WHO Poll

Alan 12:11 Fri Feb 23
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, 27, is set to commit his future to Manchester United by signing a new deal, ruling out an imminent move to Real Madrid. (Times - subscription)

Real Madrid are monitoring Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling, 23, who is yet to begin formal talks with the Premier League leaders about a contract extension. The England international's deal expires in 2020. (Mirror)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba feels harshly treated by Mourinho and wants to feel valued again. (Mail)

Mourinho told the France international to "have a look at the sign on the door on the way out" after a training-ground meeting. (Sun)

Senior figures at Real Madrid privately admit they are ready to let Wales forward Gareth Bale, 28, leave this summer. (Independent)

Chelsea are monitoring Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles, 24, and could move for the defender in the summer. (Evening Standard)

Juventus have reached an agreement to sign Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian, 28, in the summer. (Calciomercato - in Italian)

The father of Paris St-Germain forward Neymar remains in contact with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez as he tries to secure a move for the 26-year-old Brazilian. (Diario Gol via Star)

Former Sunderland midfielder Jan Kirchhoff, 27, is in talks to join Championship side Bolton until the end of the season. (Sky Sports)

Chinese club Dalian Yifang are close to signing West Ham defender Jose Fonte, 34, for £5m. The Portuguese is surplus to requirements under David Moyes. (Mail)

Belgium winger Yannick Carrasco, 24, is set to leave Atletico Madrid and join Dalian Yifang for 30m euros (£27m). A deal could be completed by the end of this week. (Marca)

Atletico Madrid are interested in signing West Ham defender Reece Oxford, 19, who is on loan at Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. The Hammers value the England Under-19 international at £12m. (Telegraph)

Barcelona have decided not to follow up their interest in Lyon skipper Nabil Fekir. Arsenal have been linked with a £45m move for the 24-year-old midfielder. (Sport)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to make peace with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte when the Red Devils host the Blues on Sunday. Mourinho said in January he will never be "suspended for match-fixing", having previously made a "clown" remark. Conte responded to Mourinho's comments, calling him "a little man". (Mirror)

Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, 20, wants to continue his development at the Bundesliga club amid interest from a number of Premier League clubs. (Star)

Best of Thursday's gossip

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)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Daniel Harris

Raheem Sterling is mainly famous for crazy antics such as spending his own money as he pleases and generally acting as though he’s some kind of free human being. But he is also an excellent footballer, and Manchester City have yet to discuss a new contract with him even though he has two years of his current deal still to run, a situation which has been noted by Real Madrid.

City and Madrid also share an interest in Mauro Icardi, though Wanda Nara, Icardi’s wife and agent, is refusing to confirm the interested parties. But City need to add some experience to the homegrown talent so patiently nurtured by the genius of Pep Guardiola, while Madrid see him as the ideal replacement for Karim Benzema.
Messi at Chelsea, messy at Wigan and much more – Football Weekly Extra

Also in line to leave the Bernabéu is Gareth Bale. Despite the fine work he has done developing his muscles and hair, Madrid no longer see him as fitting into their team, the problem being that none of the clubs able to afford him are looking for a elite attacker of unreliable fitness.

Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian will leave Manchester United this summer and sign for Juventus. They are well furnished with defensive specialists but lack an all-rounder deficient in pace, skill, strength, height, nous, leadership, composure and attacking threat.

In other defensive news, Chelsea are looking at Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle. A lot of time and trouble goes into signing players these days, and painstaking research has revealed that he satisfies all essential criteria, being both English and young – just like Ross Barkley.

Across London, Arsenal are also getting busy. Barcelona have decided not to pursue an interest in Nabil Fekir, Lyon’s unreliable and undecorated attacking midfielder. Naturally, this has piqued Arsène Wenger’s interest – he would like to add the player to his unique collection, and feels that Fekir will look perfect on the mantlepiece alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Elsewhere, Atlético Madrid would like to buy Reece Oxford from West Ham. Oxford, who once played fairly well against Arsenal, is now on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach, enjoying yet another thrilling title race in Europe’s most fan-friendly league. West Ham value their man at £12m.

Also leaving West Ham is José Fonte. With spring almost upon us, the club no longer requires its dressing room draft excluders, and as such, will accept a £5m offer from Dalian Yifang, who will then spend another £27m on Atlético’s Yannick Carrasco.


