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Alan 1:34 Sun Dec 17
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Manchester United want to bring defender Jonny Evans back to Old Trafford, two and a half years after selling the 29-year-old to West Brom - but Manchester City and Arsenal are also interested. (Sunday Mirror)

But the Baggies are ready to make a final contract offer to Northern Ireland international Evans in a bid to repel other clubs. (Sunday Telegraph)

Juventus appear willing to sell defender Alex Sandro but Chelsea, who failed to sign the 26-year-old Brazil international in the summer, face competition from Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris St-Germain. (Sunday Express)

Daniel Sturridge has been told he can leave Liverpool on loan next month by manager Jurgen Klopp as the 28-year-old England striker looks to rescue a World Cup spot. (Sun on Sunday)

Meanwhile,Klopp has ruled out RB Leipzig and Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, 22, joining the Reds in January. (Daily Star Sunday)

And the Liverpool boss says he was put under pressure by his scouting department to sign Mohamed Salah in the summer after he initially feared the 25-year-old Egypt winger might be too skinny to succeed in the Premier League. (Mail on Sunday)

Manchester United are weighing up making an offer of nearly £30m for Bordeaux's Brazilian winger Malcom, 20, in the January transfer window. (Sunday Times - subscription required)

Manchester City have watched Augsburg's German left-back Philipp Max, 24, as they look for cover for injured France defender Benjamin Mendy. (Mail on Sunday)

Everton manager Sam Allardyce is targeting a reunion with Crystal Palace and Belgium striker Christian Benteke, 27, when the transfer window opens next month. (Sunday Mirror)

And Allardyce will have to sacrifice a midfielder if Everton are to sign Sevilla's France international Steven Nzonzi, 29. (Daily Star Sunday)

West Ham manager David Moyes is ready to make a £15m bid for 27-year-old Bournemouth and Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter. (Sun on Sunday)

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has not ruled out selling Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk 26, in January. (Liverpool Echo)

Inter Milan and Barcelona are monitoring the situation of 27-year-old Manchester United and Netherlands defender Daley Blind. (Calciomercato)

Arsenal and Chelsea are going head to head over 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen's Jamaican winger Leon Bailey. (Mirror)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to rule out a January move for 28-year-old Arsenal and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez. (Sky Sports)

Guardiola has told Manchester City he wants to buy for the long term in January after asking the club to back a mid-season spend. (Manchester Evening News)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has emerged as the latest possible successor to Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, whose contract is up at the end of the season. (Sun on Sunday)


Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho's future at Old Trafford is coming under increasing scrutiny following recent controversies which have involved the club. (Sunday Express)

Former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he is "ready to manage again", six weeks after being sacked by the London club. (Mail on Sunday)

Bilic, 49, has also hit back at Hammers chairman David Sullivan's claims he was responsible for poor signings. (Sun on Sunday)

Cristiano Ronaldo and his boss Zinedine Zidane are in agreement the 32-year-old Real Madrid and Portugal forward should retire at the Bernabeu. (FourFourTwo)

Manchester United's Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini, 30, is set to be sidelined by a knee injury until next month. (Sunday Telegraph)

Best of Saturday's gossip

Carlo Ancelotti will return to Stamford Bridge and be appointed Chelsea's new manager before the start of next season. (Daily Record)

Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, 22, is wanted by Chelsea, who are preparing a player-plus-cash deal involving striker Michy Batshuayi. (Daily Mirror)

Batshuayi, 24, hopes to leave Chelsea on loan next month to ease fears over losing his place in Belgium's World Cup squad. (London Evening Standard)

Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 28, was dropped by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho after a row between the two men during a video analysis session at the club's training ground last month. (ESPN)

Arsenal will hold contract talks with 25-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere before the end of the month. (London Evening Standard)


Stoke 0-3 West Ham: Marko Arnautovic scores on his return to the Potteries as David Moyes' Hammers continue their good form... following one hour delayed kick-off due to power outage

The visitors took the lead in the opening stages after Manuel Lanzini won a penalty and Mark Noble converted
Despite a fight-back from the Potters, West Ham doubled their lead through ex-Stoke man Marko Arnautovic
David Moyes' side killed off the game in the latter stages after Diafra Sakho slide the ball into the net for 3-0
The game start was delayed by an hour due to technical difficulties at the Bet365 Stadium

By Laurie Whitwell

An afternoon that began with questions about an electrician ended with deep scrutiny on Stoke's main Sparky.

