WHO Poll

Alan 1:09 Fri Apr 19
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Real Madrid are close to signing Chelsea's Belgium forward Eden Hazard, 28, for close to 100m euros (£86m). (Marca - in Spanish)

However, it has been reported the Blues have lowered their asking price for Hazard, as they eye Lille's Ivory Coast forward Nicolas Pepe, 23, to replace him. (AS - in Spanish)

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane will have 500m euros (£430m) to spend in the summer with Manchester United's France midfielder Paul Pogba, 26, and Liverpool and Senegal striker Sadio Mane, 27, both transfer targets. (Mirror)

Newcastle will offer manager Rafael Benitez a £50m summer transfer budget in a bid to persuade the Spaniard to stay at St James' Park. (Mail)

Alternatively, Benitez has been offered a £100m transfer budget, plus cash from player sales, to rebuild the Magpies.(Mirror)

Arsenal are interested in signing 25-year-old Hoffenheim and Germany forward Kerem Demirbay for £22m as a replacement for departing Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey. (Metro)

Napoli's 27-year-old Senegal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has denied he is set to leave the Serie A side for Manchester United. (Express)

Mauricio Pochettino will spend up to £150m revamping his Tottenham squad this summer and could look to sell 28-year-old England defenders Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier. (Mail)

Liverpool and Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk, 27, is set to win the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award, while Manchester City's England forward Raheem Sterling, 24, will win the Football Writers' Association equivalent. (Times - subscription required)

Southampton are considering a summer move for Rangers' Canada midfielder Scott Arfield, 30. (Mirror)

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has warned that the club will continue to live within its means after reporting an £18.6m profit after tax. (Sky Sports)

Assistant boss Mike Phelan is advising manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Manchester United's summer transfer plans. (Manchester Evening News)

Roma's Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, 33, is ready to join Inter Milan and is not interested in returning to England. (Calciomercato)

Spanish striker Diego Costa, 30, is refusing to train with Atletico Madrid after he was banned for eight games. (AS - in Spanish)

Liverpool could play a 'home' pre-season friendly in London this summer - with Tottenham's new stadium a possible venue. (Liverpool Echo)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

Chelsea’s delight at making it through to the last four of the Europa League may be somewhat tempered by reports from Spain suggesting the summer move of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid will be agreed by the two clubs in the next few days. According to Spanish news outlet Marca, Hazard will swap clubs for a fee of approximately €100m and become Real’s third acquisition ahead of next season along with 18-year-old Brazilian forward Rodrygo Goes and his 21-year-old compatriot, the defender Éder Militão. In other news, Chelsea are understood to have appealed to have their transfer ban postponed so they can buy some players, which the Rumour Mill can’t help but feel would defeat the entire purpose of having it imposed upon them in the first place.

Marca also claim that Barcelona are ready to put in an offer for Everton winger Richarlison, who has blown hot and cold for the Toffees since his move from Watford last summer, but will still cost the Spanish side considerably more than the £35m (rising to £50m) his current club paid for him, which prompted much derision around the country.

With the heart of their defence, among other areas, in painful need of an overhaul, Manchester United are said to be in the box-seat in the chase to secure the services of Roma centre-half Kostas Manolas. The Greek is available for about £30m and will help ease United’s pain at having their advances for Inter defender Milan Škriniar rebuffed.

United are also hell bent on bringing Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly to Old Trafford, but the Senegal international’s manager Carlo Ancelotti insists his prize asset is not for sale. “Koulibaly is the best centre-back in the world, and he has more room for improvement,” said the Italian, with one eyebrow arching towards the heavens in the traditional style. “He is worth €150m and he is non-transferable. Napoli do not need to sell, the president does not want to sell and the question does not arise.”

Aaron Ramsey may have played his final game for Arsenal after suffering a hamstring injury in their Europa League win over Napoli last night, what with the midfielder due to head for Juventus come season’s end. However, should the Gunners shoot down Valencia and qualify for the Europa League final, then there’s a sporting chance he could make his swansong against Chelsea or Eintracht Frankfurt at Baku’s Olympic Stadium in just under six weeks. Hoffenheim’s 25-year-old German midfielder Kerem Demirbay has been identified as a potential successor for the Welshman and Bild sat Arsenal have made contact with the Bundesliga club and are ready to meet his £22m release clause.

And finally, Newcastle are ready to offer Rafael Benítez what we feel obliged to describe as a £50m summer war chest, according to the Mail, although the Mirror claim it could be twice that amount along with funds generated from player sales. With their manager out of contract in the summer, they’d probably promise him the moon on a stick if they’d thought it would persuade him to ink a new deal, but as we all know, talk is cheap, particularly in the boardroom at St James’s Park. However, having just reported annual profits of £18.6m after tax, Newcastle can surely afford some sort of largesse.


Chicharito is not in Italy

Javier Hernandez will not play this weekend because he has a problem with his ear the manager confirmed yesterday.

Pellegrini told reporters during the pre-match press conference “Javier Hernandez has a problem in his ear so he hasn’t been able to work during these last days.”

However, Chicharito’s pregnant girlfriend Sarah Kohan has posted photos of her boyfriend on a private jet flying to Italy and at the resort of Cortina, D’ampezzo Dolomiti in the past 20 hours creating specualtion on social media that he has jetted off for a short holiday.

A club insider has clarified the situation insisting that the Mexican player is at the London Stadium today on Good Friday and not in Italy!

The video posted by his girlfriend on her personal Instagram story was most likely from the weekend and earlier in the week when all the players had a few days off the source claimed.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Hello Mrs. Jones 3:57 Fri Apr 19
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

What would I rather do. Sit on a cold bench in Stratford or spend a few days with Sarah Kohan in Italy?

Mex Martillo 3:29 Fri Apr 19
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Texas Iron 2:30 Fri Apr 19
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Mad Dog 1:14 Fri Apr 19
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1.14

Thanks Alan 1:14 Fri Apr 19
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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