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Alan 1:21 Tue Mar 6
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes he is the best man to take the club forward, and has told his coaching staff that he will not step down this summer. (Times - subscription required)

Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, 22, is furious with Wenger after he was dropped for the Brighton game on Sunday when the team was named just two hours before kick-off. (Sun)

Chelsea's Belgium international forward Eden Hazard, 27, is stalling on signing a new contract in the hope Real Madrid make a move for him. (Mail)

Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have all sent scouts to watch Napoli's £60m-rated Italy midfielder Jorginho, 26. (Sun)

Southampton will sack manager Mauricio Pellegrino at the end of the season, even if they survive in the Premier League. Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic and FK Ostersunds boss Graham Potter have been lined up as replacements. (Mirror)

West Brom chief executive Mark Jenkins has travelled to meet Baggies owner Guochuan Lai in China and expects to be questioned about manager Alan Pardew. (Telegraph)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen to sign Real Madrid centre-back and France international Raphael Varane, 24, this summer. (Diario Gol - in Spanish)

Brazil midfielder Ramires, 30, would like to rejoin Chelsea, two years after leaving the Blues for Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. (Mirror)

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, 26, fainted and lost consciousness at the club's Cobham training ground on Friday but a series of cardiology tests on the France international all came back clear. (Telegraph)

Nice forward Mario Balotelli is interested in a move to Juventus or Napoli, with the 27-year-old's form set to earn him a recall to the Italy squad. (La Domenica Sport, via Mail)

Racing Club midfielder Lautaro Martinez is set to join Inter Milan, despite the 20-year-old Argentine being a target for Arsenal and Barcelona. (Sport Mediaset, via Talksport)

Stoke City and Lazio are both interested in Real Betis' 21-year-old Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz. (Mundo Deportivo, via Talksport)

Wolves remain in the hunt for AC Milan's Portuguese striker Andre Silva this summer. The Molineux club were first linked with the 22-year-old in January. (Birmingham Mail)

Watford are among a number of Premier League clubs interested in 18-year-old Stevenage defender Ben Wilmot. (Watford Observer)

Netflix are heading to Wembley for Wednesday's Champions League tie between Tottenham and Juventus as part of their behind-the-scenes documentary on the Italian giants. (Times - subscription required)

Best of Monday's gossip

Everton want Arsene Wenger to take over as manager if he is sacked by Arsenal. Everton owner Farhad Moshiri believes he is the best candidate to help the Toffees rebuild. (Star)

Everton are also interested in bringing former Gunners midfielder and current Manchester City assistant boss Mikel Arteta into the managerial set-up at Goodison Park. (Mirror)

Arsenal want Wenger's successor to be a head coach rather than a manager, which would help them focus on coaching and a return to the Champions League. (Sun)

Former Gunners forward Thierry Henry says he would "always say yes" if asked to replace Wenger at Emirates Stadium. (Evening Standard)

Tottenham are interested in Bayer Leverkusen's Germany defender Jonathan Tah, 22, as a replacement for Toby Alderweireld. Spurs have been unable to agree a new contract with the 29-year-old Belgium international. (Mirror)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

A stoppage time Nemanja Matic wondergoal might have brought Manchester United three points at Crystal Palace last night but this morning José Mourinho is more interested in delivering three players. Not just any players, either: Barcelona players. Three of them.

Their victory at Selhurst Park might have been jolly entertaining but in falling 2-0 down to a relegation-haunted side it became glaringly obvious that some current United players simply can’t be relied upon to perform to their highest level, leaving Mourinho a stark and troubling choice: either actually do a bit of coaching to improve them, or simply buy some other ones. And he’s going for option two.

Don Balon reports that he is already in talks with not one, not even two, but three Catalonia-based players. In declining order of apparent unlikeliness they are Marc-André Ter Stegen, the German goalkeeper who has been identified as the ideal replacement for a possibly Madrid-bound David de Gea and who “has a €180m release clause, but Mourinho is convinced that €100 could be enough to take him”. Then there is Samuel Umtiti, a key member of the Barcelona first team when fit but whose release clause is currently set at a derisory €60m. “Mourinho,” Don Balon claims, “considers that price quite a bargain.” And finally André Gomes, the 24-year-old Portuguese midfielder, who was booed and whistled by his own fans after he came off the bench against Atlético Madrid on Sunday because they think he’s rubbish.

