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 11:22 Fri Aug 11
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal have offered Chile international Alexis Sanchez a new contract worth £300,000 per week, to make him the Premier League's highest paid player. (Daily Mail)

But manager Arsene Wenger has admitted Arsenal are "not super optimistic" that they can convince the 28-year-old forward to extend his contract. (SFR Sport - in French)

Juventus are prepared to offer £23m to try to persuade Liverpool to sell German midfielder Emre Can. (Gazzetta dello Sport via Daily Mirror)

West Ham have bid a club record 30 million euros (£27.1m) for Sporting Lisbon and Portugal midfielder William Carvalho, 25. (Daily Telegraph)

Barcelona cannot afford to buy Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho if they sign France forward Ousame Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, according to Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter. (BBC Radio 5 live)

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is battling a pay crisis in the wake of England left-back Danny Rose's criticism of the club's ambition. (Daily Mirror)

Rose got a "heroes' welcome" from the Spurs dressing room, with team-mates threatening to speak out. (Sun)

Tottenham stars are lining up to leave because of the club's rigid pay structure. (Daily Mail)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has prioritised signing a first-choice left back with Tottenham's Rose, 27, one of the players under consideration. (Daily Record)

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has told Spurs they will not be able to sign midfielder Ross Barkley, 23, on the cheap. (Daily Star)

Arsenal believe they have made a breakthrough in the negotiations to keep Mesut Ozil at Emirates Stadium, with the 28-year-old Germany midfielder giving the impression that he is preparing to accept the £225,000-a-week deal on offer. (Sun)

PSG could be willing to offer 28-year-old Argentina midfielder Javier Pastore to Atletico Madrid as part of a deal for Slovenia goalkeeper Jan Oblak, 24. (AS)

Real Madrid have held secret talks with Juventus over Barcelona target and Argentina forward Paulo Dybala, 23. (Don Balon - in Spanish)

Arsene Wenger says Chelsea boss Antonio Conte should call back some of his loan players if he is worried about the size of his squad. (Times - subscription required)

Samir Nasri's hopes of leaving Manchester City could be scuppered by the club's £10m-plus valuation of the 30-year-old French midfielder, in addition to the player earning £9.6m in wages. (Daily Telegraph)

Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare says he is not losing sleep over the threat of losing players before transfer deadline day. (Daily Star)

Newcastle and West Ham are locked in a battle to sign Brentford's Spanish midfielder Jota, 26. (Daily Mirror)

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez fears he will miss out on Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, who would prefer a move to Deportivo La Coruna. (Daily Express)

Stoke City are trying to complete the £7m signing of Porto's Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi, 25, in time for him to be eligible to play against Everton on Saturday. (Sky Sports)

Vinicius Jnr, 16, who is set to join Real Madrid in 2019 for £38.7m, scored his first professional goal after just 30 seconds for Brazilian side Flamengo. (Marca)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has posted a video of his gruelling workout as he returns from injury. (Instagram)

Petr Cech has proved he is not just an able goalkeeper on the football pitch, but also on the ice. (isportTV)

Marouane Fellaini's facial expression when he was hit by a ball in the Super Cup on Tuesday has been immortalised in a mural in Australia. (ESPN)
Best of Thursday's transfer news

Liverpool are stepping up their interest in Gremio's Brazilian forward Luan, dubbed 'the new Ronaldinho', by sending a scout to watch the 24-year-old. (Daily Mirror)

The Reds took just 35 minutes to reject Barcelona's increased £90.3m offer for 25-year-old midfielder Philippe Coutinho. (Daily Express)

RB Leipzig chief Ralf Rangnick has admitted the German club will likely sell 22-year-old midfielder and Liverpool target Naby Keita, but not until next season. (Daily Mirror)

AC Milan are hoping to continue their summer recruitment spree with a sensational move for 35-year-old former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Corriere dello Sport)

Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk is adamant that 24-year-old defender Ben Gibson, who has been the subject of interest from Southampton and West Brom, is not for sale. (Daily Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Daniel Harris

We start this morning with Tottenham Hotspur, who are poised break the bank with an £Infinity sextuple-swoop for Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon and Harry Hawke. Not really. But Daniel Levy is going to get a really moderate pat on the head from Joe Lewis, which is basically like winning a trophy.

