WHO Poll

Alan 11:16 Thu Feb 22
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Real Madrid want Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 25, to delay agreeing a new contract until April, when they plan to choose between signing him or Manchester United's Spain international David de Gea, 27. (Telegraph)

Belgium international Courtois has said his agent will listen to any offer from Real Madrid. (Mirror)

Paul Pogba's agent has offered the Manchester United midfielder to some of Europe's top clubs. The 24-year-old Frenchman was a substitute for United's Champions League draw with Sevilla on Wednesday. (Sports Illustrated)

England central defender Harry Maguire, 24, is ready to pledge his future to Leicester, despite being linked with Manchester City. (Sun)

West Bromwich Albion are closely monitoring the progress of Ostersund manager Graham Potter. The 42-year-old Englishman says he plans to manage in the Premier League in the future. (Mail)

Ligue 1 side Nantes say they will not stand in manager Claudio Ranieri's way if he is approached about the vacant Italy job. (L'Equipe - in French)

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, 30, is wanted by four French clubs including Lyon and Paris St-Germain - and the France international would not be averse to a move. (AS)

Barcelona are working on a deal to sign 21-year-old Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo from Gremio for about 30m euros (£26.4m). (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez, 21, says he is not interested in a move to Real Madrid this summer. The Colombian joined Spurs from Ajax in August. (Mirror)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants England striker Danny Welbeck, 27, to sign a new contract. (Mail)

Manchester United are keen on Dinamo Zagreb's 19-year-old Croatian midfielder Nikola Moro, who has been described as the 'new Luka Modric'. (Talksport)

Atletico Madrid's 24-year-old Belgian forward Yannick Carrasco is close to joining Chinese club Dalian Yifang for about 30m euros (£26.4m). (El Pais - in Spanish)

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says "in my line of work you always have your bags packed" - but again insisted he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge. (Express)

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is in danger of losing out on a place in England's World Cup squad. (Times - subscription required)

Arsenal's Colombian back-up goalkeeper David Ospina, 29, will keep his place for Sunday's EFL Cup final against Manchester City. (Guardian)

Racing Club defender Leonardo Sigali has only played 270 minutes for his new side since signing from Dinamo Zagreb in January - but he has already got a new haircut sporting the club's crest. (Four Four Two)

Former Newcastle, Aston Villa and Tottenham winger David Ginola has become a father again aged 51, almost two years after he had a heart attack during a charity football match. (Birmingham Mail)

Best of Wednesday's gossip

Chelsea face fierce competition from Bayern Munich for Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old US winger Christian Pulisic. (Mail)

West Ham are ready to offer boss David Moyes a two-year deal in the summer if he keeps the Hammers in the Premier League - and the Scot is already looking at player recruitment for next season. (Express)

Barcelona have beaten Manchester United to the signing of Gremio's 21-year-old Brazilian midfielder Arthur. (Mail)

Former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho had 24 hours to forget in Barcelona as his car was towed away for being parked illegally and then his new home was burgled. (Daily Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

Considering the Rumour Mill’s stock-in-trade is high profile players who would rather be somewhere else, it would be a gross dereliction of journalistic duty to not to mention Harry Kane’s appearance on stage at the Brit Awards last night. Prodded centre-stage from the wings alongside Cuban-American songstress Camila Cabello, the Tottenham Hotspur goal-getter could scarcely have looked more awkward as he proceeded to engage in some excruciating forced “banter”, before presenting the gong for Best Male International Male to Kendrick Lamar. Tottenham fans concerned about their star striker being distracted by the fear of being asked to perform the opening monologue on Oscars night will have slept soundly in their beds.

Thibaut Courtois was nowhere to be seen at the annual orgy of self-congratulatory back-slapping by an increasingly irrelevant British record industry, possibly because he’s in advanced negotiations with Chelsea over a new deal that will earn him £200,000 per week. Real Madrid are hoping he’ll delay putting pen to paper until April, by which time they’ll have decided whether it’s him or David de Gea they want instead of Keylor Navas. Should Real move for De Gea, they could offer Manchester United Toni Kroos as a sweetener, although the German is also wanted by Manchester City and would quite like to renew his professional relationship withy Pep Guardiola. Liverpool have been linked with Navas, but only if they fail to get Roma goalkeeper Alisson, who was outstanding in defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

Further up the pitch, Leicester City’s Harry Maguire may look more like a friendly 18th century village blacksmith than a footballer, but that hasn’t stopped the £50m-rated defender being courted by Manchester City. Tabloid reports suggest Maguire, who has played every minute of every Premier League game this season for Leicester, is happy where he is and in no rush to move on to pastures new.

And finally, the Östersund manager, Graham Potter, has been hailed as something of a miracle worker for his fine work in guiding the Swedish minnows to the knockout stages of the Europa League, but even a man of his considerable talents might have his work cut out trying to keep West Brom in the Premier League. Having lost patience with Alan Pardew after last week’s shenanigans in Barcelona, the Baggies are thinking of drafting in their former player in a last-ditch attempt to keep them up.


West Ham must ensure they win the race for Anguissa

West Ham must ensure they win the race for Marseille’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa as he is exactly what they need.

La Provence reported that the Hammers were one of four Premier League clubs interested in the 22-year-old midfielder, with Newcastle United, Watford and West Bromwich Albion also interested.

