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 11:04 Fri Aug 18
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham are closing in on the signing of Ajax's 21-year-old centre-back Davinson Sanchez. (Telegraph)

Colombian Sanchez will cost Spurs £28m up front with a potential further £14m to come in add-ons. (Independent)

Manchester City are ready to offer West Brom £22m for their 29-year-old captain Jonny Evans after having an £18m bid rejected. City are prepared to almost double the Northern Ireland defender's £75,000 a week wages. (Mirror)

Chelsea have had a £63m bid for Juventus' 26-year-old wing-back Brazil Alex Sandro rejected. (Mirror)

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez says it will be "difficult" to sign Liverpool's 25-year-old attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho because he doesn't have a release clause. (Liverpool Echo)

Barca will "fight" to sign Brazil international Coutinho up until the transfer window closes, with the growing expectation that they will soon submit a new offer. (Telegraph)

Chelsea striker Diego Costa, 28, says he will not return to Stamford Bridge and intends to rejoin Atletico Madrid. (Telegraph)

Everton may make a move to sign Spain international Costa on loan from the Premier League champions (Sun)

Spurs defender Kevin Wimmer, 24, is in talks with West Brom over a £15m move. (Telegraph)

Stoke are also keen to sign Austria international Wimmer. (Stoke Sentinel)

Arsenal and Brazil defender Gabriel, 26, is close to a £10m move to Spanish club Valencia. (Evening Standard)

Paris St-Germain are still keen to sign Monaco's 23-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder Fabinho. (L'Equipe - in French)

PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi, 30, has completed a medical at Juventus but the two clubs are yet to agree on how any transfer fee will be paid. PSG boss Unai Emery did not want to sell the player. (Le Parisien - in French)

Borussia Dortmund's chief executive says Barcelona are "not even close" to meeting their valuation of 20-year-old France forward Ousmane Dembele. (Kicker - in German)

Fiorentina have told their 29-year-old Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic, a target for AC Milan, that he will be fined after failing to report for training on Thursday. (Sun)

Sunderland risk losing record signing Didier Ndong, 23, as Lyon could make an offer for the midfielder if they miss out on Celta Vigo's Pape Cheikh Diop. (Daily Star)

Southampton are closing in on the signing of Dutch defender Wesley Hoedt, 23, fromLazio after making a £15m bid. (Daily Mail)

Manchester United have not given up hope of signing winger Ivan Perisic, 28, despite only offering £39m to Inter Milan. (Mirror)

Other news

There will be almost 20,000 empty seats for Tottenham first league game at Wembley because of restrictions imposed by Brent council and the Metropolitan Police. (Times - subscription required)

Japanese club Vissel Kobe are keen to appoint former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal as their new manager. (Hochi, via ESPN)

The Premier League's new campaign against illegal streaming led to 600 streams being blocked on the opening weekend of the season. (Times - subscription required)

Former Barcelona, Manchester United and Middlesbrough keeper Victor Valdes, 35, has retired from football and is to set up his own TV production company. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Best of Wednesday's transfer news

Tottenham are not expected to entertain offers from Chelsea for full-back Danny Rose, 27, with the Blues ready to double his salary. (Evening Standard)

Manchester United are no longer interested in signing Rose, although the England international is desperate for a move to Old Trafford. (Daily Star)

Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, says midfielder Dele Alli, 21, would not be sold even for £150m, with Barcelona and Manchester City both interested. (Sun)

Spurs have been outbid by Lyon for Celta Vigo midfielder Pape Cheikh Diop, 20. The Premier League side offered £9m for the Senegal-born Spanish youth international. (Daily Mail)

Chelsea have not given up on signing Alex Sandro, 26, from Juventus, but are relying on the Brazilian left-back handing in a transfer request. (Evening Standard)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

“The football world has gone mad – OFFICIAL!” So states this morning’s Mirror on the back page, citing Manchester City’s willingness to spend £22m on Jonny Evans by way of evidence. “Pep Guardiola is determined to land the 29-year-old on a £120,000-a-week contract because he needs to add a home-grown player to comply with Premier League and Uefa rules on the composition of his squad,” they report. (If they think that’s mad they should read the Mail, who say City will bid £25m, or the Sun, whose “exclusive” is that they will have to pay £35m. The Baggies, sensing which way the wind is blowing here, are already in talks over a £15m bid for Tottenham’s £20m-rated Kevin Wimmer). “He must first offload £42m flop Eliaquim Mangala,” concludes the Mirror – Internazionale are keen on the French defender but though City want £30m for him, they are unlikely to get it. Indeed, the paper suggest City will end up with half of what they paid for the 26-year-old.

