old attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. (Mirror)

Middlesbrough have made a £7m bid for West Ham's 21-year-old striker Ashley Fletcher. (Sun)

Birmingham are close to signing 33-year-old Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing. (Mirror)


West Brom have sent out season tickets bearing the picture of former captain Darren Fletcher, who joined Stoke in June. (Mirror)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been depicted on a 1,000 kroner note by a Swedish artist. "You have Benjamin Franklin and you have me," the striker wrote on Instagram.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart, 30, revealed why he has chosen to wear the number 25 shirt on loan at West Ham from Manchester City. (Evening Standard)

Best of Wednesday's transfer news

Barcelona have sent officials to England to try to sign Philippe Coutinho despite Liverpool rejecting a £72m bid from the Spanish giants for the 25-year-old forward. (Sport, via Daily Express)

Liverpool insist Coutinho is not for sale at any price, but Barca are prepared to bid £80m. (Daily Star)

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp says the club are not afraid to spend heavily this summer as they continue to pursue 26-year-old Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk. (Daily Mirror)

Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches has revealed he wants to leave, with AC Milan and Manchester United interested in the £43m-rated 19-year-old. (Independent)

Tottenham are considering a move for Hoffenheim defender Jeremy Toljan, 22, after talks stalled with Porto over full-back Ricardo Pereira, 23. (Daily Mail)

Arsenal face the prospect of taking a sizeable loss on Spanish striker Lucas Perez after Deportivo La Coruna made a £9m bid for the 28-year-old. (Evening Standard)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Nick Ames

The Mill welcomes you to another day’s normalisation of absurdity but, to be fair, that doesn’t have to mean this is an article about football. It actually is – though by all means extend its connotations to a wider social and cultural atrophy if it so takes you – so if you can tear yourself away from all the white-knuckle pre-season fri£ndly action, we’ll bring you the news that free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic may well return to Manchester United for the second half of next season – with José Mourinho so confident in the modest Swede’s powers of recovery that he has ditched plans to sign another striker this pre-season.

Not much of the big-money action we demand there, is there? We want money! And so do Nice, if Arsenal are to get hold of their playmaker Jean Michaël Seri. He likes them. They like him. Does their admiration extend to the £36m that would trigger his release clause? Swansea had a £15m salvo turned down; the Gunners will almost certainly get their man if they stump up. Tottenham are interested too, but we don’t talk about money-hating Tottenham in this column.

Arsenal are also thought to be in pole position for Manchester City wonderkid Jadon Sancho, as per rumours earlier in the week. He has a soft spot for the men from north London, apparently, although Borussia Dortmund think they have a chance of persuading him across to Germany.

Even if Nice keep hold of Seri, they might struggle to retain Henrique Dalbert now that Liverpool are keen to meet his €30m release fee. Why buy one perfectly good left-back, Andy Robertson, when you can flourish your wad for another? There is more defence-bolstering activity on Merseyside but of the more prosaic variety, with Everton steaming in to sign West Ham’s James Collins. The Toffees have, such is the way we all think now, become definite title contenders through sheer force of incoming transfer numbers; this would be their 11th although Crystal Palace and Stoke are also having a look at the 33-year-old.

Michael Hector, who those with outstanding memories might remember plays for Chelsea, looks like leaving them on loan to enjoy some football with Hull City. In further Championship news, Middlesbrough are willing to pay £7m for West Ham’s Ashley Fletcher. And if that seems a lot of money then consider the £10m that Reading would happily put newly-promoted Huddersfield’s way for their forward Nahki Wells – who David Wagner has admitted is “on the market”.

Some non-league news to finish with, because the insanity has trickled that far down. Publicity-shy Billericay Town, and their shrinking violet of an owner Glenn Tamplin, believe that a 32-year-old former Arsenal player, (and also a European Cup winner) is on the verge of joining Jamie O’Hara and Paul Konchesky in the seventh tier, and presumably any number of reality television shows to boot. The Mill will let you do the guessing; not enough surprises us anymore.


Winston Reid approaching return to full West Ham training

Winston Reid is ‘on schedule’ and hoping to return to full training with West Ham United soon.

The centre-back missed the final two Premier League fixtures of last season to undergo surgery on a painful shin condition, but has put in the hard yards over the summer, with successful results.

Reid travelled with the squad to Austria earlier this month and is stepping up his rehab work after arriving in Germany with his teammates on Monday afternoon.

“Hopefully in the next week or so I should be back, which we were sort of aiming for,” he revealed. “Generally, the rehab has been really good and the surgery has fixed the problem, which is the most important thing. I’ll be able to go out there and play pain-free, which is a blessing.

“It was just one of those things that you get every now and then. You get various knocks and bruises and you fix them and this one has been fixed now.”

While his physical condition is forever improving, the New Zealand international is also feeling refreshed mentally after enjoying a relaxing family holiday during his month-long summer break.

“You get to spend quality time with them and you do what your family wants to do, rather than perhaps what you would choose to do yourself!” said the No2, who took his wife and two young twins to the United States and the Caribbean.

“It’s just about going out and getting away from football because it can be a long old year, like the one we had last year, so it’s good to go away and relax a little bit.

“During the season you cannot escape football, especially around Christmas time, when you need to find that inner strength to push through. I’m used to it now, but it can be difficult for players when you first come from abroad. For that reason, a summer break is certainly good!”

The summer has also been marked by the arrival of four proven Premier League performers in east London.

With 290 caps and numerous trophies to their names, Reid believes Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez will add quality and experience to Slaven Bilic’s squad.

“We finished the season on a good note, apart from the Liverpool game, and we really did well,” he recalled. “We hope to take that form into the new season and we’ve also welcomed some new players into the fold.