He will then set about resolving his club’s nascent wage-crisis. It seem like Danny Rose will be forced to leave after accidentally behaving in such a way as to make his position untenable. His appalling audacity in speaking honestly looks likely to be punished by a move to Manchester United, where he will earn more money and be more likely to win trophies; it is possible that Luke Shaw will move in the other direction, though such a manoeuvre is fraught with difficulty.

Down the East Lancs Road, Liverpool are looking at Luan, the Grêmio forward imaginatively dubbed the “new Ronaldinho”. He is in the final year of his contract and has, apparently, been “talking with several European clubs”, one of them thought to be Spartak Moscow. Should he decide that Anfield is not for him, Jürgen Klopp will surely turn his attention to Robbie Keane or Craig Bellamy.

And Klopp is still interested in buying Naby Keïta; happily, his keenly held and earnestly principled objection to astronomical transfer fees is limited to those not paid by him. Keïta’s manager at RB Leipzig, Ralf Rangnick, has again insisted that the player will not be leaving this summer, but noted that, in a year’s time, he will be free to go for a piffling and profoundly moral £48m.

On the other hand Liverpool took just 35 minutes to reject Barcelona’s bid for Philippe Coutinho – where he would link up with former Liverpool player, Luis Suárez. Liverpool, by the way, are not a selling club, though it is only right and proper that those they’d like to buy from are. Anyway, the fee offered for Coutinho, a player who has neither won anything nor played in the Champions League, was £90.3m – or for those who struggle to grasp a number so abstract, 9,030,000,000 cola bottles. This will, though, all be moot should Barcelona persuade Borussia Dortmund to sell them Ousmane Dembélé as they cannot afford both.

Across Merseyside, it now transpires that Ross Barkley might stay with Everton. It was widely hoped that he would join Manchester United to sustain the joy of him saying “Lukaku” on a regular basis, but with no offer from Old Trafford forthcoming, nor anywhere else, there is a fair chance that he will stay put. And Gylfi Sigurdsson is still likely to arrive from Swansea once a suitably appalling fee has been agreed upon.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s famously incisive talent scouts have been at it again. Now that Kylian Mbappé is likely to sign for Paris Saint-Germain, they have noticed that Juventus’s Paulo Dybala is also good at football. Secret talks have been held, which is why one can read about them in a column such as this.

Elsewhere, Milan would like to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish self-effacer actually played for the club between 2010 and 2012, but it is more likely that he will re-sign for Manchester United, who are showing discouraging signs of pace and movement.

Back in England, the game, inasmuch as it relates to Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough, is afoot. Both Southampton and West Brom would like him for their defence, but Boro manager Garry Monk is insisting that he spend a year of his life earning less money for less professional satisfaction. Monk is also upset that the transfer window remains open even though the season has already started, and rightly so; we are, though, lucky that the world has no more pressing issues with which to disturb our equilibrium.


West Ham star Michail Antonio on the sacrifices he's made to get fit... I even took the physio on my stag do!

Forward Michail Antonio believes West Ham can aim for the top six this season
Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez have all joined the Hammers
Antonio reflects the optimism building at club that feels ready to progress again
27-year-old admits aspirations to reach the World Cup is in the back of his mind

By Adam Crafton

Michail Antonio is picking up the pace. '5000/1!,' he grins. 'Leicester City won the league, so anything can happen.'

As we enter the month of August, optimism is building at West Ham. After a sometimes traumatic first season at the London Stadium, combined with the toxic departure of Dimitri Payet in January, this is a club that feels ready for progress once more.

High-quality summer signings have arrived in the form of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, while Antonio - the club's top goalscorer last season - signed terms on a new long-term deal in May.

So is it feasible to make a push for the top six? 'I'm not saying we are going to win the league,' Antonio says, 'But you can't guarantee those top six places will stay the same because a team could have six injuries in the first six games and football is unpredictable. We are never going to rule it out but we have to play at the level we can do.'

For Antonio, this has been a rewarding summer. The month of May saw him named West Ham's player of the season and this was swiftly followed by the culmination of dragged-out contract talks, as he signed a contract worth £70,000-per-week including add-ons.

For a while, it seemed that the talks may reach an impasse. He admits he wanted reassurances that the club saw him as an attacking player rather than a right-back, where he played for parts of last season.

'Definitely,' he says. 'I don't mind the wing-back role but I don't like to feel boxed in defence. I like to be free, involved and scoring goals - that's when I'm happiest.

