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Alan 11:26 Thu Jan 25
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Manchester City could agree a deal with Atletico Madrid to swap Argentina striker Sergio Aguero for France forward Antoine Griezmann, 26, this summer. City signed the 29-year-old from the Spanish club in 2011. (Sun)

Arsenal remain confident of signing Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, despite having a second bid rejected, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger already planning the 28-year-old Gabon striker's debut. (Bild, via Express)

The Gunners are also interested in 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder Maycon, who is valued by his club Corinthians at around £9m. (Sun)

Lokomotiv Moscow have approached Liverpool for 23-year-old Lazar Markovic. The Serbia winger spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon and Hull City. (Mirror)

Chelsea have had a £44m bid, plus add-ons, accepted by Roma for their Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, 31, and 23-year-old Brazilian full-back Emerson Palmieri. (Guardian)

Getafe's Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, 31, has passed a medical at Crystal Palace - but talks are ongoing over whether he will join Palace now or in the summer. (Mail)

Brighton have made a £6m bid for Bristol City defender Aden Flint, 28, who impressed in the Championship side's run to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup. (Argus)

French club Monaco have agreed to sell Argentine striker Guido Carrillo, 26, to Southampton for £19.2m. (Telegraph)

Sevilla have agreed a deal to sign Swansea City's Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa, 28, on loan for the remainder of the season. (Marca - in Spanish)

Feyenoord's Nicolai Jorgensen is believed to be keen on joining Newcastle United after the Magpies submitted a £14m bid for the Denmark striker, 27, last week. (Chronicle)

All of West Brom's players will have their wages halved if the Baggies are relegated this season, while Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans, 30, would be allowed to leave for £3m. (Express & Star)

Real Madrid's French boss Zinedine Zidane, 45, says his job is on the line after the La Liga giants were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes. (ESPN)

West Ham are expected to sign Portugal playmaker Joao Mario, 25, from Inter Milan. A preliminary agreement has been reached between the 25-year-old and the Italian club. (Independent)

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says the Spanish club will not sign any more defenders despite the departure of Javier Mascherano, 33, to Chinese Super League side Hebei Fortune. (ESPN)

Aston Villa are closing in on the loan signing of Manchester United's 20-year-old centre-back Axel Tuanzebe. (Express)

Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell, 26, is on trial at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. (Chronicle)

Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick, 30, has re-emerged as a target for Cardiff City. (Wales Online)

West Brom pair James Morrison, 31, and Chris Brunt, 33, have begun organising a joint testimonial for this summer. (Express & Star)

New Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez takes a tour of a five-bedroom mansion worth £2m - that comes with its own piano room. (Mail)

Mexican side Club America will sanction Carlos Darwin Quintero after the Colombia forward, 30, kicked a ball at a reporter during a live broadcast. (Goal)

Best of Wednesday's gossip

Arsenal have increased their offer for Borussia Dortmund and Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 28, from £48.3m to £50.9m. (Bild - in German)

Arsenal are also keen to sign West Brom central defender Jonny Evans. The 30-year-old Northern Ireland international is refusing to sign a new deal at The Hawthorns. (Mirror)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants Nice and Ivory Coast midfielder Jean Michael Seri, 26. (Sun)

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is among the candidates to be the next Australia boss. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Raheem Sterling will become the latest Manchester City player to be given a new long-term deal. The 23-year-old's England forward's new contract will be worth almost £275,000 a week. (Mirror)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

Aymeric Laporte is Manchester City-bound, according to the Sun, with the defender deciding that his decision to stay at Athletic Bilbao rather than head to England back in the summer of 2016 was, on reflection, a poor one. A bid of £57m will trigger the defender’s release clause and ping him on his way. Bilbao are so certain he’ll depart that they have already drawn up a shortlist of potential defensive replacements, with Arsenal’s free-scoring Nacho Monreal among them.

City’s move for Laporte comes after they apparently gave up on the overly-expensive Jonny Evans, which is inconvenient because West Bromwich Albion have just identified his replacement in the shape of the 29-year-old Zamalek and Egypt centre-back Ali Gabr, whom they can loan for an impressively precise fee of £438,000 and then buy in the summer for an additional £1.1m. Still, they could convince Arsenal to buy Evans instead, which could give them enough money to not only buy Gabr but also a shiny new striker, with Watford’s Troy Deeney and Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic the names in the frame. Their need for attacking reinforcements could become desperate should Salomón Rondón also head for the Hawthorns exit, with Liverpool and Everton both considering a bid for the £15m-rated Venezuelan.

On the subject of release clauses and potential Manchester City purchases, as we were not all that long ago, Jean Michaël Seri of Nice has one set at £35m and it could be triggered any minute now, though Manchester United are also keen to bring the midfielder to England. Should United, winners of the Mancunian rivals’ last transfer tussle, come second in this chase they might move instead for Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic.

Monaco will have to pay £2.6m – double their original offer – for the pleasure of Islam Slimani’s company for the remainder of the season, according to the Mail. The striker would apparently prefer to remain in England, but no team here is prepared to meet his £20m asking price. Newcastle could be tempted, but at the moment they’re a bit busy buying Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jørgensen, for “in the region of £16m”, instead.

The next stop on Lazar Markovic’s footballing odyssey could be in Russia, with Lokomotiv Moskow having decided that they and the Liverpool winger should share more than just initials: a loan deal for the 23-year-old is apparently on the cards. Daniel Sturridge is still expected to head to Italy, with Internazionale coming for him just as soon as they complete a deal for Paris St-Germain’s Javier Pastore (Pastore, for language fans out there, is Italian for shepherd). Chelsea’s Baba Rahman will meanwhile spend the rest of the campaign at Schalke, having turned down Inter and Everton in favour of a return to Germany.