Ramires wants to go back to Chelsea and, more importantly, thinks he can – despite leaving the club for China’s Jiangsu Suning two years ago. “I’ll always have special affection for Chelsea, and I want to play for them again before finishing my career,” he said. “I know the doors of Stamford Bridge will always be open to me, and that wearing their jersey again would be spectacular.” Eden Hazard however could be on the way out of the club: the Telegraph reports that “team-mates fear he is becoming exasperated with being asked to play in the false nine position” and that “there is genuine concern that Antonio Conte’s approach will force Hazard to consider whether or not the Blues can match his ambitions.”

Another André – Milan’s Silva – is also in the news today, with speculation mounting that Wolves, who were linked with the player in January, will now fling themselves into a summer transfer tussle for the 22-year-old Portuguese international, for whom Monaco and Valencia are also ready to scrap.

And talking of three-way summer transfer tussles, Arsenal have entered one of those as well, joining Liverpool and Manchester United in the race for Napoli’s Jorginho. “We’re waiting for May. We wish Napoli could win the league, then if they want to renew the contract, we talk about it,” says his agent, João Santos. “The same if they want to sell him. There are no official and concrete proposals for him from the UK. We are available to deal with.”

Southampton are drawing up a shortlist of potential replacements for Mauricio Pellegrino, who they will almost certainly sack in the summer no matter what happens in the final months of the season. “Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic and the Ostersund chief Graham Potter are among those on the radar,” reports the Mirror.


West Ham financial accounts revealed

West Ham’s newly announced financial accounts show a record turnover and record profit but mostly due to the new TV deal which came in last season. The accounts published at companies house today show figures for last season up to 31st May 2017.

The main areas show:

O Turnover increase of 28.9% (£41.2m) from £142.1m to £183.3m

O TV income grew by 7% (£32.6m) from £86.7m to £119.3m

This is in line with many other Premier League clubs when the new Sky/BT deal came into effect last season. Most clubs have increased their turnover by a similar amount.

O Ticket income grew by 6.3% from £26.9m to £28.6m

The modest increase might be a surprise to some but with 10,000 Under 16 season tickets for £99 and 8,000 Band 5 season tickets for £289 and prizes frozen the only way to increase revenue in this area is to increase ticket pricing which would not go down well with fans.

O Commercial and sponsorship including corporate hospitality sales were up by 35.7% from £19m to £25.8m

This area includes the corporate hospitality called Club London which increased to 3,200 members and better sponsorship deals in the new stadium.

O Retail and shop sales grew by 2% from £9.3m to £9.6m

Again a rather small increase but there are some mitigating factors. The last year in the Boleyn Ground saw record revenue from retail from dedicated merchandise the club shop currently lacks a car park and has limited footfall or passing trade outside of match days.

O The club published a gross profit of £64.4m but this reduced to a net profit of £43m after playing trading, taxation and interest.

While the profit is impressive the club remains relatively cash poor as many transactions are paid for upfront but accounted for (depreciated) over many years in the accounts. These include the £15m for the stadium (depreciated over 99 years, the club shop, office and Westhamification of the London Stadium (depreciated over 10 years) and many players 50% up front but depreciated over the length of the player’s contract.

O The accounts confirm the Boleyn Ground was sold for £38m.

West Ham had already received £10m up front in previous years so the balance of £28m was paid in July 2016 by the developers. This was used mostly pay off bank loans of £14.7m and London Stadium upfront fee of £15m.

O Wages increased by £10.4m from £84.6m to £95m which means wages account for 51.8% of turnover.

The highest paid director wages (believed to be West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady) reduced her salary from £907,000 to £868,000. In comparison, Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis was paid £2.65m plus a £1m bonus in 2016 despite not winning anything as a club so it could be argued her salary remains below the market rate. David Gold and David Sullivan did not draw a wage or claim any expenses.

O An update on West Ham loans:

External bank loans totalling £14.7m to shareholders CB Holding ehf (Icelandics) and (GC Co 102 Limited) David Sullivan were repaid on 15th July 2016 to make West Ham externally debt free of long-term non-share holder loans. Interest was charged at under 5%.

