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Alan 11:10 Thu Feb 15
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham are willing to offer manager Mauricio Pochettino a lucrative new contract. The Argentine signed a new five-year deal in 2016 worth £5.5m a year. (Telegraph)

Real Madrid will sign Paris St-Germain's 26-year-old Brazilian striker Neymar in 2019. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Madrid will lead the chase for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld. Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are also keen on the 28-year-old Belgian. (Mirror)

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has agreed a deal to join Besiktas at the end of the season. The Belgium international, 30, is out of contract at the end of the campaign and could leave on a free transfer. (Fotomac - in Turkish)

Juventus have enquired about Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshere. The 26-year-old's contract expires in the summer. (Mirror)

Everton and Tottenham are both interested in PSV winger Steven Bergwijn. The 20-year-old has represented the Netherlands from under-17 through to under-21 level. (ESPN)

Spurs midfielder Erik Lamela is open to leaving the north London club for Inter Milan. The 25-year-old Argentine has just returned after being out with a hip injury for over a year. (Talksport)

Arsenal and Chelsea are both monitoring 22-year-old Luke Shaw's contract talks with Manchester United. Jose Mourinho has confirmed the English defender is in line for a new deal, but negotiations are yet to start. (Mirror)

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba, 24, wants manager Jose Mourinho to change the side's formation so he can play an attacking role in a three-man midfield. (Daily Record)

Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez, 26, is a better player after his absence from the club following the Algerian's failed move to Manchester City, says Foxes manager Claude Puel. (Sky Sports)

Puel has also criticised Premier League leaders City over their late approach for Mahrez and believes his club deserves "more respect". (Leicester Mercury)

Stoke manager Paul Lambert says English goalkeeper Jack Butland, 24, will not be affected by speculation over his future. (Stoke Sentinel)

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, 20, has turned to fellow Brazilian Ronaldo for support after taking longer than expected to recover from a knee injury. The two met up at Neymar's birthday party in Paris last week. (Daily Mail)

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is preparing for life after Old Trafford by looking at houses in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. The 36-year-old Swede has not played for United since Boxing Day. (Daily Mail)

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, 24, wants the club to increase his salary to 6m euros (£5.3m) a year - the same amount offered to him by Manchester United in January. (Sport)

Everton invited a 100-year-old fan to celebrate her birthday at the club's training complex, where she enjoyed a cup of tea with coach and former Toffees striker Duncan Ferguson. (Liverpool Echo)

West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez has employed a lip reader as he seeks to disprove claims he racially abused Brighton defender Gaetan Bong. (Telegraph)

A Manchester United fans group have urged the club to relocate 'executive seats' and reduce ticket prices in the Stretford End to improve the atmosphere at Old Trafford. (Manchester Evening News)

The Premier League's 'Big Six' clubs could push for a bigger share of the league's overseas TV revenue. (Telegraph)

Best of Tuesday's gossip

Manchester United are monitoring Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld's situation. The 28-year-old Belgian is out of contract in 18 months and he was not included in Spurs' squad to face Juventus in the Champions League. (Manchester Evening News)

England goalkeeper Jack Butland, 24, says he has not asked to leave Stoke after being linked with a move to either Liverpool or Arsenal. (ESPN)

Real Madrid are confident of signing Paris St-Germain striker Neymar, 26, in the summer. (Independent)

Real Madrid are planning to spend around 600m euros (£534m) on improving their squad this summer, with Tottenham's 24-year-old England striker Harry Kane a key target. (Sports Illustrated)

Guardian Rumour Mill

David Hills

Ninety-one days until the next window, and Mino Raiola is restless. Eighteen months after he made £41m by giving Paul Pogba’s contract a once over, Raiola’s said to be ready to help out Ed Woodward again – this time by easing through Mauro Icardi’s move from Inter to Manchester United. Icardi could cost Woodward £135m, say reports – but it’ll be worth it for all those social media interactions.

United also want Napoli’s Jorginho – but only if Manchester City beat them to Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - while £54m winter target Samuel Umtiti remains a summer option, unless Barcelona match the £100,000-a-week-after-tax that United were offering him last month. Zlatan, meanwhile, has been shopping for houses in Beverly Hills. Who knows where that could lead.

Besides Milinkovic-Savic, City’s plans also include signing Sporting Lisbon’s £23m 18-year-old Rafael Leão, and handing keeper Ederson a rise on his “lowly £70,000-a-week wages”.
Footballers joining and leaving a club soon after
Read more

Elsewhere, Juventus spent Valentine’s Day flirting with Jack Wilshere, but the 26-year-old fancies a new, reduced Arsenal deal instead – giving up £110,000-a-week for £90,000-a-week plus “big incentives linked to success and appearances”. He could be joined at Arsenal by United’s Luke Shaw, and by Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup, six years after Arsène Wenger sold him for £400,000.