'To me, it was about signing the right contract. As a player I thought I did well enough to be up there among the high earners. I believed in my value. It dragged on a bit longer but you have to play the game!'

Antonio bursts out laughing. Life is good for Antonio. This summer, he married long-term girlfriend Debbie Whittle at a Staffordshire stately home followed by a honeymoon in the Seychelles.

Antonio is still short of full fitness having injured his a hamstring towards the end of last term

Amid the joy, Antonio battled a hamstring injury that flared up in April and subsequently led to surgery. His determination to recover even interrupted his stag do.

'I went to Las Vegas - the only place you can have a stag do! We were there for seven days. There were all my boys and Fraser the physio! I was doing workouts pre and after celebrations. I was up for 10am every day for sessions.'

The dedication paid off. The opening weekend trip to Manchester United will come too soon but Antonio's schedule puts him on track to return for the visit to Southampton one week later. He is on the brink of a return to full training with the first team.

He is eager to get started but some of the scars of last season must be healed. In West Ham's debut campaign at the London Stadium, amid trouble on the terraces and unease on the pitch, the team took only 25 points from a possible 57 at their new ground. It was the 16th worst record in the division. Only three teams Premier League sides conceded more home goals.

'The hardest games were Man City - we let in 12 in three games against them. I can't even think about City. The 5-0 in the FA Cup was crazy - they give you a false sense of security. They knock it about and you think "I'm all right, here".

'They pass it back, and make you believe that it is you forcing them back. But they are opening you up bit by bit and the one moment you don't press as a team, they are in. They scored one and we made the mistake of chasing, then it's two, three, four, five...unbelievable.'

Antonio wants an improvement this season.

The right-sided player hopes his performances can attract the attention of Gareth Southgate

'We need to find the consistency we had at the Boleyn Ground and make the London Stadium a proper fortress. Towards the end of the season, we started winning games there and that got us up to 11th.

'People said how much it was not a good season but we were point away from 8th. But we want to improve. As a professional footballer, we cannot blame the tools. Certain performances last season...we can't say it's the stadium. The pitch is ten times better than the Boleyn ground. It is basically a carpet - perfect.

'The crowd last season didn't really take to it but hopefully this season we realise that we can't look back. The Boleyn Ground is gone, this is our home and the fans have now just got to get behind us.'

With Arnautovic and Hernandez now on board, Antonio is optimistic.

'Marko is quality. With Dimi, he wasn't rapid but he was agile. He had that low centre of gravity so hopefully he can do what Dimi did and replace the great player we lost. With Javier, we've needed a striker who's gonna get goals. I finished the season with nine goals. As much as I enjoy being top goalscorer, that should not be the best record. Now we go out there excited with Marko and Javier.'

For Antonio, this is a significant year. His versatility and goal record make him a contender for Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad in Russia next summer.

'It's always going to be at the back of my mind in a World Cup year. Every player needs to be in top form. To have the experience of the World Cup would be unbelievable.'


West Ham and Newcastle set for transfer scrap over Brentford star Jota

Promoted Magpies need more midfield quality and Hammers fear losing Manuel Lanzini if Liverpool sell Philippe Coutinho

By Neil Moxley

Newcastle and West Ham are locked in a bitter battle for Brentford’s Jota.

The 26-year-old Spaniard is one of the Championship's most skillful players (Image: PA Wire)

The two clubs are squaring off over the Spanish playmaker who has just one season left to run on his contract at Griffin Park.

Jota, 26, is seen as a ball-player who will add quality to both teams going forward — and rival bosses Rafael Benitez and Slaven Bilic have different reasons for pursuing the deal.

Toon chief Benitez still believes he is short of quality in areas that can make a difference for his promoted Magpies.

He is hoping his compatriot will see the potential to become a household name on football-mad Tyneside.

While Bilic has less of an issue as it currently stands but wants insurance, should Liverpool come calling for Manuel Lanzini .

The Argentine will be on Jurgen Klopp’s hit-list if Barcelona were to succeed in their attempts to prise Philippe Coutinho away from Anfield.

It has been mooted that Lanzini will be offered a huge five-year deal to remain at the Olympic Stadium.

But with Coutinho’s situation far from cut and dried he is unlikely to sign it while Merseyside remains a potential destination.

Evening Standard

Slaven Bilic column: West Ham gambled to sign four leaders who have a point to prove

Our pre-season has gone well but now it is over. The players have worked hard, they are fit enough — now comes the real test.

