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Alan 11:20 Mon Dec 18
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
BBC

Manchester United are set to make a £60m bid for Juventus and Brazil full-back Alex Sandro, 26, in January. (Daily Mirror)

Barcelona's president met Antoine Griezmann's family in the latest development towards sealing a summer transfer deal for Atletico Madrid's 25-year-old France forward. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Chelsea are considering a bid for Crystal Palace's 25-year-old Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha in January. (Daily Mirror)

The Blues are ready to sell their 30-year-old Brazil centre-back David Luiz. (Daily Mirror)

Italian champions Juventus and Spanish giants Real Madrid are keen to sign Luiz. (Daily Mail)

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, has turned down a £400,000-a-week offer from a Chinese club because the Chile international is determined to join Manchester City. (Sun)

Manchester United can sign Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, 29, for an £8m signing-on fee if the Germany international leaves the Gunners on a free transfer at the end of the season. (Star)

Liverpool will not make a move for defender Virgil van Dijk unless Southampton lower their £70m valuation for the 26-year-old Netherlands international. (Irish Independent)

Everton sent scouts to watch Charlton's 20-year-old England Under-20 defender Ezri Konsa on Saturday. (Liverpool Echo)

Bayern Munich have agreed a 15m euro (£13.2m) deal to sign Hoffenheim's 30-year-old Germany striker Sandro Wagner in January. (Bild - in German)

Stoke's owners are concerned by the club's recent poor form but they still believe manager Mark Hughes should remain in charge. (Stoke Sentinel)

Swansea midfielder and assistant coach Leon Britton, 35, will take over as boss if Paul Clement is sacked. (Sun)

Real Madrid's 32-year-old Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo wants a wage increase that will make him the world's highest paid player. (Marca - in Spanish)

Former Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, 33, has offers from Bundesliga clubs with the ex-Germany captain's contract at MLS club Chicago Fire set to expire. (Die Welt - in German)

Meanwhile...

Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang "secretly" extended his contract with the club by a year until 2021. (Kicker - in German)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says speculation about his future is "not right because I think I deserve a bit of respect for what I did last season" and "for what I am doing this season". (Daily Express)

Cristiano Ronaldo wants Barcelona's players to give his Real Madrid side a guard of honour when the teams meet in El Clasico on Saturday. (Marca)

Tottenham's England internationals Dele Alli and Harry Kane, as well as Manchester City and Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi, would be sent off at the 2018 World Cup for challenges they committed in the game between their sides on Saturday, says former referee Graham Poll. (Daily Mail)

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will talk to 21-year-old Alli about his tackle on Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne at Etihad Stadium and his loss of form. (Telegraph)

Former referees' chief Keith Hackett says Manchester City and West Brom should have been awarded penalties against Tottenham and Manchester United respectively during what he called "the worst weekend of the season from our officials". (Telegraph)

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech says Mesut Ozil's match-winning strike against Newcastle reminded him of Zinedine Zidane's winner against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 Champions League final. (Daily Express)

Stoke boss Mark Hughes says former player Marko Arnautovic, who scored in West Ham's 3-0 over the Potters on Saturday, was "doing all sorts by the end" and the 28-year-old "did well to get back to the dressing room safely". (Star)

Everton boss Sam Allardyce says he "will be very delicate" in re-introducing fit-again winger Yannick Bolasie, 28, to first-team football after a year out with a knee injury. (Times - subscription required)
Best of Sunday's gossip

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)




Guardian Rumour Mill

Gregg Bakowski

José Mourinho knows a thing or two about allowing players to leave a Premier League club only to watch them turn into incredibly influential footballers elsewhere. Isn’t that right Kevin, Mo, Romelu and Nemanja? He hopes to redress the balance slightly – but not by rectifying one of his own mistakes. No, he’ll fix his moody stare on Louis van Gaal, who allowed Jonny Evans to join West Brom for £6m in 2015, as he attempts to pip Manchester City and Arsenal to the centre-back’s signature in the hope he can slot him into the Eric Bailly-shaped hole that exists in his Manchester United back line since the Ivorian’s ankle injury. Mourinho got a good first-hand look at what the 29-year-old can do in Sunday’s 2-1 win at The Hawthorns and believes he’s more than capable of parking a Manchester United bus instead of a West Brom one.

Chelsea will rummage through the ash-strewn remains of Monaco’s squad in January until they find Thomas Lemar, at which moment they’ll leave £50m and a bewildered Michy Batshuayi on the steps of Stade Louis II before whisking the 22-year-old away to Stamford Bridge. And it says here that Juventus are willing to bring the hammer down on the highest bidder for defender Alex Sandro, who Chelsea wanted in the summer. But they’ll face stiff competition from Manchester United, Manchester City and PSG for the £60m-rated player. Wilfried Zaha’s name has also been whispered around Stamford Bridge in recent weeks.

If Zaha does join Chelsea he may find himself being managed by an Italian other than Antonio Conte. There is some seriously hot gossip doing the rounds that shiny high-end managerial autopilot, Carlo Ancelotti, will return for a second stint at Stamford Bridge. He was sacked in 2011, a season after winning the Double, because that’s football for you. He hasn’t lasted more than two seasons anywhere since but he’s still kept things ticking over to the tune of two league titles, a domestic cup and the Champions League at PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively. Not bad considering for the most part he was doing it with his feet up while looking wistful and smoking multiple cigarettes. And where might Conte end up? Real Madrid, that’s where.