If Mark Hughes was not already fighting for his job before this game he surely is now after a damaging 3-0 defeat by West Ham that was accompanied by serious terrace unrest for the first time.

Hughes earned his Sparky nickname for his firebrand style while a player and he will need all his reserves of energy to navigate this period.

Diafra Sakho puts the game beyond all doubt in the final few minutes by sliding the ball home for a 3-0 scoreline

Former Stoke man Marko Arnautovic drills the ball under Jack Butland to help secure all three points for his current club

Arnautovic sprints off in jubilation, clearly with no apprehension about celebrating at his former stomping ground

The striker launches into a knee-slide to celebrate his match-winning strike at the Bet365 Stadium

The Austrian was then subbed off to a standing ovation from the Hammers, but plenty of animosity from the home support

Arnautovic was afforded a frosty reception upon his return to his old stomping ground by the Stoke City faithful

In front of watching chairman Peter Coates there were cries of 'Hughes out' and Stoke supporters even joined in when West Ham's followers sang 'sacked in the morning'.

West Ham were helped by a penalty award in the first half that should result in a retrospective ban for Manuel Lanzini. But the ease with which the visitors were able to pick Stoke apart at times was concerning and Marko Arnautovic rubbed salt in the wounds when he scored on his return and then exchanged barbs with Ryan Shawcross and Hughes.

The match having kicked off an hour late due to a power outage, most Stoke fans did not wait for the final whistle and the empty stands at a third defeat in succession told a damning story. On the flip side, David Moyes appears to be building something tangible at West Ham. This first away win of the season had defensive resilience as its foundation.

Moyes has now collected seven points in three games to move West Ham out of the relegation places and above Stoke, who are just one point and one place clear of the drop zone.

Mark Noble keeps his composure to send Jack Butland the wrong way and slot home a penalty in the opening stages

The Hammers' captain side-foots the ball with power and precision to put his side ahead at the Bet365 Stadium

Noble roars in celebration with the travelling faithful as former Stoke man Marko Arnautovic heads over to join him

Hughes said: 'We're damaged by the manner of the defeat at the end when we were chasing the game. But you still have to have the defensive structure. It has happened too many times. We need to do something about it.

'Up until the 75th minute our fans were magnificent, driving us on. But the goal took the wind out of our sails.'

Kick-off had not taken place until 4pm, with supporters made to wait outside as the lights got switched back on, but that did not dim the ferocity of Stoke's 'welcome back' for Arnautovic following his £24million summer move.

The Austrian became villain No 1 in the Potteries for claiming West Ham was a step up in his career and the invective from home fans was sharp.

Argentine playmaker Lanzini worked his way into the Stoke box from a counter-attack and went down under Pieters' pressure

The travelling section responded in kind by claiming Arnautovic left because Stoke are not very good and it made for a cracking atmosphere that then cranked up further after the controversial sequence in the 18th minute.

Shawcross hit a post from Xherdan Shaqiri's free-kick and West Ham only partially cleared. When Shaqiri fell under Arthur Masuaku's challenge the home side wanted another free-kick. But referee Graham Scott waved play on and Lanzini embarked on a 60-yard run that left Geoff Cameron, Kevin Wimmer, and Joe Allen trailing.

Erik Pieters was the fourth Stoke player to try to stop Lanzini, who had burst into the area, but the Dutchman withdrew his legs rather than commit to a tackle. Lanzini fell over thin air, throwing himself dramatically to the turf.

Scott was looking directly at it but still pointed to the spot, to the incredulity of Stoke's players. Mark Noble rolled home the penalty.

Ryan Shawcross makes the first attempt on goal of the game, hitting the crossbar with a looping header

Attacking full-back Pablo Zabaleta goes on a marauding run and flicks the ball through the legs of Ramadan Sobhi

Midfielder Joe Allen battles with his West Ham counterpart Michail Antonio in the opening stages of the clash

Ted gets into the Christmas spirit while waiting for the match to get started

Moyes admitted the award was 'soft' but claimed Lanzini was tired. But it should be the simplest case of a retrospective ban the FA will have to deal with.

West Ham created the better chances in the rest of the first half. Jack Butland saved from Arnautovic and Lanzini, and the Austrian also shot over. Arnautovic clipped the bar with a header then, on the hour, his shot rippled the net but on the wrong side of the post. He then hit the bar again.