“When you combine them with the ones who are still here, we want to make sure that what happened at the beginning of last season doesn’t happen again and we get off to a strong start.

“To get them in at this stage so we’ve still got time ahead of the season for them to gel with the team is massively important. They are all players who have done well in the Premier League and played in England for numerous years, so it has been a brilliant bit of business done by the Club so far.”


Newcastle United enter talks for Adrian

West Ham United want Karl Darlow if they send Adrian to Newcastle United.

Shane Callaghan

Newcastle United have re-entered talks with West Ham United for Adrian, according to The Chronicle.

Newcastle are said to be in the market for a goalkeeper as the futures of Karl Darlow and Tim Krul look rather uncertain.

The Magpies were said to have been offered Adrian earlier this month but, according to The Chronicle, West Ham want Darlow in return.

Adrian appears to be surplus to requirements at West Ham following the arrival of Joe Hart on loan.

Darlow played a big role in helping Benitez's side win promotion to the Premier League last season but it would appear as if the Spanish manager does not plan on using him in the top flight.

At 26, he needs games, however, and he would not get many next season as Hart's understudy in East London.


West Ham pressing hardest among Premier League clubs for £22m Celtic star Moussa Dembele

WEST HAM are pressing harder than any Premier League club to land Celtic star Moussa Dembele.

By Jack Staplehurst

The Hammers have already strengthened up front, having confirmed the arrival of Javier Hernandez for £16million yesterday.

He joins £25m record signing Marko Arnautovic, goalkeeper Joe Hart and right-back Pablo Zabaleta at the London Stadium.

With West Ham's transfer business in full swing, it appears they have turned their attentions to Dembele.

Express Sport understands there is a growing feeling at Celtic that the 21-year-old's departure this summer is inevitable.

Marseille have begun talks over a £20m move, but according to French newspaper L'Equipe, Celtic value him at just over £22m.

It is said West Ham have now clearly positioned themselves in the race.

And while they are not the only Premier League club interested, the Hammers are the side pressing most.

L'Equipe add Marseille are not at an advanced stage over a deal for Dembele, meaning West Ham could swoop.

The Frenchman enjoyed a stellar first season at Celtic Park following his arrival from Fulham, scoring 32 times in all competitions.

During the campaign, Dembele was linked with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Bayern Munich, and a £40m price-tag was touted at the time.

West Ham, though, are now claimed to be in pursuit, and co-chairman David Sullivan highlighted earlier today the club are not done in the transfer market.

Not only are they looking for two more additions, but the focus on any further signings will be building for the future.

Sullivan told talkSPORT: "We had a policy up to now to buy players for now, not tomorrow.

"We made a decision with the manager to buy players proven in the Premier League, who’ve been here before and are of an age where they’re not being bought for tomorrow but today.

"Long term it’s not a great strategy, but short term it is.

"Hopefully we'll buy one or two more players, make investments in the future, while at the same time doing what’s best for the club."

The Scottish Sun also claim Dembele missed Celtic training today amid talk surrounding his future.

Football London

Exclusive: Fletcher leaves West Ham training camp in Germany to discuss Middlesbrough move

West Ham transfer news includes Ashley Fletcher, who has left the training camp

By Sam Inkersole

Football.London can confirm that Ashley Fletcher has left the West Ham training camp in Germany this morning to head to Middlesbroguh for talks over a £7m move.

The young striker has been granted permission by Slaven Bilic to enter talks with the Teeside club after struggling to make an impression in claret and blue last season.

The 21-year-old has fallen further down the pecking order after the arrival of Javier Hernandez despite the other injury problems up front for the Hammers ahead of the upcoming season.

Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are both injured, while Enner Valencia has been sold and Jonathan Calleri left the club earlier this summer after his loan deal finished.

Fletcher had recently said: "I want to stay and fight for my place, I started my pre-season early and have done extra training to make sure I’m up for the challenge.
"All teams have squads and it’s up to me to prove that I deserve a place in the starting XI.

"It’s not going to be easy but I am willing to work as hard as needed to force my way into the team. All I am thinking about is to keep working hard and keep improving."

Fletcher joined the Hammers last summer on a free transfer - plus a £1m compensation fee - from Manchester United and made 20 appearances in total, with the majority of them from the bench.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

angryprumphs 8:22 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan 7:09 Thu Jul 27

Once again you go above and beyond, thanks Alan

angryprumphs 8:22 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan 7:09 Thu Jul 27

Once again you go above and beyond, thanks Alan

Alan 7:09 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Here you go, Bubbs:-

Hart snubs number 1

"The No.25 shirt will always be special to me as I wore it on my Premier League debut for Manchester City in 2006, when I got into the Team of the Season with Birmingham in 2010 and when we won the title at City in 2012," he said, per the Mirror.

"Having enjoyed so many fantastic moments with that number on my back, I thought why not go back to 25 and see what happens!

BubblesCyprus 4:02 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Why has Hart chosen squad no25 ?? Am I missing something obvious?

Steven P 12:56 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Read the Adrian article and I doubt hart will go out on loan next season because I'm sure it's his last on his current contract.

The Stoat 12:02 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
We should keep Fletch if possible and to let Adrian go will leave us short of keepers won't it? Hart has said he will go out on loan again next season but will it be with us?

Alan 11:11 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Guardian Rumour Mill and Fletcher story added.

ted fenton 11:06 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 10:40 Thu Jul 27

BubblesCyprus 10:59 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan ta muchly

bill green 10:59 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Eddie B 10:49 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan, thanks.

Thanks Alan 10:40 Thu Jul 27
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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