And while Inter are refusing to pay one Manchester club’s price for a player they are at the same time refusing to accept another Manchester club’s offer for another, the hard-bargaining little mites. United are refusing to abandon their pursuit of Ivan Perisic despite the yawning gap between what they have so far offered - £39m – and what the Italian side will accept - £48m. Inter at least appear to be equal-opportunities negotiators, demanding precisely £9m more than United want to give while offering precisely £9m less than City want to accept. They are also pursuing alternative centre-backs, and have apparently enquired about Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi. Meanwhile, back to the subject of French flops, Stoke’s Giannelli Imbula – an £18.3m transfer record-smashing buy in January 2016 – is no longer wanted and may move to Monaco, who would like him on loan to start with, ideally.

The true cost of Antonio Conte’s summer text-message dismissal of Diego Costa will become apparent in the coming days, with this morning’s Sun declaring that Chelsea are “Singin’ the Blues” as it becomes obvious that instead of receiving the £50m they might have demanded for the stroppy Spaniard, they will receive just £30m. On the plus side, they are saving £140,000 every week that Costa spends awol in Brazil. But though the player yesterday announced that “I must return to Atlético Madrid” he can’t actually play for them until January, allowing Everton to dream about getting him on loan for a bit. “Of course you like to sign players for the future, but if you can get the best one that way, then why not?” mused Ronald Koeman.

Arsenal are mulling over a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s German winger Julian Draxler, who would cost about £32m. And talking about Germany and wingers, Crystal Palace want RB Leipzig’s Oliver Burke, partly in response to the knee injury that could keep Wilfried Zaha out of action for four weeks or more. The Scot joined Leipzig from Nottingham Forest for £13m just last year and has been scouted since by Bournemouth, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Real Sport

Why Rafa Benitez soon will be West Ham manager

With Rafa Benitez struggling with Newcastle United's tight budget, could a mid-season switch to ambitious West Ham be in the offing?

by Richard Firth

Far be it for me to get involved in idle speculation, which is perhaps completely baseless, but what the hell, I have a pretty strong feeling that we’ll be seeing Rafa Benitez as the manager of West Ham United before the season is out; perhaps even before the end of 2017.

West Ham have a long held interest in him

First of all, Benitez and the East London club already have a great deal of history. In the summer of 2015, the Spaniard was hours away from joining the club as their manager, only to turn down their offer when Real Madrid came in to offer him the chance to take the helm at the Bernabeu.

West Ham ultimately went with Slaven Bilic and Benitez went on to have a miserable few months in Madrid. There has been, and still is, a clear interest in him from the owners at West Ham, as shown by their prolonged attempt to lure him back in 2015.

Bilic’s position is far from secure

The man who got the Hammers job two years ago is, of course, still there. However, there have certainly been a number of discontented rumblings coming from the club over the course of this year. Bilic’s first year saw their highest finish in 17 years and their highest goal tally in 30 years as they finished not too far outside the Champions’ League places.

Last season, though, was not as good, as the Irons went at least five games without a win on three occasions in the league. At one point, there was even talk of relegation before they went on to lose just once in the final seven matches.

Last week’s heavy defeat at Old Trafford will have brought the questions back to Bilic’s future. Their performance was poor and their defence showed great ineptitude, which was not the first time under the Croatian.

With a new stadium helping to bring in greater revenue to the club, expectations will have been heightened at the club and there must be questions as to whether Bilic can meet them. Benitez would represent arguably a step up and would certainly improve their defensive record.

Will Benitez get frustrated at Newcastle?

Of course, the Spaniard is still employed at another Premier League club, with a fan-base that has clearly taken him to their heart. Benitez’s willingness to stick with the club in the Championship was rewarded by their immediate promotion, but one wonders if a man of his ambition wants to continue to operate within the restrictions placed upon him by Mike Ashley.

Numerous reports have come out that he is frustrated at the amount of money they’ve spent this summer, and there doesn’t seem to be too much likelihood of big spending anytime soon. Here is a man who sees himself as someone who should be participating in the Champions’ League.

Newcastle, for the moment, don’t seem like qualifying for that for a good while yet. West Ham would seemingly offer more money, a bigger transfer budget and the greater potential for the immediate future and their lure may end up being too strong if things go badly in the north-east.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 6:36 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan
But could not be bothered to read the Benitez bollocks
I thought the silly football reporting season was closed, a longer window this year

BubblesCyprus 4:55 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan,please not the Spanish Waiter

Thanks Alan 11:36 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

BRANDED 11:31 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Bigger than the barcodes?

Krap not Pu 11:29 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
we should be all over that Ollie Burke ...an absolute steal at todays prices if less than £15mio

penners28 11:21 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Bigger transfer budget?! hahaha

Mad Dog 11:10 Fri Aug 18
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
You shit the bed?

Thanks alan

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