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 12:13 Fri Aug 25
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Chelsea are confident of signing Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, for £35m before this summer's transfer deadline next Thursday. (Daily Telegraph)

Arsenal face the prospect of having to sell England player Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is out of contract next summer and is set to reject a new Gunners offer. (Daily Mirror)

Chelsea are also trying to push through the £15m signing of Swansea City's Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, 32, who played under Blues boss Antonio Conte at Juventus. (Daily Telegraph)

Manchester City have given up hope of signing Monaco's 18-year-old France striker Kylian Mbappe for £150m. (Sun)

City will launch a third bid, of more than £25m, to sign West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans, 29. (Times - subscription required)

Barcelona have agreed a deal worth up to 150m euros (£138m) to sign Borussia Dortmund's 20-year-old France forward Ousmane Dembele. (L'Equipe - in French)

Meanwhile, the Spanish giants say Turkey midfielder Arda Turan, 30, can leave on a free transfer. (Sport - in Spanish)

Swansea have cooled their interest in 28-year-old midfielder Nacer Chadli after being quoted in excess of £25m by West Bromwich Albion. (Daily Mail)

Crystal Palace are interested in signing 33-year-old goalkeeper Michel Vorm from Tottenham. (Evening Standard)

The Eagles are also keen to bring Barcelona's 21-year-old forward Munir El Haddadi to Selhurst Park. (Sport - in Spanish)

Huddersfield Town are interested in signing Leeds United's former West Ham and England goalkeeper Robert Green, 37. (Daily Mail)

Winger Demarai Gray, 21, wants Leicester to start him or sell him, with Bournemouth offering nearly £30m for the former Birmingham player. (Daily Mirror)

Paris St-Germain have emerged as favourites to sign 34-year-old Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina. (Talksport)

Norwich City are considering a late bid for 26-year-old Leeds United winger Stuart Dallas. (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Newcastle's Dutch attacking midfielder Siem de Jong, 28, is close to completing a move to Ajax. (Newcastle Chronicle)

Birmingham manager Harry Redknapp says he has not given up on signing Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing, 33, despite stating negotiations have "slowed up". (Birmingham Mail)

Sunderland will demand £20m for Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong, 23, who is attracting interest from West Ham United. (Daily Mirror)

Meanwhile, Black Cats boss Simon Grayson says the club are ready for a busy final week in the transfer window. (Sunderland Echo)

Juventus are set to sign 29-year-old Germany defender Benedikt Howedes from Schalke. (Corriere Della Sera - in Italian)

Meanwhile, the Italian champions also held a meeting with Barcelona in Monaco over the possible transfer of the Spanish club's midfielder Andre Gomes, 24. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani, 33, is set to sign for Spanish club Las Palmas. (Marca - in Spanish)

Fleetwood Town could be set for a windfall if their former striker Jamie Vardy, 30, moves from Leicester to Chelsea for £40m. (Fleetwood Today)

Former Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35, has taken a pay cut of more than £200,000 a week to rejoin Manchester United. (Times - subscription required).

Best of Thursday's transfer news

AC Milan are interested in signing Chelsea forward Diego Costa, despite the 28-year-old insisting he is only interested in rejoining Atletico Madrid. (Corriere dello Sport, via Express)

Manchester City still want Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, before next week's transfer deadline. (Daily Mail)

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is interested in signing Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, 25, and could take West Ham forward Robert Snodgrass, 29, on loan. (Talksport)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has conceded defeat in his attempt to sign 21-year-old winger Thomas Lemar from Monaco. (Telegraph)

West Ham could move for Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong, 23, after failing to agree a deal with Sporting Lisbon for William Carvalho, 25. (London Evening Standard)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

To Germany, where glossy magazine reports suggest that Liverpool are preparing a late bid to take Renato Sanches on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder had a fairly underwhelming maiden season with the German champions after joining from Benfica and had been linked with moves to Chelsea, Manchester United or AC Milan earlier this summer, only for his manager Carlo Ancelotti to announce he’d be staying put. According to yesterday’s edition of Kicker, it seems Sanches could be bound for Anfield in his quest to secure regular first team opportunities.

