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Alan 12:57 Mon Feb 19
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew has two games to save his job. (Sun)

Paris St-Germain are considering a £30m summer move for Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo, 27. The Argentina centre-back's contract at Old Trafford runs out next year. (Sun)

Chelsea's Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard, 27, says he is happy at Stamford Bridge but has not ruled out leaving the club in the future. (Telefoot - in French)

Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is not interested in going back to Paris St-Germain because he wants a return to the Premier League. (Mirror)

Leicester have sent scouts to watch Benfica full-back Andre Almeida, 27, and winger Rafa Silva, 24. Both players were linked with the Foxes in January. (O Jogo via Leicester Mercury)

Both AC and Inter Milan are interested in re-signing striker Mario Balotelli, 27, from Ligue 1 side Nice. The Italian is angry after being booked in a league game for complaining to the referee about alleged racist chants. (Sun)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, 23, has returned to training after phoning in sick before Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round victory over Huddersfield. (Mail)

Manchester United have described reports that manager Jose Mourinho was involved in a dressing room row with France's Pogba and England defender Phil Jones, 25, after their defeat at Newcastle as "total rubbish". (Star)

Sevilla's former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas, 32, has warned Manchester United not to "underestimate" the Spanish side in this week's Champions League last-16 tie. (Mirror)

Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 25, says the club's former forward Neymar, 26, was "super important" for the team but that the Spanish side have become "stronger" since the Brazil striker left for Paris-St Germain last summer. (Express)

Tom Henning Ovrebo, the referee who rejected a number of Chelsea penalty appeals in the second leg of their 2009 Champions League semi-final defeat on away goals to Barcelona, says he made "several errors" in that game and "can't be proud of that performance". (Marca)

There is growing opposition to the idea that Tottenham will play an FA Cup semi-final at their temporary home of Wembley if they reach the last four - but the Football Association will not move the game from the ground. (Times - subscription required)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he nearly signed for Wigan towards the end of his career but "was not good enough", as the teams prepare for their FA Cup fifth-round tie on Monday. (Telegraph)

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal has compared FA Cup replays to Police Academy films in that "there are too many of them". (Times - subscription required)

The father of James Rodriguez says the "best thing" the Colombia playmaker could do was leave Real Madrid for Bayern Munich last year as the 26-year-old "had lost the sporting joy on the pitch" at the Bernabeu outfit. (Marca)

Best of Sunday's gossip

Real Madrid are willing to offer 28-year-old Wales winger Gareth Bale plus £100m for Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, 27. (Sunday Express)

Chelsea would ask for Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, 29, if Manchester City made an approach for Belgium international Hazard. (Star on Sunday)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had a dressing-room row with France midfielder Paul Pogba and 25-year-old England defender Phil Jones after his side's defeat by Newcastle last week. (Sun on Sunday)

Manchester City are interested in signing Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl, 22, but the German club want £40m for the Germany international. (Sunday Mirror)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is looking at signing 20-year-old Brazilian forward Richarlison and French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, 25, from Watford in a £50m deal. (Sun on Sunday)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

Eden Hazard has been persistently linked with Real Madrid and the latest reports suggest Chelsea’s playmaker with the magic dust sprinkled in his boots remains the Spanish side’s top target this summer. The Express says Real are ready to offer top-knotted Welsh winger Gareth Bale and as much as £100m in exchange for Hazard, in a deal that would surely tempt the Stamford Bridge bean-counters. “In football anything can happen,” Hazard said in an interview with Telefoot. “But in football nothing can happen too. Every year they talk about Real or PSG. And when I want to change clubs, I will. But at the moment I’m good where I am.”

Before Sunday’s draw with League One strugglers Rochdale in the FA Cup, Tottenham were linked with Watford midfielders Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucouré and will move for the duo in a deal worth £50m next summer. Spurs are also remain keen on making a Premier League player of 18-year-old Stevenage central defender Ben Wilmot, but will have to duke it out with Arsenal in the battle for the teenager’s signature. Wilmot has established himself as a first-team regular with the League Two side since being thrown in to face Reading in the FA Cup third round and is believed to have been the subject of failed bids from both north London clubs during January. Arsenal have also made an offer for Besiktas captain Oguzhan “Ozzie” Ozyakup, a 25-year-old midfielder who is a product of the Gunners’ own youth system, leaving for Turkey in 2012.

José Mourinho is reportedly angry over Manchester United’s dilly-dallying when it comes to offering Marcos Rojo a new contract, with just over a year left on the Argentinian defender’s deal. PSG are believed to be monitoring the situation with interest and preparing what can only be described as a £30m “summer swoop” for the player who, along with Phil Jones, looks likely to be ruled out of United’s Champions League match against Sevilla on Wednesday with injury.

