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New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan 1:07 Tue Jan 1
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Happy New Year to all WHOers


Arsenal's former Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, 30, has ruled out a January loan move and is intent on winning back his starting position. (ESPN)

Juventus have offered Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 28, a four-year contract worth £138,000 a week. (Tuttosport via Sun)

Paris St-Germain and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot will not consider a move to Tottenham because he considers the club "below" his level. The 23-year-old wants to leave the French champions. (ESPN)

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford, 21, will reject any approaches from Real Madrid as he wants to stay at Old Trafford. (Sun)

Huddersfield owner and chairman Dean Hoyle has no intention of letting the Premier League club "sleepwalk into relegation" and says they will be "active" in January. (Daily Mail)

Burnley and England goalkeeper Tom Heaton, 32, says he has shelved thoughts of leaving the Clarets after making his first start for 15 months. (Lancashire Telegraph)

Wolves, Huddersfield, Burnley and Crystal Palace are interested in Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, 21, who is on loan at Aston Villa. (Mail)

Chelsea have rejected an offer of more than £20m from Bayern Munich for England Under-19 winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18. (Sky Sports)

Chelsea are ready to pull the plug on a deal to bring Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Isco, 26, to Stamford Bridge. (Sun)

Liverpool midfielder Bobby Adekanye, 19, is negotiating a five-year deal with Lazio. (Corriere dello Sport, via Mirror)

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock is considering a January move for Dundee and Finland midfielder Glen Kamara, 23. (Herald)

Manchester City are closing on the signing of 15-year-old left-sided Spaniard Oscar Tarensi, who plays for Espanyol. (Sport)

The Football Association wants to speak to Southampton striker Charlie Austin after he appeared to make a V-sign at supporters during their defeat by Manchester City. (Daily Mail)

Tottenham striker Harry Kane says he plays with a chip on his shoulder, and proving people wrong drives him to greater heights. (Telegraph)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is showing his opponents a lack of respect with his goal celebrations, says former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele. (Mirror)

The Premier League wants to make a swift appointment after Susanna Dinnage changed her mind about becoming its chief executive. BBC executive Tim Davie and ITV's director of strategy Tom Betts are the frontrunners. (Guardian)

Guardian Rumour Mill

James Piercy

And a very Happy New Year from the Mill to you! It’s only ruddy TWENTY NINETEEN! The Year of the Dog. The International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. And the setting for Vangelis-tinged vistas in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Despite the great demander of centre-backs José Mourinho being banished, Manchester United remain in the market for a replicant Jaap Stam or Nemanja Vidic (both, in fairness, would make an excellent Roy Batty) and while Kalidou Koulibaly may not have seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion or even watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate, he is a pretty damn fine defender and one who appears perfect for the Premier League. Napoli have told United the Senegalese will cost €120m (£107m) which, given neither we nor probably they know the identity of their next permanent manager, a deal of that magnitude may only be concluded in the summer.

At the other end of both the field and price range, Wolves, Huddersfield, Burnley and Crystal Palace all lie in the bottom half of the Premier League for goals scored and the latter three clubs boast Mathias Jørgensen, James Tarkowski and Luka Milivojević among their top-scorers. It’s no surprise, therefore, to hear of them sniffing around Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, whose impressive 14 goals in 19 games for Aston Villa could mean his loan is cut short this month, if someone throws sufficient cash the way of Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Chelsea have turned their noses up at an initial £20m offer from Bayern Munich for Callum Hudson-Odoi and told the Bundesliga champions to come back with £36m for the winger.

Another wanted man, if the BBC is to be believed, is Aaron Ramsey. The Arsenal midfielder can negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside the Premier League from today and is set to hold talks with Bayern, Internazionale, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. He “will consider moves” to all five and “has not yet made a decision”, although Juventus are “confident” they are at the front of the queue having offered a package between £31m and £40m. The Mill can only look on in admiration and jealously at Aaron’s life choices.

As for another soon-to-be-out-of-contract midfielder with a who’s who list of suitors, 2019’s Mill hasn’t properly shaken off 2018 with Adrien Rabiot yet to leave the party, hanging around the kitchen, tucking into dad’s spirit cabinet, flicking his fringe around and upsetting poor Tottenham Hotspur by declaring they’re “below” him. Rabiot’s impending departure to Barcelona/Manchester City/Juventus and PSG’s failure to replace Thiago Motta last summer means Thomas Tuchel wants a midfielder this month and has around £30m to spend. Idrissa Gueye of Everton was the name on various lips last week but Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré is also on the shortlist, as is Julian Weigl of Borussia Dortmund, despite them being completely different players, but never let tactics get in the way of a good story. However, that £30m is likely to be well below Watford’s valuation of the 25-year-old.

Like the most frustrating of evening experiences, it could be one in, one out at Manchester City. Brahim Díaz’s move to Real Madrid should be confirmed any time soon with the 19-year-old already selecting the No 21 shirt once worn by Christophe Metzelder. The only issue is the fee with City trying to insert all manner of clauses in order to bump it up to around £20m. In Brahim’s place will arrive Espanyol starlet Oscar Tarensi, but the versatile wide player can’t sign until January 10 when he turns 16 and therefore will have sufficient fluff on his chin to slip past any unsuspecting bouncers.