Sam Allardyce has instructed Everton beancounters to find a wad of cash big enough to reunite him with Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke, having decided that the only way to properly replace a big Belgian striker, is with a big Belgian striker. Allardyce also has the hots for Sevilla’s £35m-rated Steven N’Zonzi but Arsenal are favourites to bring the former Stoke defensive midfielder back to the Premier League.

If Benteke does leave Crystal Palace then Roy Hodgson will bid £10m for strapping centre-forward Guido Carrillo, who is also lurking somewhere among the Monaco leftovers (see above).

Jürgen Klopp just can’t get enough of tricky winger-cum-forwards so Liverpool will attempt to prise 20-year-old Federico Chiesa away from Fiorentina for a cool £53m. Spurs are also interested but all the zips on Daniel Levy’s pockets are stuck. Again. One man on his way out of Anfield is former Red Star midfielder Marko Grujic, who can’t even get a game in that one-paced midfield. Aston Villa and Brighton want the 21-year-old on loan. And if Mauricio Pellegrino is still Southampton’s manager in January he says he hasn’t ruled out letting Virgil van Dijk leave. Did you hear that Liverpool fans?

Barcelona want a ball-playing defender to replace Javier Mascherano. Step forward, um, Daley Blind? Yes, the Manchester United utility player ticks all the Catalan club’s boxes but Internazionale fancy luring him to Serie A, where they too can offer him a role in a proper title race rather than the joyless schlep towards a second-placed finish 1,000 points behind Manchester City he faces being a part of at Old Trafford.

And members of Antoine Griezmann’s family have met with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, so expect the Atlético striker to turn up at the Camp Nou in the summer then.





C&H

FA to review Lanzini incident

An FA panel will review footage of the Lanzini incident this morning which led to West Ham being awarded a penalty to decide whether Lanzini will be charged retrospectively with simulation.

West Ham will know by the end of today whether the player will be charged and only then will they make a decision whether to appeal a two-match ban or not.




Mail

West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini did dive but it wasn't bad enough to warrant a charge from the FA

West Ham beat Stoke 3-0 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
David Moyes' team were sent on their way by a controversially-awarded penalty
Manuel Lanzini went down under a challenge from Erik Pieters in the box
It could result in retrospective punishment for the Argentine midfielder

By Graham Poll for the Daily Mail

It’s a bit of a dive, but not an outrageous dive deserving of an FA charge.

I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense, but that’s how hard it is to referee players such as Manuel Lanzini.

I can understand why it incensed Mark Hughes, who needed help and didn’t get any.

Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi took an obvious dive and it was an easy decision for Martin Atkinson, but Lanzini was different.

He draws a tackle and expects the contact from Erik Pieters, who shapes to challenge and goes to ground but doesn’t follow through.

Lanzini’s legs crumble, as players do in the modern game. They will tell you it is to avoid injury.

It’s a hard call for the referee Graham Scott. My first thought was dive. Then I thought it was a penalty. The one thing it isn’t is ‘fatigue’ at the end of a long dribble, which is what David Moyes claimed. Sorry David. You’re not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes with that!

It will be interesting to see how the FA panel react on Monday morning. If Lanzini gets a ban, he will miss important games against Newcastle and Bournemouth — both of whom are now below West Ham in the table, thanks to the help of Lanzini’s theatrics.





Mail

Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic shows he has fire in his belly as he helps down former club Stoke

West Ham beat Stoke 3-0 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
Marko Arnautovic scored his team's second goal against his old club
The forward was able to silence the jeers of his former supporters

By Chris Sutton

I never milked it when I scored against my former clubs. It all depends on how you leave. Inside I was delighted to score but did not feel any animosity towards the sides I had left.

I found the net just four minutes into my first return to Norwich with Blackburn in 1994 and eight years later headed in for Celtic at Ewood Park in the UEFA Cup.

Had I been subjected to the abuse Marko Arnautovic received when going back to Stoke with West Ham, I would have celebrated with equal vigour.

Good on him for giving the Hammers sign — it told me he has plenty of fire his his belly.

He looks a totally different player since David Moyes arrived. He is looking lean, mean and hungry. Plenty of incoming managers say they will improve the players’ fitness.

This is the first time I have noticed a real difference. West Ham are running four miles further per match than they were under Slaven Bilic.

Arnautovic has clearly responded and is becoming West Ham’s first-choice No 9. He has the physicality and ability to thrive as the lone striker.

Andy Carroll is not as mobile and Javier Hernandez’s hold-up play is not as good.

With more composed finishing, Arnautovic could have scored a bagful on Saturday. It only bodes well for West Ham... and Stoke must realise what they have lost.



Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mart O 12:55 Mon Dec 18
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:12 Mon Dec 18

Thanks Alan 12:12 Mon Dec 18
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cicero 11:37 Mon Dec 18

Cicero 11:37 Mon Dec 18
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

madeeasy 11:21 Mon Dec 18
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan





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