Newcastle may attempt to sign Nick Pope in the summer, Burnley’s goalkeeper having been a revelation since coming in to replace the injured Tom Heaton in September. With Heaton nearing a return from his dislocated shoulder, Pope may drop back down the pecking order and begin agitating for a move elsewhere. Burnley will want to keep both men, but are unlikely to be able to keep them happy.

Angry West Brom manager Alan Pardew is believed to have been given two matches to save his job, in the wake of last week’s misadventures in Barcelona and the FA Cup defeat at the hands of Southampton. Since taking over at the Hawthorns, Pardew has overseen the Baggies’ drop from 17th in the table to 20th and organised the “team bonding” trip that led to four of his senior players having their collars felt after an impromptu game of Grand Theft Auto. Already seven points adrift of safety with just 11 matches to go, West Brom play Huddersfield at home and Watford away in their next two fixtures.

And finally, in other managerial news, the Mirror report that Carlo Ancelotti is not interested in replacing Unai Emery as PSG manager, but would quite like a return to the Premier League with Arsenal, if Arsène Wenger ever decides to leave.


West Ham to post record profits

West Ham are set to announce a record net profit as high as £25m in nine days time when financial accounts are published at companies house but in reality still remain cash poor.

The Hammers earnt TV Money worth nearly £122m last season, up £35m from the last accounts thanks to the new Sky/BT TV deal which came into force last year for all Premier League clubs and London Stadium ticket sales will add another promised £10m to the record turnover. That means the club’s turnover could reach around £187m for the 2016/2017 season which finished in May last year. An increase of £45m from the £142m recorded by West Ham for the 2015/2016 season.

Total wages including players are likely to have reached 50% of turnover at around £93.5m and based on last years figures we can also expect another £30m in external administrative expenses/outgoings which include the £2.5m for rental of the London Stadium and £9.5m in agent fees.

Despite this record profit in the accounts West Ham remain relatively cash poor and last year they were forced yet again to borrow money from Media Rights and Funding mortgaged against their training ground, shop leases and London Stadium lease. This annual loan is akin to an overdraft to inject much-needed cash flow into the club.
The club has made a number of cash payments up front last year but in the financial accounts, these are depreciated these over a number of years. The £15m given to the London Stadium owners is spread over 99 years in the accounts (£15,000 per year). The £11m for the shop and WestHamification of the London Stadium is spread over 10 years (£1.1m per year) while players are often paid for 50% up front but spread over the life of their contact as an asset in the financial accounts which can be up to 5 years.
I am sure there will be cries of foul and questions where has the money gone in two weeks time from the fans when the accounts are published and the board will inevitably come in for more grief but my understanding is they took a small part of their interest payments on their outstanding shareholder loans at a reduced interest rate of 4% in the last financial year.


Ogbonna: Playing pain-free has really helped me

Angelo Ogbonna says playing pain-free has been the main reason behind his fine form for West Ham United.

A year ago this month, the Italian underwent successful surgery to fix a long-standing and debilitating knee injury which he had played through for the majority of his professional career.

Now fully recovered, Ogbonna is fitter than he has been in years and the Hammers are reaping the rewards, with the 29-year-old playing every minute of the Club’s last 23 matches in all competitions.

“I feel very good,” he confirmed. “When I am fit I am prepared to play every game. Of course, I feel a little bit tired sometimes, but everything is mental, so if you are prepared mentally, you can perform to your best physically.

“I am definitely benefitting from having the operation on my knee, because I needed that surgery. Everybody knows it was an injury I had for a long time and they advised me to have the surgery, so I had it done and it has really helped me.

“Since I had the surgery, our head physiotherapist Dominic Rogan has worked with me many times on my rehabilitation and he helped me to do the things right and get myself ready to play at 100 per cent.”

Ogbonna has arguably been West Ham’s most-consistent defender this season, ranking first in clearances made, joint-first in shots blocked, second in interceptions, third in aerial battles won and third in pass-completion percentage.

While he has been admirably consistent, helping the Hammers to collect 20 points from their last 12 Premier League matches, the No21 is demanding more, aided by the ‘discipline’ instilled by manager David Moyes.

“It’s good but it’s not enough because we’re looking to get as many points as we can. Now I think we are in a positive mood.

“When the team was doing really bad, we changed the manager and he has brought a lot of energy and a lot of positive things, but the most important thing he brought was discipline because with discipline, you can build whatever you want.

“Every manager has his type of method, but the important thing was the discipline, because with this you can train harder or train less, but you know what you have to do.”