At the end of last season I said we needed quality rather than quantity. We achieved that quality early which is important. We did what we wanted to do.

Okay, you never know how things will go, it’s not only down to us or even the players — there are third parties, the clubs, agents — all of that.

The players we signed were our first targets. To be fair, Joe Hart wasn’t planned last season but when the opportunity occurred, we jumped on it.

The others — Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez — were in our plans from the start.

As I said, all four were our first targets and we gambled a bit. We had second or third targets who were also very good players and at one stage it looked like one or two of our priorities would be hard to get.

But we took the risk, we waited and waited and it turned out well.

All four of them know the Premier League, which is important. Joe and Chicharito played in this league before moving to another country while the other two have been here for some time and don’t need time to adjust.

They are all still very hungry and they all have a point to prove, either because they didn’t play enough last year, or they want to go to another level. None of them has come here to enjoy the life in London, they want to do it out there on the pitch.

They are all professionals and, which is also so important these days, they want to take responsibility on the pitch.

Arnautovic has been one of Stoke’s best players for the past few seasons.

We know Chicharito can score goals but he also gives you energy, he runs in behind, he links play well.

Zabaleta is reliable, responsible and can play in several positions. We have been struggling at right-back, especially when Sam Byram was injured last season and we had to play people there, like Havard Nordtveit or Cheikhou Kouyate, who can do a job but are better elsewhere in the team.

In the case of Joe, we found out that he wasn’t going to stay in Italy — that City didn’t want him back and that he was available. David Sullivan knew him from his time at Birmingham, where he helped keep them up.

At that moment we had two good goalkeepers but when we had a chance to sign England’s No1, it was an opportunity to make a big statement for the club — so I said yes.

I would like to pay a big credit to David Sullivan and the board. They have done a great job — and on time.

Now the job is virtually done, maybe one or two to go and one more to come in.


Everything went well in Austria and Germany in pre-season. We were away a long time — but that’s life. You have to work hard in pre season — it’s not a jolly-up.

The only downside was injuries to Cheikhou Kouyate and Manuel Lanzini. They will both miss the first couple of games but they will be back then.

When you look back on last season, it wasn’t so bad. We finished 11th. That position doesn’t tell the whole truth about the season. Normally, 11th means stability.

It was never like that. There was a great deal of turbulence right until the end. We didn’t have time to turn on the auto pilot.

I was very proud of the season but was it the season we wanted? No.


I am in the final year on my contract, but as a manager of a Premier League club you are always asked about your future, and the pressure if results are not going well.

Your job is always under scrutiny and, basically, you are judged by the last couple of results.

It doesn’t really make any difference with regard to job security because this is the final year of my contract.

It is the game on Sunday at Old Trafford — and the following weekends — that really affect my job.

I am optimistic about this season and I expect us to go forward, but I am not setting any specific targets now. I don’t believe in that kind of mathematics. I use numbers a lot, but not in this specific.

We have to play the first three Premier League games away which some may say isn’t ideal, but personally I don’t see it as an issue. We play every team home and away across the season. We will not spend time setting up any excuses. I don’t want any of us, the players, even the fans, to think about that.

I watched Manchester United against Real Madrid earlier this week. They have changed the system in the last few games and they have new players, but the one thing that stands out is their physicality.

United have the size, the kilos, but without losing the pace. Their physicality — with the pace — is quite scary, and new signings such as their striker Romelu Lukaku have only added to that part of their game.

They will be crazy motivated, and for players such as Paul Pogba, it will be their second season at United. They will believe they are one of the favourites to win the league.

We have done well there in the League in the past couple of seasons though, and we are ready.

If we continue to work hard, to pull the right way and have that luck with injuries, then we can have a terrific season.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 9:00 Sat Aug 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Mart O 3:30 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Whitester. 12:06 Fri Aug 11

icwhs 2:06 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

BubblesCyprus 1:47 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated

thecockneyboy 1:43 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers al

Far East Hammer 1:38 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Alan 12:47 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Slav's column added.

Queens Fish Bar 12:08 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Whitester. 12:06 Fri Aug 11
I look forward to reading your thread every day and have done for years now.

Thank you for your effort. ⚒

Alwaysaniron 11:38 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al

We seem to be doing some good trade this summer. About time too....

Takashi Miike 11:29 Fri Aug 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Jota would be a good signing

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