After 75 minutes, Arnautovic finally had his moment. He played a one-two with Lanzini on the edge of Stoke's area, then prodded the ball past Butland. Arnautovic revelled in the venom that came his way from the home fans to the irritation of Shawcross and Hughes, who voiced their complaints when Moyes took his player off.

'He is beginning to become a really important player and I'd like to get him up to even higher levels,' said Moyes.

Four minutes from time Lanzini set up Diafra Sakho, who made the score three.

The spotlight now falls on Hughes.

Players were left waiting around in the tunnel after learning the match would be unable to go ahead at 3pm as planned


Stoke: Butland, Cameron, Shawcross, Wimmer, Pieters (Tymon 63min), Shaqiri, Fletcher (Adam 62min), Allen, Sobhi, Diouf (Berahino 62min), Crouch.

Subs not used: Choupo-Moting, Ngoy, Grant, Edwards.

Booked: Shawcross, Wimmer

West Ham: Adrian, Ogbonna, Collins, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Obiang, Noble (Rice 35), Masuaku, Lanzini, Antonio, Arnautovic.

Subs not used: Sakho, Hernandez, Ayew, Haksabanovic, Hart, Makasi.

Booked: Masuaku

Goal: Noble 19 (pen) Arnautovic 75, Sakho 86

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Attendance: 29,265


Mark Hughes defiant as fans vent fury at Stoke’s loss to West Ham

• Miserable 3-0 home defeat is Stoke’s fifth loss in six games
• ‘I don’t want to be in a relegation battle; we need to do something about it’

Nick Ames at the Bet365 Stadium

An under-fire Mark Hughes insisted he is the man to turn Stoke City’s fortunes around after a chastening 3-0 home defeat by West Ham, their fifth loss in six games, plunged them deeper into a relegation battle.

Hughes was turned on by large sections of the crowd after Marko Arnautovic, the former Stoke forward, scored West Ham’s second goal 15 minutes from time. The mood was mutinous by the time Diafra Sakho added a late third but Hughes, whose team will drop into the bottom three if West Brom defeat Manchester United on Sunday, believes he can still coax more out of his players.

“I know this group and I know what they can produce,” he told the BBC. “We’ll get a tune out of them and hopefully we’ll get better. We’re in this position. Maybe we’ve got some clarity now. We’re better than what we’re doing at the moment. We need to get ourselves out of our situation. I don’t want to be in a relegation battle; we need to recognise that and do something about it.”

Arnautovic, who Hughes said before the match had made a “sideways” move in joining West Ham for £24m during the summer, missed several chances to make the scoreline far greater. But Hughes pointed to the controversial first-half penalty – awarded by Graham Scott after Manuel Lanzini went to ground under Erik Pieters’ challenge – as the game-changing moment and left no doubt about his interpretation.

“He’s clearly dived,” Hughes said of Lanzini’s tumble. “He’s a clever player, he’ll draw a foul or some kind of challenge, but he wasn’t clipped, he’s clearly dived. It’s disappointing the referee hasn’t seen that. Referees need to get match-defining decisions correct and he certainly didn’t get that one right from our point of view.”

David Moyes, who has overseen a return of seven points and three clean sheets from West Ham’s last three games, agreed the decision was questionable but believed Lanzini had simply run out of steam after a surge upfield. “I think the defender gives the referee a decision to make,” Moyes said. “I would call it ‘soft’. Manuel’s run 70 yards and he’s probably run his race at the end of it. I don’t think there’s any intent regarding a dive, I think he’s riding the tackle more than anything. I see tiredness at the end of it but I don’t see a dive.”

The away fans cheered Moyes and his players from the pitch; Hughes experienced the polar opposite but resisted any temptation to complain. “That’s understandable, clearly,” Hughes said. “I thought the fans were absolutely magnificent until the second goal, driving us on, and – like ourselves down on the bench – when the second goal went in it took the wind out of our sails.”


Mark Hughes facing the axe and match delay farce

TRUST the lights to go out at a club with a Sparky in charge.

By Steve Millar

For an hour, the whole of the bet365 Stadium was in darkness due to a power cut with both sets of fans unable to gain access because the turnstiles had no electricity.

The players were locked in the dressing rooms and chaos reigned supreme with frozen, fed-up supporters heading back to their parked cars to get the heaters on.

And once proceedings got underway at 4 pm, there was little in the way of an early power surge for Mark Hughes with the doom and gloom merchants demanding the Stoke boss despatched to cold storage.

