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Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan 1:04 Mon May 13
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Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, 28, says he has told the club about his decision to leave for Real Madrid. (Daily Mail)

Chelsea are interested in signing Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho, 26, if they can overturn their transfer ban. (Cadena Ser via Daily Mail)

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has scrapped the end-of-season team briefing because he was furious about the 2-0 defeat by Cardiff on Sunday. (Sun)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, 26, was involved in an altercation with fans after they said he should be sold after the loss to Cardiff. (Daily Mail)

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette, 27, says he was flattered by rumoured interest from Barcelona. (Goal)

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini admits that he may not be able keep England midfielder Declan Rice, 20, if big teams want to buy him. (Mirror)

Everton manager Marco Silva says he is unsure whether the club can win the battle to sign on-loan Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes, 25, this summer. (Liverpool Echo)

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will hold talks with owner Mike Ashley next week to reach a decision over his future. (Daily Mail)

Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale's future at Real Madrid is "very clear" after the Wales forward, 29, was left out of the squad again. (AS)

Aston Villa will move to sign Chelsea's England striker Tammy Abraham, 21, in a £25m deal if they secure promotion back to the Premier League. (Telegraph)

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson says he would be happy to bring Chelsea's Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, 25, back to Selhurst Park next season. (Football London)

England and Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, 26, is currently weighing up serious offers from Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. (Stoke Sentinel)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

At last, some good news for Manchester United following a disastrous season that ended in ignominious defeat at the hands of relegated Cardiff City at Old Trafford. Reports from Italy suggest that Juventus’s sporting director could be open to the possibility of taking Alexis Sánchez to Turin. The Chilean playmaker has been little more than a faded facsimile of his former self since leaving Arsenal for United, where he receives (but can’t realistically claim to earn) a well-documented £500,000+ per week. United are desperate to get him off the pay-roll and Sánchez’s agent is doing his bit to get the ball rolling, touting his client around assorted Italian clubs also rumoured to include Inter, Roma and Milan.

Gareth Bale was dropped from the Real Madrid squad that lost at Real Sociedad on Sunday and when quizzed about the situation, Zinedine Zidane’s appeared to confirm that the Welshman has no future at the Bernabéu. “It’s very clear what I’ve done this weekend,” he said, after telling reporters Bale was fit to play but just hadn’t been selected. “Now we have another game and then we will see next year. It’s done.” After six years in the Spanish capital, Bale has been linked with a move to Manchester United, or perhaps a return to his old stomping ground of Tottenham Hotspur.

Elsewhere in La Liga, Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gómez is a man in big demand. The 22-year-old Uruguayan has a £43m release clause in his contract with the struggling Spanish side that Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham are all prepared to meet. Three points clear of the relegation zone of La Liga with one game to go, Celta would be forced to let Gómez go for far less if they failed to avoid the drop. As things stand, however, they look extremely likely to stay up at the expense of Girona.

Aston Villa are hopeful of signing Tammy Abraham at the end of his current loan deal, although Chelsea’s failure to get their transfer embargo overturned could throw a spanner in the works of that particular transaction. Similarly, Crystal Palace also want to keep on-loan Chelsea goal-getter Michy Batshuayi at Selhurst Park. “That’s not in our hands,” said Roy Hodgson, following Palace’s white-knuckle 5-3 win over Bournemouth. “I do know he has been happy with us here. It’s been pretty obvious we appreciate him.” There are concerns at Crystal Palace that Wilfried Zaha may have played his final game for the club, with both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal rumoured to be interested in a winger who was involved in all five of his team’s goals yesterday.

Everton are facing an uphill battle to keep André Gomes at Goodison Park, what with some news outlets reporting the midfielder, who is on loan from Barcelona, has already agreed personal terms with Tottenham Hotspur. “At this moment, he has had nothing new to say to me until now,” said Everton manager Marco Silva, following his side’s draw at Spurs on Sunday. “This is the most important thing. I am 100% sure when something is decided in his mind, I will be one of the first people to know. As a club, we have to do everything to sign him.”

And finally, the Stoke Sentinel say Jack Butland is wanted by Bournemouth and Palace and report that Stoke City are “resigned” to losing a player who feels he needs to be playing in the Premier League for the sake of his international career with England.


Mark Noble leads West Ham to top-half finish after win at 10-man Watford

Ben Fisher at Vicarage Road

As warm-ups for Wembley finals go, this was a pretty tortuous audition for Watford. With an end-of-season vibe in the stands, this was always going to be the sideshow to the main event of the FA Cup final next Saturday but 10-man Watford spectacularly imploded against a clinical West Ham to hand Manuel Pellegrini’s side a top-half finish at their expense.