Having convened in Monaco for yesterday’s Champions League draw, assorted bigwigs from Europe’s biggest clubs will have no better opportunity to meet up and discuss last-minute transfers ahead of next week’s window-unfriendly international break. Under pressure Barcelona officials are expected to talk turkey with their counterparts from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in their last-ditch attempts to get their hands on Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélé and in the purely selfish interests of fatigued pedlars of transfer tittle-tattle everywhere, we wish all three delegations every success in their endeavours.

Indeed, French sports daily L’Equipe say Barcelona have already agreed a five-year deal to bring Dembélé to Camp Nou for up to £110m, but will not make any announcement until the 20-year-old has put pen to paper. Barcelona have also announced that midfielder Arda Turan is free to leave, having failed to cement a first team place since moving from Atlético Madrid in 2015. Manchester United manager José Mourinho is believed to be ardent Arda admirer.

In the market for a central defender after Leonardo Bonucci left for AC Milan, Juventus have enquired about the possibility of luring Gary Cahill to Turin from Chelsea, but the Mirror reports that any deal would be dependent on Virgil van Dijk joining the Premier League champions from Southampton. Juventus are more keen on Schalke defender Benedikt Höwedes, who is also wanted by Liverpool. Meanwhile at Arsenal, the future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains as up in the air as a light airplane trailing a “Wenger out” banner. Out of contract next summer, Chamberlain could spend the rest of this season at the Emirates before leaving on a free transfer, but his current employers may be tempted to cash in on interest from Liverpool and Chelsea.

Nacer Chadli’s mooted move from West Brom to Swansea City as a replacement for Gylfi Sigurdsson has hit a £25m-sized snag that the Welsh club seem reluctant to overcome, while Sky Sports say RB Leipzig’s young Scottish winger, Oliver Burke, has been at the Hawthorns to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms.

Reports elsewhere have Crystal Palace readying a bid for Tottenham Hotspur reserve goalkeeper Michel Vorm. Palace have previously been linked with Roma goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and West Ham’s Adrian, but Vorm is believed to be Frank De Boer’s preferred target and would almost certainly be amenable to a move after being restricted to just 11 appearances for Spurs last season. Having signed Paulo Gazzaniga from Southampton as back-up to Hugo Lloris between the sticks earlier this week, Tottenham might well be happy to let Vorm team up with his Dutch compatriot at Selhurst Park. Tottenham are also about to send their double-barrelled young American centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers to Sheffield United on loan.

Having been dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers by Rosenburg, Ajax will have one less inducement with which to entice Siem de Jong as they try to wrap up a deal to bring the Dutch midfielder home from Newcastle. Already down to the bare bones at Birmingham City, Harry Redknapp still thinks Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing is “triffic” and is hoping to get him in at St Andrew’s so he can roll down his car window down and announce the good news to anyone who happens to be passing.

And finally, a tweet comprising two “zipped mouth” emojis from Celtic’s supporter liaison officer hinted that the Scottish champions could unveil Patrick Roberts as a permanent signing later today. The 20-year-old Manchester City winger spent last season on loan at Celtic, scoring for them against his parent club in the Champions League and becoming a firm fan favourite as Brendan Rodgers’ side cantered to their sixth consecutive title. Talking in Monaco, where his club were drawn in a group with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Anderlecht, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said “we are making progress with Patrick Roberts” before adding “there is nothing certain and we are respecting Manchester City’s position.”


Bilic: Away day syndrome, Newcastle, transfer update and Cresswell's call-up

Slaven Bilic spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of this weekend’s Premier League fixture at Newcastle United.

The West Ham United boss was asked to reflect on his side’s opening four games, all of which were played away from home, Newcastle United’s own difficult start and to give an update on potential transfer dealings.

Bilic also found time to praise England international Aaron Cresswell and midweek scorer Diafra Sakho.

Here is what he had to say…

On the road again, and again, and again…

Logistical work at London Stadium means West Ham United will not play a home Premier League game until Monday 11 September.

By then, the Hammers will have travelled nearly 1,150 miles to Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle United and back, in addition to the 250-mile round trip to Cheltenham Town.

Just as they have speculated that Tottenham Hotspur are suffering a ‘Wembley curse’, so the media have jumped on West Ham losing at Old Trafford and St Mary’s Stadium as ‘proof’ that playing away from home is a major issue.