Reece Oxford courts attention from Atletico Madrid

Sam Wallace, Chief Football Writer

The West Ham prospect Reece Oxford is the subject of interest from Atletico Madrid who are looking at the England Under-20 international as a potential signing for this summer, should his development in the Bundesliga continue.

The 19-year-old is back on his second spell on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach after a brief return to the West Ham first team over January. He struggled to get in the side at the Bundesliga club in the early part of the season but won a place just before his return, and last Sunday started at right-back against Borussia Dortmund.

Atletico have looked at Oxford, whose best position is a centre-back, over a long period and feel that he could be a good long-term prospect with his immediate development path likely to be further loan spells. Oxford was the subject of a £8 million bid from Monchengladbach in January which was rejected by West Ham with the club valuing the player at around £12 million.

The teenager may yet be moved up into the England Under-21s squad come next month, and is keen to play regular football even if that means leaving West Ham. David Moyes did originally bring him back in January with the intention of looking at the teenager as a potential first team player but decided to opt for more experience in the club’s relegation battle.

Oxford’s willingness to move abroad to seek games has attracted the interest of clubs who see a shortage of potentially top-level centre-backs across Europe and prices rising accordingly. The £75 million fee Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk demonstrated the value of a leading centre-back. There has also been interest from RB Leipzig in Oxford but he favours a move to Spain if he leaves West Ham.

He will have three years left on his contract come the summer and his value is likely to rise if he plays regularly in the Bundesliga. Thus far West Ham’s valuation of the player has tended to rise each time there has been an enquiry.


Eddie Jones declares himself a 'West Ham supporter' following Stuart Pearce visit

England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed that he grew up supporting West Ham United due to their mix of artistic forwards and rugged defenders.

Jones welcomed Hammers assistant boss Stuart Pearce to his squad's training base this week, and it seems he may have had an ulterior motive for the invite.

The Australian was introduced to West Ham by Match of the Day and fell in love with some of the club's biggest names of the 1960s and '70s, including Sir Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and Frank Lampard Sr.

"We had some great chats about West Ham," Jones said of Pearce's visit. "I used to be a West Ham supporter. I used to love Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Frank Lampard all those guys.

"They had those big tough defenders and Brooking was the artist at the front. It was interesting talking about how [West Ham manager David] Moyes is trying to revive West Ham now.

"Stuart Pearce is an icon of the game. We had a great chat about what they are doing there and how they are trying to rebuild the club.

"They have certainly got some challenges ahead but they seem like they are moving in the right direction."

Pressed on why he became a Hammer, Jones added: "I loved Billy Bonds for some reason, maybe because he was that big tough defender. Brooking always reminded me of Greg Chappell playing football, bit of an artist and they have that claret and light blue jersey I liked."

England centre Ben Te'o also professed to being a West Ham fan during Pearce's trip to Surrey on Tuesday. But when asked who the Trevor Brooking in his side was, Jones elected for two different backs.

"Anthony Watson is a bit like that," he said "JJ [Jonathan Joseph, too]. They're artists in their own way."


Jose signs Chinese contract

Jose Fonte has officially departed West Ham after agreeing his move to China. The Portuguese international signed a contract with Dalian Yifang this morning and the news will be officially announced by both clubs this afternoon.

The deal is said to be worth £4.3 million to West Ham with 34-year-old likely to earn up to £120,000 a week after tax. Fonte has signed a two-year contract with the Chinese Super League club.

Fonte has not played for West Ham since October because of an ankle injury and in the interim was angered by David Sullivan, the West Ham joint chairman, saying that his children had begged him not to sign the defender. He had 17 months left on his £70,000-a-week West Ham contract originally costing the Hammers £8.3m under Slaven Bilic.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 7:40 Fri Feb 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Texas Iron 3:20 Fri Feb 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

jimbo2. 3:02 Fri Feb 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al. I think that Fonte was a decent player, but we paid Southampton too much for him at his age, in desperation to get CB cover for injuries etc. At least we are getting approx half of that money back & free up around 70k wages a week. The club need to give Declan Rice a decent pay rise now, on the back of this! It also seems fairly obvious that we don't fancy Reece Oxford, although some big European clubs do, so hopefully his value will increase more. Let's (for once), build in a sell on clause once he goes!

Thanks Alan 12:40 Fri Feb 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

charleyfarley 12:13 Fri Feb 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al

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