Tottenham are still leading the race for PSV winger Steven Bergwijn. Other plans include buying defender Issa Diop from Toulouse, selling Toby Alderweireld to Real, and handing in-demand Mauricio Pochettino a pay rise, two years after his last one.

Newcastle, still giddy after Martin Dubravka’s debut, want to make his £1.2m loan permanent for £4m, while fellow keeper @JackButland_One’s scorn for rumours that he wants out of Stoke impressed his manager. “I heard Jack has quashed the rumours … he’s a good lad,” says Paul Lambert. “Does it surprise me that rumours fly about? Not really. Rumours fly about all good players.”

And Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Thorgan Hazard isn’t fussed about reports linking him with Chelsea, West Ham or Leicester, so there’s no reason you should be either. “I listen to what is being said about me, but it’s not something I bother myself with,” he sighed. “My father deals with that off-the-pitch stuff.”


Better than Ronaldo and Benzema? Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez flying for West Ham

Mathew Nash

The two summer signings have had a mixed season, but have still been finding the back of the net.

It would be fair to say that Marko Arnautovic has immediately become a fan favourite at West Ham United. After struggling to get going at first, he has thrived in recent weeks and his passion for the club, along with his bristling attitude on the pitch, make him a prime candidate for West Ham cult hero status.

Javier Hernandez has gone about things a little differently. Chicharito has undoubted quality and is a player who just loves scoring goals. For a while it looked like West Ham fans were going to lose the Mexican, as David Moyes did not fancy him at first. But recently he has found his form and scored in his last two appearances.

As a strikeforce, they are quite the imposing pair and this statistic from twitter goes some way to showing just that:

Ꮇ. @VivaMarko

In their respective leagues.

Ronaldo & Benzema ➡ 13 goals
Chicha & Arnautovic ➡ 14 goals

Just facts.

This may indeed be a more reflective statistic of the dwindling powers of the Real Madrid duo, but with 14 goals shared between them in the league West Ham have themselves a dynamic duo up top.

Arnautovic and Hernandez have both currently scored seven goals apiece and if they can reach a combined tally of 25, or more, West Ham’s season will surely have been revived.


Kouyate: My teammates helped me get my confidence back

Cheikhou Kouyate has thanked his West Ham United teammates for supporting him through a difficult period and helping him regain his best form.

The popular midfielder underwent wrist surgery last summer and played through an ankle problem in the early part of the season, before being ruled out for three games before Christmas with a hamstring injury.

Kouyate admitted the fitness issues played on his mind and affected his performances, but says his fellow Hammers rallied around him, helped to rebuilt his confidence, with the result being a series of outstanding performances since his return to the side at Christmas.

“I love my teammates,” he told whufc.com. “Marko [Arnautovic], Arthur Masuaku and Manu [Lanzini] have helped me to get back to my top level. They spoke to me a lot and told me ‘take your confidence, you are the best’. It’s the same message from Adrian and from Jose Fonte. I know that today I am getting back to my best and I have to thank my guys.

“Marko is unbelievable, but not only on the pitch but outside the pitch, because we need people like him, like Arthur, Adrian, Manu, Jose, [Pedro] Obiang and the captain.

“I love Mark Noble, not only because he is a West Ham boy and he is the captain, but I love him because he speaks with me and he knows I had some problems, he knows everything about me and always says ‘If you need something, I’m there for you’.”

Kouyate’s drop in form led to some supporters questioning his commitment on social media and the Senegalese star conceded the criticism did play on his mind before his friends, family and faith reminded him of his value.

The result has been a succession of typically all-action midfield performances that have played their part in helping the Hammers climb out of the relegation zone and move towards Premier League safety.

With eleven matches left to play, the No8 is determined to maintain his recent form and finish the season strongly.

“I had a hard moment, but this is life. It’s very, very difficult sometimes, but when you have difficult times, you never stop working hard or let your confidence drop.

“I have too many friends who are helping me, including my wife and some very good friends who have sent me messages and they have given me confidence.

“I know I had some fans who were angry with me and asking ‘Why are you not playing good?’, but I know this is life and sometimes you play good and sometimes you play bad. Sometimes you can’t give your best because nobody knows what problems you have, and I am over these problems and God is good and now I am starting to get back to my best.

“I have good people in my entourage, they’re helping me and I like that. Now, I want to continue to work hard until the summer and make everybody proud of me.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

COOL HAND LUKE 11:38 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al, trust you are doing okay mate...


Texas Iron 10:25 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Takashi Miike 9:55 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Mex Martillo 8:25 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

jimbo2. 6:48 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Ta muchly Al!

BubblesCyprus 1:11 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated.

Thanks Alan 11:41 Thu Feb 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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