That suggestion of course ignores the midweek win at Cheltenham, and the fact that the Hammers finished last season unbeaten in their last three away matches.

“It’s not a factor,” said Bilic, firmly. “This is a league where you have two away games or two home games quite a lot, frequently. It’s not a big thing – OK it’s four away games in a row, and we’d love to have one home game in-between, but it is what it is and it will even up by the end of October.

“We don’t have a point yet, but if you say two away games and then one against Manchester United, they are a good team, you say it’s not a bad story. We should be very optimistic to know what we have to do before Newcastle.

“Then we have a break and the next four games we have three home games. We have Huddersfield at home then West Brom away before Spurs and Swansea at home so it will even up then. It is what it is but it’s not a bad situation.

“I don’t know how we can talk about away game syndrome when we’ve played only three and won one. And one in special circumstances against Southampton.”


West Ham United are not the only Premier League side without a win from their opening two fixtures.

AFC Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Saturday’s hosts Newcastle United are also pointless.

The Magpies were reportedly booed by their own fans after losing to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup at St James’ Park on Wednesday evening, so does Bilic believe the Hammers can take advantage of the perceived unhappiness on Tyneside?

“It’s a single game – it’s a new game,” said the manager, who is hoping the midweek defeat will play on Newcastle’s minds come kick-off. “They need points, but everyone does.

“They’re looking forward to the game, they’ve lost the first couple like we did and they lost in the cup but it affects you. It affects the morale and it’s better if you win any game, even if it’s the cup.

“They have an experienced manager [Rafa Benitez] and they should recover for the game on Saturday.”

Sympathy for Rafa?

So, in light of Newcastle’s losing start and speculation of the club’s supposed inactivity in the transfer window, does Bilic have sympathy for his opposite number, considering he led the Toon to the Championship title and back to the Premier League at the first attempt?

“He is a big manager, he has done it in Spain, Valencia, then England with Liverpool and then Napoli,” said the gaffer, yet again revealing his encyclopaedic football knowledge. “He’s a top manager.

“In this transfer window I don’t know exactly what has happened but I’ve followed who they have bought and sold and they’re not happy but they’ve spent more money than we have spent in this window. In terms of net money.

“OK, they came from the Championship and needed more players to strengthen but they’re a big club and I don’t see them as not ambitious. They were all buzzing and won the league and ‘Now we’re going to build the world’ and maybe they tried.

“But maybe they were unable to get their targets, like we did last year. Maybe they were thinking too big and players didn’t want to come. They are an ambitious club. With Rafa, they are lifted up even more.”

Any other business?

As is the case in every Slaven Bilic press conference held during the transfer window, and many of those held in between, the manager was asked about potential ins and outs.

Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho has been linked with a move to east London, but Bilic refused to be drawn on the Portugal international.

However, he did admit signing a top-class defensive midfielder has been long been a priority.

“There is nothing new, to be fair,” he began. “It’s not frustrating, it’s the position that we have been in trying to do for a few seasons.

“In my opinion, we need someone to boost our team and quality and we need that position and that’s why we also offloaded some players to get the budget for a player for that position.

“It’s not a squad player we need – it’s a quality player. It’s not easy to get them but we are doing our best and hopefully we’re going to do it.”

And finally…

West Ham United saw two players named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovakia.

Joe Hart’s inclusion was widely expected, with the goalkeeper having started 43 of England’s last 45 competitive matches.

Bilic was also pleased to see left-back Aaron Cresswell included again, and tipped the 27-year-old to forge a successful international career for himself over the next few seasons.

“It’s not a surprise anymore,” he said. “He is becoming a regular and there’s continuity and it’s great for him and us. We are proud we have a couple of players in England’s squad. Cress deserves it. He is very consistent.

“He had his ups and downs last season because of the injury he got in pre-season but he is a great player, a great pro, has got a great left-foot and he’s a very important age for England and he’s a player with a bright future. He’s a top player.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

BubblesCyprus 2:27 Fri Aug 25
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated.

Takashi Miike 1:05 Fri Aug 25
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, Thanks Thanks Alan & Thanks Ted

ted fenton 12:36 Fri Aug 25
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:13 Fri Aug 25

Thanks Alan 12:13 Fri Aug 25
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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