When Moyes was appointed in November, Ogbonna likened the new manager’s methods to those which he enjoyed during two seasons with Italian champions Juventus. Three months on and the centre-half’s opinion has not changed.

“He is not just like an Italian manager, but like a European manager. Today, everything in football is improving and we are doing lots of things – tactics, positional work, technical work, running – and in the Premier League this is essential, because it is the hardest league in the world and, if you are not fit, you cannot go ahead.

“We improved a lot in the last month or two. We changed the shape [to three-at-the-back], but it’s not just that. We run much better than before, not only in distance but in the quality of our running.

“Every game has its story and every game is different, so we prepare for every game differently, to give ourselves the best chance of winning or drawing. Even when we struggled with injuries, we found the right shape with the right players in the right positions.”

Soccer Souls

Who’s this 21-year-old French midfielder of Ivorian origin that West Ham are chasing? All you need to know

Scout Report – Jonathan Bamba

West Ham United are interested in signing Saint-Etienne’s thrilling midfielder Jonathan Bamba, according to reports. The Sun reports that the Hammers want the 21-year-old to sign a pre-contract with them before his deal with the Ligue 1 side expires in the summer.

Bamba has previously been linked with both Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United but with West Ham emerging as a potential suitor, here is the lowdown of the 21-year-old midfielder of Ivorian origin.

Born on 26 March 1996 in Alfortville, France, Bamba joined the Saint-Etienne academy in 2011 and is a graduate, having progressed through the youth setup. Bamba made his debut for Saint-Etienne in 2015 but after a year, he joined Ligue 2 club Paris FC on loan until the end of the 2015-16 season. He did play a lot of games for Paris FC but failed to register a single goal.

The young French midfielder was loaned to Belgian First Division A club Sint-Truiden in the summer of 2016. However, he was sent back to Saint-Etienne during the winter break of 2016-17. In January last year, he sealed a loan move to Angers, where he scored three in 16 last term, contributing two assists.

And now finally back to Saint-Etienne, Bamba is primed for bigger things after an impressive start to the campaign. Bamba has represented France at various youth levels. He has made 8 appearances for Under-21, netting two goals.
What Does He Offer?

A goal-scoring midfielder, Bamba is capable of playing anywhere in the midfield. He can also operate in various attacking positions and also play as a false 9.

The 21-year-old is a pacey customer who can play across the front line. But he has mostly played through the middle for St. Etienne this season. The move has worked wonders as Bamba has contributed with plenty of goals and assists.

The move to Angers came at the right time as the midfielder of Ivorian descent has gone from strength to strength. He has made it a habit of making an impact this season, scoring vital goals against Nice, Angers and Dijon. Bamba’s game hasn’t been only about goals. He was adjudged the Man of the match for his stellar display against Caen, where he set up the only goal of the game.

The biggest feature of his game is that he is brilliant at taking the ball forward at blistering pace. At 5ft 9in, Bamba isn’t the biggest presence on the field but he more than makes up for it with his upper body strength. The 21-year-old star forward, apart from scoring goals, initiates attacks from promising areas with pinpoint passing and through balls. He also carries the ball forward himself, before bringing his teammates into play.

What Does The Future Hold?

No wonder that Saint-Etienne are desperate to tie Bamba down to a new contract with his current deal expiring in the summer. The Sun claims that the player wants more wages and the Les Verts are not keen on that idea, which has stalled the discussions over a new contract.

This means Bamba, who has scored 6 goals and supplied 4 assists this season, could become a free agent in the summer as things stand. The French Under-21 star’s future is very much uncertain for now and therefore the Hammers should continue keeping a close eye on the situation.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Westham67 4:13 Tue Feb 20
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Claret&hugh FUCK OFF the owners are Billionaires

Thank you very much, Alan

andyd12345 10:56 Mon Feb 19
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
“The £15m given to the London Stadium owners is spread over 99 years in the accounts (£15,000 per year).“

I’m not a CIMA qualified accountant but I’m pretty sure if we make 99 payments of £15,000 we aren’t going to clear the £15m

Texas Iron 10:07 Mon Feb 19
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

So...Ogbonna rates Moyes Better vs Bilic...
Agree 100%

thecockneyboy 6:30 Mon Feb 19
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Claret and hugh is so far up the boards arse you can't even see his ankles.

rumford 4:47 Mon Feb 19
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
So we made record profits but remain cash poor and have had to borrow money.So how does this affect ability to buy players in the summer window, anyone ?

Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 1:11 Mon Feb 19
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
B, Eddie 12:58 Mon Feb 19

Eddie B 12:58 Mon Feb 19
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan, thanks.

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