Sparky was clearly in the mood to punch someone’s lights out himself after referee Graham Scott awarded a dubious, highly controversial penalty to gift the Hammers a first half lead.

Hughes was incensed in general with West Ham players going to ground easily and he angrily told Michall Antonio to get to his feet when he theatrically hit the turf once too often.

It wasn’t exactly a warm reception, either, for Potters old boy Marko Arnautovic following his £25 million switch to West Ham.

He was booed unmercifully throughout, scored – and then when he was substituted with 15 minutes left he indicated to former team-mate Ryan Shawcross he’d see him later before being told where to go by Sparky.

Arnautovic had feared the worst, though, as early as the 17th minute when Shawcross rose to meet Xherdan Shaqiri’s free kick and powered a header onto the upright.

In the blink of an eye, West Ham broke free and Manuel Lanzini streaked goal-wards before crashing to earth under a non-challenge from Erik Pieters who clearly pulled out of the expected tackle.

Lanzini’s “dive” fooled the official and there was uproar all around the stadium when he pointed to the spot. Mark Noble, the first to make 300 Premier League appearances for the Hammers, coolly slid the penalty into the bottom corner.

The goal sparked an attack frenzy from West Ham with Arnautovic seeing his shot blocked by keeper Jack Butland before Lanzini tested the keeper from 30 yards.

Then on the stroke of half-time, Arnautovic made space for himself with some clever footwork only to shoot high over the bar in front of his new fans.

He was in the thick of it at the restart and watched with a wry smile as his header looped onto the bar – much to the delight of the jeering home fans.

And when the Austrian skimmed the woodwork with another cracker the stick only increased in its venom.

Stoke, though, had a point to prove of their own and Shawcross should have equalised when he headed over a cross from substitute Charlie Adam before West Ham sub Diafra Sakho was guilty of a glaring miss at the other end.

But the inevitable came in the 75th minute when Arnautovic played a one-two with Lanzini and drove in under Butland.

And boy did he celebrate long and hard, offering up the Hammers’ symbol with crossed arms before Sakho added a third to leave Hammers’ fans taunting Hughes with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning.”

STOKE CITY: Butland 7; Cameron 6, Shawcross 6, Wimmer 6, Pieters 6 (Tymon (63rd) ); Shaqiri 7, Fletcher 6 (Adams (62nd) ), Allen 6, Ramadan 6; Crouch 6, Diouf 6 (Berahino (62nd) ).

WEST HAM: Adrian 6; Zabaleta 7, Collins 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6; Arnautovic 8 (Hernandez 78th), Noble 7 (Rice (34th) 6), Obiang 6, Lanzini 6, Masuaku 7; Antonio 6 (Sakho (67th) ).

Referee: G Scott.


Mark Hughes fighting for his job as Marko Arnautovic returns to haunt former club

Jon Culley, bet365 Stadium

Mark Hughes probably wishes the power failure that delayed the start by an hour at the bet365 Stadium could have spared him the indignity of a fifth defeat in six matches and the cries of “Hughes out” that came with it.

Given that he was nicknamed Sparky in his playing days, he might have hoped the electricians charged with finding a way to get the lights back on would help him out by scratching their heads a little longer and forcing the match to be postponed.

Instead, they pulled out all the stops to ensure the thousands waiting outside the ground were not turned away and left Hughes to supervise another damaging defeat.

Worse still, he was tormented along the way by the player who decided last summer that his future would be brighter elsewhere.

Marko Arnautovic, who forced a record £24 million move to West Ham by asking for a transfer, was booed every time he touched the ball and was left in no doubt as to how the Stoke fans feel now about a player once something of a cult hero in these parts.

Yet he might have scored three or four more goals in addition to the one he did manage as a key figure in a humiliating defeat.

Only Manuel Lanzini, who won a contentious penalty to set West Ham on their way, outshone him, providing not only the assist for Arnautovic’s goal but for Diafra Sakho to make the result hurt Hughes even more by adding a late third.

West Ham had not won away from home all season but have responded well to the arrival of David Moyes as replacement for Slaven Bilic, taking seven points from their last three matches, including a win over defending champions Chelsea.

Hughes is among Moyes’s biggest admirers, although this result did not hurt any less for that – especially after the goal that gave West Ham their 19th-minute start, when Lanzini went down under an Erik Pieters challenge to draw a penalty away from referee Graham Scott that even Moyes described as “soft”.