Watford finished a history-making league campaign on a whimper – they have won only once since securing their place in the final – and Manchester City’s attacking armoury will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of facing a defence that has not kept a clean sheet since February and was pulled from pillar to post by Michail Antonio.

Mark Noble started and finished the scoring here, with Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini also on the scoresheet for West Ham, with Gerard Deulofeu’s goal ultimately immaterial. To make matters worse, Watford were reduced to 10 men after José Holebas was sent off for tugging at Antonio and will miss the final unless they succeed in their appeal to the FA.

“In my opinion I can’t believe one player will miss the final for that contact; I can’t believe it,” Javi Gracia said. “Maybe it is a foul, soft foul, light foul but I can be angry with that decision. In this moment it is difficult to accept knowing you have an important game next week. It wasn’t a foul. That contact with one player like Antonio, [if] it is a foul there are lot of fouls during the game.”

As for West Ham, they have other worries, such as whether Declan Rice will still be at the club next season. “It is impossible, I cannot know the future,” Pellegrini said. “It is a player, of course, who has had a brilliant season, who is 20 years old, who is an English player so he doesn’t use a space in any squad. So he has a lot of qualities: age and nationality, so maybe some of the big teams or all of them will want him. But that is one thing and the other is that, if he stays here or will go, I cannot say.”

With all eyes on the final, a couple of murals have sprung up outside Vicarage Road to mark the occasion. One, adjacent to the Cornerstone Church opposite the ground, depicts a handful of the 30,000 expected supporters and Harry the Hornet making their way up Wembley Way; the other shows Heurelho Gomes and the Watford captain, Troy Deeney, celebrating under the national stadium’s famous arch.

Watford may have caught Cup fever but Gracia resisted the temptation to rest a raft of players and his side bossed the opening 15 minutes until Noble picked up a cute Antonio pass. As the Watford defence backed off, Noble surged forward, fooling Christian Kabasele on the edge of the area before coolly striking into the corner of Ben Foster’s goal.

The West Ham captain exchanged passes with Antonio before slotting the first goal

West Ham were soon wheeling away in celebration once more. Antonio was again the catalyst, collecting a raking ball by Noble and bullying Will Hughes, Kiko Femenía and then Craig Cathcart on the edge of the area and rattling the crossbar. Lanzini simply prodded home the rebound.

Manuel Lanzini celebrates after scoring West Ham's second goal against Watford at Vicarage Road

The brittleness of Watford’s defence may be a cause for concern but Gracia has few worries going forward. Deulofeu was excellent before being withdrawn on the hour mark, earning Watford a route back into an entertaining game 12 seconds after the restart. Zabaleta undercooked an attempted backpass for Fabianski and Deulofeu latched on to it, proceeding to nudge the ball beyond the exposed West Ham goalkeeper and poke home. That roused the hosts but they were incensed a couple of minutes later. Antonio charged on to a Felipe Anderson pass, Holebas clumsily clawed at the forward’s shoulder and, though it was soft, the referee, Chris Kavanagh, showed the Greek defender a straight red card.

It was not all doom and gloom for Watford – Cathcart did superbly to slide the ball away from Arnautovic – but West Ham were ruthless in the final third. When Ben Foster tipped an Anderson volley on to a post, it cannoned kindly into the path of Arnautovic who swept the ball home for his 10th goal of the season.

Anautovic celebrates his 10th goal of the season; scoring a rebound after Felipe Anderson's effort hit the post

Antonio caused havoc all afternoon and deserved a goal but he failed to beat Foster with a cheeky lob. Nevertheless, Noble still managed to round off the scoring from the penalty spot, sending Foster the wrong way after Femenía had fouled Antonio.


WATFORD (4-4-2): Foster 5.5; Femenia 6, Kabasele 6.5 (Mariappa 78), Cathcart 6.5, Holebas 5; Hughes 6 (Masina 67), Capoue 6.5, Doucoure 6.5, Pereyra 6; Deulofeu 7 (Gray 59, 6), Deeney 6

Subs not used: Gomes, Janmaat, Success, Chalobah,

Manager: Javi Gracia 6.5

Booked: Capoue

Sent off: Holebas (48)

Goals: Deulofeu (46)

WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6.5; Fredericks 6.5 (Zabaleta 27, 6), Balbuena 7, Diop 6.5, Masuaku 7; Noble 8.5, Rice 7 (Sanchez 79); Antonio 8, Lanzini 6.5 (Wilshere 67, 6), Anderson 6.5; Arnautovic 6.5