The club re-paid their £30m short-term loan to Media Rights and Funding secured against TV money on 14th July 2017. In August 2017 they took out two new short-term loans with Media Rights and Funding totalling £25m secured against the training grounds and Stadium lease to help with cash flow. These loans are due for repayment in July 2018.

The Share Holder loan balance has reduced from £49.2m to £45m in August 2016 after David Gold and David Sullivan were repaid £4.2m of their loans plus £2.2m in interest.

Interest on shareholder loans totalled £12.7m in May 2017 but £10m of this was later paid back to David Gold and David Sullivan on 18th August 2017. The interest on the remaining balance has reduced from 7% to 4% from 1st April 2017 with the shareholder loan balance due for repayment on 1st January 2020.

Shareholder Tripp Smith paid a £9.5m interest-free loan to West Ham in September 2017 after buying 10% of the shares from the Icelandic’s.

A full copy of the accounts can be found at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05993863/filing-history


West Ham's Toni Martinez struggling on loan at Valladolid

Shane Callaghan

Toni Martinez is struggling since leaving West Ham United on loan.

West Ham United fans have a lot to feel angry about at the moment.

Whether it's the 4-1 defeat at Swansea City on Saturday, their position in the Premier League table, or simply the fact that second-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart is being paid approximately £125,000 per week by them, few can argue that fans of the East London club don't have good reason to be a bit upset.

Similarly, they were furious with manager David Moyes for allowing Toni Martinez to join Valladolid on loan last month, but were West Ham supporters wrong about the Spanish striker's potential all along?

It's been over a month since the highly-rated hitman joined the Spanish side but it hasn't been a successful start by any stretch of the imagination.

Martinez, whose popularity among the Irons faithful stems from a very decent goalscoring record with the youth side, has managed only 75 minutes of first-team football for Valladolid since joining, scoring none and has been an unused substitute on two occasions.

Valladolid are 10th in the Spanish second division and it really doesn't bode well for Martinez's future as a Premier League star if he is struggling at such an inferior level.

It's worth noting that it is very early and he could of course turn things around in a big way, but West Ham fans who saw him in the 2-0 defeat by Wigan in the FA Cup, or both games against Shrewsbury Town in the previous round, might agree that there is very little substance to the hype surrounding him.

Former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic - who signed him for £2.4 million (Daily Mail) in 2016 - caught a bit of flak for refusing to play him, but at the moment it looks like the Croatian manager was spot-on. Martinez, at the moment, is nowhere near good enough and he has it all to do to prove that he is capable of being a big player for the Hammers.

Meneghetti to West Ham? Club president claims official interest

Dan Coombs

West Ham are interested in Italian talent Marco Meneghetti.

West Ham United's interest in goalkeeper Marco Meneghetti has been confirmed by the president of his current club.

The 17-year-old made his debut for Serie C side Pordenone earlier this season and Sky Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio reported the Hammers' interest this weekend.

Now Pordenone chief Mauro Lovisa has commented on the interest, and says West Ham have reached out to them.

He was quoted last night by Tuttomercatoweb: "Marco Meneghetti is in the sights of the Hammers. I have the official e-mail from the British club. The fact is that Marco also interests Inter."

Pordenone are in no rush to sell the young stopper, but the interest of far bigger clubs is an ominous sign for their chances.

A young goalkeeper at Meneghetti's age may be discounted as a first team signing for the Hammers, but the achievements of his compatriot Gianluigi Donnarumma should keep fans open minded.

The teenager starred for AC Milan at just 16 and is already their first choice goalkeeper.

West Ham's situation in goal is very open ended, with loanee Joe Hart not expected to be kept on next season and Adrian also not a long term solution.

Meneghetti would be a real long shot to start next season in goal for West Ham, but their interest shows that they are at least looking, and not to an ageing veteran.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 7:17 Wed Mar 7
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Queens Fish Bar 10:07 Tue Mar 6
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 9:10 Tue Mar 6

Thanks Alan 9:10 Tue Mar 6
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 1:21 Tue Mar 6

Takashi Miike 1:45 Tue Mar 6
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

bill green 1:21 Tue Mar 6
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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