WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

Alan 1:46 Thu Nov 12
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham Hotspur are starting contract talks with South Korea forward Son Heung-min. The 28-year-old is likely to be offered a contract lasting until 2026 and worth £200,000 a week. (Guardian)

Liverpool and England defender Joe Gomez, 23, fears he could miss the rest of the season with the injury picked up in training while on international duty. (Mirror)

Manchester United are planning to sell France midfielder Paul Pogba, 27, during next summer's transfer window. (Talksport)

Juventus are open to a swap deal that would see them trade Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, for Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar, 28. (Tuttomercato - in Italian)

However, Ronaldo is also considering a return to Manchester United. (ESPN Argentina, via Metro)

Chelsea have held talks with Malmo's Bosnia international defender Anel Ahmedhodzic, 21. (Evening Standard)

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, 30, has yet to sign a new contract. The Dutchman's deal with the Premier League champions runs out at the end of the season. (Liverpool Echo)

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has said that Wijnaldum could be "an option in the future" for the Spanish giants. (Sport)

Liverpool have been linked with Austria defender David Alaba but Bayern Munich will not sell the 28-year-old in January, despite his contract running out next summer. (Bild - in German)

Burnley defender James Tarkowski says the club's latest contract offer was "nowhere near" good enough. The Englishman, 27, says he has no intention of re-signing with the Clarets. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Lionel Messi's father and agent has denied reports that the Argentina forward, 33, is planning to switch from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain next season. (Goal)

Arsenal are interested in RB Leipzig's French centre-back Ibrahima Konate, 21, and French midfielder Christopher Nkunku, 22. (Bild - in German)

Athletic Bilbao are considering ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager. (Marca - in Spanish)

Crystal Palace and Aston Villa are both interested in Benfica's Portuguese winger Fabio Baptista, 19. (Calciomercato - in Italian)

Barcelona are keen to sign Manchester City's 19-year-old Spanish defender Eric Garcia, with the La Liga champions prepared to offload players to make room in their squad. (AS - in Spanish)

Barca are also interested in Manchester United Under-23s winger Arnau Puigmal, 19. (Sport- in Spanish)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas does not expect to sell Netherlands forward Memphis Depay in January, despite Barcelona being linked with a move for the 26-year-old, whose contract with the French club runs out in the summer. (Radio Monte Carlo, via Marca)

Aston Villa's French right-back Frederic Guilbert, 25, will struggle for regular playing time at the club after turning down a move to Bournemouth. (Football Insider)

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has been reassured that winger Gareth Bale, 31, will be looked after during Wales' friendly against the USA on Thursday. (ESPN)

Real Madrid and Spain full-back Dani Carvajal, 28, is in talks to extend his contract. (Marca - in Spanish)

Tottenham and Everton made bids for Chelsea and France centre-back Kurt Zouma but the Blues wanted 45m euros (£40m) for the 26-year-old. (L'Equipe, via Sport Witness)

Rangers are the favourites to sign ex-West Ham United midfielder Jack Wilshere, 28. Aston Villa and Fulham are also interested in the Englishman. (Sun)

The Football Association will outsource the recruitment of Greg Clarke's successor as chairman and are aiming to make a quick appointment. (ESPN)


Jamal Baptiste signs first professional contract

Talented young defender Jamal Baptiste has signed his first professional contract with West Ham United.

Putting pen-to-paper on his 17th birthday on Wednesday, Baptiste’s two-and-a-half year deal arrives at the culmination of an impressive period of progression for the starlet.

Having become West Ham’s second youngest-ever U23s player last season, Baptiste made a further nine appearances at that level over 2019/20. He has already played a further eight games for the U23s so far this campaign.

The centre-back also travelled to the first-team’s summer training camp in Scotland, where he impressed manager David Moyes enough to earn a full 90-minute appearance in the 5-1 pre-season win over Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park.

A regular for England at youth international level, Baptiste was also called up to England U18s for the first time earlier this season, where he participated in a training camp.

Having developed at the Academy of Football since he was just eight-years-old, Baptiste was delighted to sign his first professional deal at West Ham.

“I’m over the moon,” Baptiste beamed. “I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time, and the day has come.

“I joined West Ham at eight and I’ve had a really good time since. The big thing I’ve learned is just to always work hard, no matter whether I’m doing well or not doing well, and always to speak to the coaches and players around me to help my career.

“When I was younger, I wasn’t one the best player in my eyes, but then I started working harder. I got an opportunity and I feel like I took it, and ever since U15s I’ve been with the U18s, which brings pressure, but I think I’ve dealt with it well.

“A big inspiration has been Declan Rice. He’s always told me just to enjoy it and to always work hard and remember why you’re there. He was in my shoes around this time in his career, and look where he is now.“

Academy Manager Ricky Martin added: “This is a great day for Jamal. His first professional contract is great news for him and also great news for the Academy.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has played their part in helping Jamal to get to this stage in his development.

“Jamal is one of the youngest players to play regularly for our U23s, and he’s representing his country, so of course his profile is good, but at the moment he’s still in the development stages.

“He’s met the manager and he has put that message across to Jamal and his family. It’s very much one step on the ladder, but he’s got many more steps to take.

"Jamal knows that, we know that, and we’re here as an Academy to help our young players to develop.”

At such a young age, Baptiste understands that self-development remains his priority, and is grateful for all those at the Academy of Football who have helped him progress to this point– family, friends and coaches alike.

He explained: “Ricky [Martin] has helped me a lot, pushing me on with the first team.

“In terms of coaches, individually, [U23s coaches] Dmitri [Halajko] and Steve [Potts] have helped me. A big one was Kevin [Keen]; I’ve learned a lot from him while he’s been at the Academy.

“The work my family has put in has been really hard as well; the driving they’ve done all around the country, travelling with me, without me, and just supporting me all the way.

"I’d like to thank my friends who have supported me, my family, and my psychologist at the Club, Lori, who has helped me a lot.

“West Ham is all I know. It’s all I want, to be fair. I’m just over the moon. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”


West Ham, Wolves, and Newcastle keen on Spezia striker M’Bala Nzola

According to Tuttomercatoweb, West Ham, Newcastle, and Wolves are keen on Spezia Calcio striker, M’Bala Nzola.

Nzola, 24, has been making an impression over in Serie A this season with the relatively unknown Spezia. Two goals in just four games have seen the striker grab the headlines in Italy.

And now, Tuttomercato claim that a number of clubs are interested in the speedy striker, with West Ham, Wolves, and Newcastle all said to be expressing an interest in the Nzola.

Nzola only joined Spezia in October this year but his performances have already been catching the eye it seems. Known for his pace, power, and finishing, the 24-year-old can play through the middle or both wide attacking flanks.

West Ham, in particular, could be in the market for a new foward with Sebastien Haller still struggling to find his feet in the Premier League.
Unknown quantity but making an impression – TBR View

Little is known about Nzola in all honesty apart from the fact that he’s making a good impression in one of the toughest leagues in the world.

However, Nzola is clearly making quite the impression on proceedings in Italy so it’s little surprise to see a number of teams interested.

The assumption would be that he wouldn’t command a big fee, which, in the modern game, could be why Wolves, the Hammers, and Newcastle are potentially looking at a bargain deal.

Certainly one to keep an eye on.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 10:20 Fri Nov 13
Re: 147man 1:47 Thu Nov 12

Russ of the BML 4:41 Thu Nov 12
Re: 147man 1:47 Thu Nov 12
Ta Al.

Kaiser Zoso 2:42 Thu Nov 12
147man 1:47 Thu Nov 12

147man 1:47 Thu Nov 12
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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