“He has clearly dived,” Hughes claimed. “He is a clever player and you expect him to draw a foul or a challenge but he has clearly dived and it is disappointing that the referee has not seen it that way.

“We need the referees to get these match-defining decisions correct and he certainly did not get this one correct.

“They are trying to do something to deter players from doing it but if he did get some kind of retrospective punishment it would not help us. This result has gone. What it meant was that we were chasing the game from that point and we were always then going to be vulnerable to the counter-attack.

“The players tried their best to find a way through and in fairness West Ham defended very well.”

After Mark Noble had converted the penalty, it took West Ham until the 75th minute to double their advantage but the 3-0 scoreline did not flatter them particularly. Arnautovic, who poked home his goal after a lovely chipped return pass by Lanzini, had chances to score twice late in the first half – one effort blocked by Jack Butland, another fired over the bar – and might have had a couple more early in the second, when he hit the woodwork and the side-netting.

“I can understand Mark being disappointed with the penalty,” Moyes said.

“It was probably a soft decision. But I don’t think for a moment that my player dived. It was more that he had run so far to get into that position that when the challenge came in he was just tired.”

The result leaves Stoke chairman Peter Coates with some hard thinking to do, although Christmas matches against West Bromwich and Huddersfield may give Hughes time still to turn things round.


No permanent deal for Hammer

West Ham have no intention of making Reece Oxford’s loan deal at Borrusia Monchengladbach permanent!

Stories were circulating a couple of weeks ago that the teenager was set for an £8 million switch to the Bundesliga outfit.

And the speculation has been gaining pace since he broke into the first team, giving a particularly impressive performance against Hamburg on Friday evening.

Reece played in a holding midfield role and showed himself to be a hugely composed operator. He has also appeared to have matured physically and in front of a huge crowd looked entirely at home.

But any thoughts that he could be sold were firmly rejected by a senior club insider who said: “It has taken him a while to break into the team but we now hope he will get exactly the kid of experience we wanted for him.

“We are monitoring his progress very closely and see him as returning to West Ham for pre-season next summer.”

Quina reports are wide of the mark

Reports that Liverpool is leading the race to sign Domingos Quina from West Ham are wide of the mark according to a club insider.

The 18-year-old joined the Hammers from Chelsea‘s academy on a free transfer last year and has made four senior appearances including two in the Carabao Cup this season.

The Daily Mail claimed that West Ham is ready to listen to offers for the midfielder in the January transfer window and that Liverpool lead the charge to sign Quina next month and have ‘concrete interest’ in the Portugal Under-20 international.

The club has yet to tie the player down to a new four-year contract as his representatives demand a £25,000 per week deal. His current contract runs until the summer of 2019 so the club has time on its hands to persuade him to commit his long-term future to the Irons.

Should he refuse to sign a new contract by next summer they may consider cashing in with 12 months remaining for a valuation around £8 million. A January exit appears unlikely unless he puts in a transfer request.


Everton join West Ham and Dortmund in race to sign Adama Soumaoro

Everton are among the clubs showing interest in Lille defender Adama Soumaoro.

Lille's versatile defender Adama Soumaoro can play anywhere across the back

West Ham, Monaco, Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund have also been following the versatile 25-year-old who can play across the back line.

Lille are understood to have been told to raise £23million by the National Directorate of Management Control, the financial policing arm of the French league, or risk being relegated and face a ban on January recruitment.

Soumaoro is valued highly at around £20m by Lille and selling him could prove a convenient shortcut to their financial troubles.

He is a strong, athletic player who likes to play out from defence using a short passing game, is good in the air and reads the game well.

Sunderland watched him last year also.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

jakehammer 3:18 Mon Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks Alan, great job as per usual. happy xmas mate.

norwaytips 1:26 Mon Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan. Great job, as usual.

BubblesCyprus 5:03 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated.

WSM Hammer 4:48 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Ha ha - I was gonna ask is that OUR Ted? ?

Queens Fish Bar 4:28 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mart O 3:17 Sun Dec 17

the exile 4:26 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Who is this Ted?

Mart O 3:17 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

Crassus 2:18 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan and brilliant 'Ted' work.....
Made me laugh loudly

Alan 1:52 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Quina story added.

Takashi Miike 1:43 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 1:38 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Ag! @ Ted gets into the Christmas spirit

Thanks Alan 1:35 Sun Dec 17
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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