The Baggies, according to the French newspaper, bid £13.2million to try and sign him last summer, but Marseille rejected their offer.

Since WBA were turned down, Anguissa has flourished at the French giants putting in the performances needed to see his side climb to third in Ligue 1.

The defensive midfielder, who can also play as a central midfielder, has made 37 appearances across all competitions for Marseille this season.

Given his importance to the French club, he will no doubt garner a big price, but it’s a fee worth paying when you consider he can fix all of West Ham’s issues.

The Hammers have shown this season, due to several injuries, that they’re in need of midfielders.

As Anguissa can play equally as well in two positions in midfield, he will help aid their simple need just to field capable players by his versatility.

Also it’s easy to see that West Ham struggle in midfield at times this season, due to playing aging players in that area.

Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta have been David Moyes’ midfield pairing of choice to try, in order to give his side the best chance of dominating the midfield battle for West Ham as of late.

However, while their no nonsense style has given them some success, as soon as they come up against a team with pace, the pair are both left eating their opponents’ dust.

Anguissa, no doubt helped by the fact he is only 22-year-old, has showcased his ability to run for a full 90 minutes for Marseille and isn’t often beaten in a foot race.

The midfielder’s young legs would bring some much necessary youth to a West Ham side, that should be building for a bright future.

The final issue that the Hammers have, that has left them only four points clear of the relegation zone, is their ability to concede goals easily.

West Ham have let in 46 goals in 27 league game, and despite Moyes improving them at the back since taking over, they’re still desperately weak when it comes to stopping goals.

Anguissa is tough in the tackle and his presence in midfield, whatever role he plays, adds an extra layer of protection to his side’s defence.

The 22-year-old’s presence would instantly improve West Ham’s ability to stop conceding goals as he would plug a gap in the team.

Therefore, the Hammers must ensure they beat their Premier League rivals to his signature as he is capable of single-handily fixing their immediate issues.

Daily Record

Jose Fonte agrees €5.5m move to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang

The veteran Portugal international will travel to Asia next week to seal the deal after beign frozen out at the Hammers.

By Duncan Castles

Jose Fonte has agreed to move to the Chinese Super League in a €5.5million transfer to Dalian Yifang.

The Portugal international will sign a three-year contract for newly promoted Dalian, and is due to travel to Asia on Monday to complete his exit from West Ham United .

The central defender's departure from the English Premier League club follows co-owner David Sullivan's decision to insult Fonte and Scotland international Robert Snodgrass in well publicised criticism of Slaven Bilic's recruitment policy.

Sullivan cut off Bilic's recruitment budget midway through the summer transfer window before sacking the Croat coach in early November.

Seeking to insulate himself from criticism of West Ham's player trading, Sullivan had told the Guardian newspaper that: “I’m not involved in the strategy. The manager says he wants Fonte from Southampton and Snodgrass from Hull. My kids begged me not to sign them."

Fonte was understandably unimpressed by his employer's words. “It’s ignorance,” the Portuguese said the next day. “I’m not going to say anything. It’s not going to change who I am.

"It’s not going to change what I do. I’m going to keep being the good professional that I am. I am going to keep working hard to try and help my team-mates and the manager. What has been said has no effect on me or who I am.

“I am 33 years of age. I have 500 or 600 appearances. I know what I have done in football. I know how hard I have to work to be in this position. It makes no difference to me. I will still continue to be the same guy I have always been.”

Bilic's successor, David Moyes , has not provided Fonte with a single minute of playing time since the Scot's November appointment.

Fonte, who turned 34 last month, has been listed three times as an unused substitute during that period and was made available for sale in the January window.

A pivotal figure in Portugal's 2016 European Championship victory, Fonte spent eight seasons at Southampton before his January 2017 transfer to West Ham, captaining the south coast club during its rise from League One to the Europa League.

Bilic signed the central defender for an initial £8m in the aftermath of summer interest from Manchester United and a failed £9m bid from Everton.

Led by Spanish coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, Dalian are reinforcing their squad with European players ahead of their CSL campaign, which begins next week. The Liaoning province club have also been negotiating the transfer of Belgium forward Yannick Carrasco from Atletico Madrid. It is understood that Fonte's new contract is worth €4m a year, after tax.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Thames Ironworks 10:59 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

Great just what we need, fines for racist chants.

Texas Iron 9:53 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Fonte...Too Old...Too Slow...Too Injury Prone...Too Error Prone...Too Expensive...

Mart O 7:53 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
charleyfarley 11:24 Thu Feb 22

Jasnik 7:15 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
We singing the guy standing up or the one with the broken leg !.

Mex Martillo 6:58 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan
Completely agree SDKFZ, it is bollocks

SDKFZ 222 2:52 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
‘Bilic's successor, David Moyes, has not provided Fonte with a single minute of playing time since the Scot's November appointment.’

Probably because he was laid off with a bad injury! Who writes this nonsense?

Queens Fish Bar 1:46 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
charleyfarley 11:24 Thu Feb 22

charleyfarley 11:24 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Lily for thanking Alan and Thanks Alan also for thanking Alan and from me Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 11:18 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Lily, Hammer. 11:16 Thu Feb 22

Lily Hammer 11:16 Thu Feb 22
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

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