Boss gets big boost for Brighton

Pablo Zabaleta is back on the training ground this morning and looking likely to return to the team for the match against Brighton and Hove Albion at the London Stadium tomorrow night.

Zaba has been suffering a bout of illness and not many would argue that the veteran right back has been badly missed at right back.

His return will give much more balance to a team that has looked unbalanced with Michail Antonio involved on that side of the back four.

Zaba’s return releases more options up front with the manager able to push Antonio into a front role and with Arnie set for his second game sine injury and Andy Carroll improving things look much better for the boss.

A senior Hammers source told us this morning by text: “He is planning to train this morning and we are hopeful he will be involved tomorrow.”

A Zaba appearance would mean he will have made 16 appearances for the Hammers this season just 12 short of the 28 required for him to trigger a new automatic one year contract.


Seven things you might not know about Samir Nasri

1. He changed his name

When Nasri began his career as a footballer, the midfielder initially played under his mother's surname; 'Ben Saïd'.

However, following his call up to the France U16s squad, a young Samir opted to start playing under his father's name, and thus Samir Nasri took to the field.

2. Zidane comparisons

As a young, tricky midfielder of French origin, with immense ability, Nasri was always going to find himself matched with some of his nations' best, but the new West Ham man was once compared to the iconic Zinedine Zidane.

When Nasri first moved to England with Arsenal, comparisons with Gunners great Robert Pires also began to be heard. It was high praise for a young midfielder.

What did Nasri himself make of the comparison?

"There's only one Zidane, just as there was only one Platini," he said in 2008.

3. He scored one of English football's best Champions League goals ever

If you haven't already, you simply have to see Nasri's finish against FC Porto in 2010.

Having receiving the ball on the right wing from Abou Diaby, Nasri dribbled through and past three Porto players in a small area of space before bringing the ball past wing-back Álvaro Pereira, and driving it across the goalkeeper, sending the ball in off the far post.

The match finished 5-0 to Arsenal, and there's no doubt of the best finish in that game.

4. His outstanding 2010/11 season

In his final season with Arsenal, Nasri was simply unplayable. The midfielder scored 15 goals in all competitions - including ten in the Premier League - and was crucial for the Gunners.

Nasri's form saw him named the France Football French Player of the Year 2010, as well as earning him an inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year. He was also nominated for both the PFA Players' Player and Young Player of the Year awards.

5. Six career trophies

Nasri has lifted six titles during his illustrious career so far.

The 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Championship was claimed by Nasri and his young France teammates, while the first club trophy came in the form of the UEFA Intertoto Cup, which he won in 2005 with Marseille after a 5-3 aggregate victory against Deportivo La Coruna.

Two Premier League titles and a Capital One Cup were won with Manchester City, while the Citizens also lifted the Community Shield.

6. He's an Alan Hardaker Trophy winner

The Alan Hardaker Trophy is the award given to the Man of the Match in the final of the English League Cup, and that's precisely what Nasri was in 2014.

The Frenchman was sublime for Manchester City in their 3-1 win over Sunderland in the final of the competition, then known as the Capital One Cup. Nasri netted his side's second, helping the team to come back from a goal down to lift the trophy.

7. Former teammates reunited

In joining West Ham United, Nasri links up with two players he knows very well from his time at other English sides.

Nasri was in the Arsenal team when a young Jack Wilshere made the breakthrough at the Emirates Stadium, with the two set to link up again in West Ham's midfield.

The other is Pablo Zabaleta, with the Frenchman sharing six years at City with the Argentinian.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

COOL HAND LUKE 7:46 Wed Jan 2
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan, here's hoping you have a great 2019, and your 'Elf' improves.

Your hard work on this posting is appreciated - it's the first thing I read on here of a day.

All the best, mate.


BubblesCyprus 8:49 Wed Jan 2
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated all of your 2018 daily threads.

Hello Mrs. Jones 3:05 Wed Jan 2
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al baby. My first read each and every day of the year.

Texas Iron 9:12 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Great New Year for you Alan...and all...

bill green 4:44 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
cheers Alan

medwayhammer1 3:17 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan, ta for taking the time to do this all year, appreciate it...happy new year

claret59 2:22 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks alan.

jack flash 1:59 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Happy New Year to you Alan & thanks for all the hard work throughout 2019

Much appreciated!

Queens Fish Bar 1:56 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
charleyfarley 1:30 Tue Jan 1

charleyfarley 1:30 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al, thanks for all the news you provide. Happy New Year

Crassus 1:23 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Nice work Alan

All the very best for 2019 and a huge thanks for another year's sterling effort

Mex Martillo 1:11 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:08 Tue Jan 1

Coffee 1:10 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

"Paris St-Germain and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot will not consider a move to Tottenham because he considers the club "below" his level."

Good man. Should we put in an offer?

Thanks Alan 1:08 Tue Jan 1
Re: New Year's Day newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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