Middlesbrough want to sign the Bradford striker Charlie Wyke, author of 12 goals in 24 league starts this season, who is valued at £5m – a frustratingly large sum for Boro given that Wyke was born in Middlesbrough, joined their academy at the age of seven, was their player for 15 years and was released for nothing three years ago. And Brighton’s £6m bid for Aden Flint has been rejected by Bristol City.

Finally, the Sun has done a hard-hitting expose of the cars driven by the players of Yeovil, Manchester United’s FA Cup opponents, revealing that the entire team’s motors – which include a VW Polo worth £4,450, a creaky Alfa Romeo worth £2,000 and a £5,900 Seat Ibiza – have a combined value of less than Alexis Sánchez’s £150,000 Bentley Continental.


West Ham United are delighted to announce that highly-rated defender Ben Johnson has put pen to paper on his first professional contract which will keep at the Club until 2020.

The full-back, who turned 18-years-old on Wednesday, has enjoyed a superb campaign so far this season, breaking into and becoming a regular for the Hammers’ U23 side.

The youngster also got his first taste of senior team action at the end of last year when he travelled and was named on the substitutes’ bench for the fixture at Manchester City in December.

Johnson has already trained with David Moyes’ first team squad on a number of occasions and, having secured his long-term future with the Club, is looking forward for more opportunities in the coming years.

He said: “I’m very delighted to sign. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve worked hard and I feel it’s fully deserved. I’m feeling good.

“I’ve always dreamt of being a footballer. I think I just wanted to put my head down and enjoy my football – take it season by season, which I am doing, and I think I’ve reaped the rewards this season especially.

“Towards the end of last season, I had an injury and I was out for quite a long time. I felt I just needed to come back with a bang and I just did – came back, worked hard, put my head down fully focused and just had a good season. I need to kick on now.”

Johnson – who spent much of his youth playing as an attacking midfielder or winger – has been coverted to full-back over the last 12 months, something he thinks has helped him kick-on when making the step up to the U23s.

And the youngster, who has now been at the Club for ten years, also believes the right-back spot has given him the opportunity to impress the first team manager.

“I play at right back at the moment and I think I get up and down and get crosses in,” he explained. “I think I need to improve my defending but I think overall I’m reliable on the pitch and that’s what you need in the team.

“Last season I spoke to [Alvaro] Arbeloa who’s gone now, and this year I’ve spoken to [Pablo] Zabaleta and Sam [Byram] as well. They’re all nice, great people and I think they will help me and if I’m good enough I will be in the team.

“Hopefully so it’s good experience learning from someone who’s won multiple titles and someone who’s come through and played at the different levels – that’s what I want to aspire to be.

“I have to credit Mark [Phillips] and Steve [Potts, the U18s coaches] for sticking me at right-back, and I’ve kicked-on there. It’s helped me get to where I am right now.”

There were many fans wondering ‘Johnson who?’ when his name was announced on the bench for the Manchester City match, and the defender admitted it was as much of a shock to him as anyone.

“I think it all went so quick!” he laughed. “I was just training with them on the Saturday and then they just told me to wait a bit and then I’m travelling.

“So I didn’t have much time – I had all my stuff just in case – but it hadn’t really sunk in. I think it’s only just sunk in a few days ago that I was on the bench and I could go and play for West Ham one day hopefully.

“It was nerve-wracking but when I got there I thought, it’s my job, so I just need to focus and this is where I want to be so be it really. Just keep improving myself to get to that point and hopefully get more minutes and get on the pitch.”

Johnson has been out with an injury of late, but is set to make his return within the next fortnight as the Hammers’ U23s look to secure a top half finish in their first season at Premier League 2 Division 1 level.

Terry Westley’s men face Swansea City on Monday night before hosting Sunderland a week later.


West Ham in six-team race for Diego Laxalt, his future may depend on Chelsea

Olly Dawes

West Ham United are being linked with a move to sign Genoa ace Diego Laxalt.

According to Tutto Mercato Web, West Ham United are one of the teams interested in signing Genoa star Diego Laxalt – but Roma want him to replace Chelsea-bound Emerson.

The Hammers are yet to bring in any new signings this month, but manager David Moyes remains in the market for additions despite just one defeat in the last nine Premier League games.

Whilst a midfielder appears to be Moyes' top priority this month, question marks hang over the futures of Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku given links to other clubs, so another left wing back could be targeted.

Now, Tutto Mercato Web report that West Ham are one of the teams interested in signing Genoa star Diego Laxalt, whose future is up in the air as the transfer deadline draws closer.

Laxalt, 24, emerged in his native Uruguay with Defensor Sporting to earn a 2013 move to Inter Milan, but he didn't even make his debut for the Italian giants, spending his time on loan at Bologna, Empoli and Genoa.

Laxalt joined the latter permanently in 2016, and he has hit one goal and one assist this season in 20 Serie A games, attracting interest through his displays.

It's claimed that West Ham are keen to land Laxalt before the transfer deadline, but Atalanta, Fiorentina, Galatasaray and Torino are also keen, as are another Italian club in Roma.

The report states that, if Roma defender Emerson joins Chelsea this month, then Roma want Laxalt to replace him – and West Ham's hopes could rest on Chelsea's reportedly imminent move to land Emerson.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

The Stoat 3:31 Thu Jan 25
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sell Masuaku?

It should NEVER be considered !!

SDKFZ 222 3:01 Thu Jan 25
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Is Quintero Alan Sugar’s fabled ‘Carlos Kick-a-ball?

Texas Iron 1:16 Thu Jan 25
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Best Wishes Alan...

lars 12:37 Thu Jan 25
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks and all the best

Fivetide 12:22 Thu Jan 25
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

A wing-back with just one assist?

Thanks Alan 11:29 Thu Jan 25
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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