Subs not used: Adrian, Ogbonna, Snodgrass, Chicarito

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini 7.5


Goals: Noble (15, 78 PEN), Lanzini (39), Arnautovic (71)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 20,067


West Ham thrash Watford to finish 10th, while Jose Holebas red card rules him out of FA Cup final

Tom Morgan, Sports News Correspondent

If Elton John's rocket-men can torpedo Manchester City's treble-winning onslaught at Saturday, they will need a damn sight more fortune and fortitude than was on offer at Vicarage Road. This was far from the demob-happy end-of-season loosener that Watford had envisaged ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final.

Instead, a ruthless West Ham side expertly punished defensive frailties to ensure they leapfrogged above Javi Gracia's team into 10th in the end-of-season standings. The normally ice-cool Gracia was left incandescent by an extremely harsh red card for José Holebas, who now looks set to miss the biggest game of his life. It was history cruelly repeating itself after Watford's captain Wilf Rostron was suspended for the 1984 final after being sent off undeservedly at derby rivals Luton.

This time Watford hope an appeal will get the Greek left-back's card overturned. Antonio had come tumbling down 18 yards out after minimal apparent contact on his shoulder from Holebas. “In my opinion, I can't believe one player will miss the final for that contact," said Gracia. "Maybe it is a foul, soft foul, light foul but I can be angry with that decision. In this moment it is difficult to accept knowing you have an important game next week.”

For West Ham, it was a superb end to an impressive run-in which will strengthen Manuel Pelligrini's arm in trying to ensure Declan Rice remains at the London Stadium this summer. He recognised it was "impossible" to say whether the England midfielder would stay. "I cannot know the future It is a player of course who has had a brilliant season, who is 20 years old, who is an English player, under 20 so he doesn't use a space in any squad," he said.

It was Mark Noble, however, the West Ham mainstay who has been consistently overlooked by the international side, who lit up this enjoyable spectacle on a balmy spring afternoon. A rare brace for the much-loved captain, the first of which was worthy of the Eden Hazard scrapbook.

"Mark Noble, too good for England" rang out in the away end as the most popular player in claret and blue exchanged a one-two with Antonio after 15 minutes before setting off on a wonderful mazy run, beating his marker, tying Christian Kabasele in knots and sending a low finish beyond Ben Foster's left side.

Noble then turned provider by sending a long ball over the top to Antonio, who showed terrific strength to fend off two defenders, before firing a venomous 20 yard effort towards goal. It smashed down against the crossbar and bounced out only for Manuel Lanzini to head home the follow up.

Watford relentlessly swept forward with minimal reward, but eventually pulled a goal back immediately after the break through Gerard Deulofeu. Pablo Zabaleta under-cooked his pass back to Fabianski allowing the Spaniard to dart in, round the keeper and then side-foot home.

The wheels fell off though for the home side after Holebas was sent off on 49 minutes and West Ham found their third 20 minutes from time through Marko Arnautovic from close range. A bad afternoon then turned even worse for the hosts as Kiko Femenia gave away a penalty after initially appearing to trip but then diving head-first into the onrushing Antonio. The spot kick was neatly despatched by Noble.

Sport Witness

West Ham ‘on the horizon’ to sign player – He’s waiting until season is over before deciding

Fiorentina allowed their goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski to join Empoli on a short-term loan deal in the winter market.

Since the transfer in January, the Poland U21 international has started in 12 matches for Empoli, keeping three clean sheets and conceding 18 goals in the process.

On May 6th, Tutto Mercato Web reported that West Ham United sent scouts to watch the stopper in action against Fiorentina, where the 21-year-old kept a clean sheet and his side clinched three points.

It was also explained the Hammers are looking to bring in a ‘young and trustworthy’ keeper and the Fiorentina owned custodian is attracting interest from Manuel Pellegrini’s side and clubs from Germany and Spain.

Drągowski gave an interview to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and during the course of the interview, the shot stopper was asked about West Ham’s visit to watch him in action earlier this month.

He said, “Sorry, now I think only of Empoli. What happens next, I don’t care. And, I must confess, I can’t even think of the next U21 Europeans. An important event.”

Gazzetta explains Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi has an option to make Drągowski’s loan move permanent and if they don’t take up that option, he will then return to Fiorentina.

The Italian newspaper once again stressed that West Ham are ‘on the horizon’.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

ted fenton 1:51 Mon May 13
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:08 Mon May 13

Lee Trundle 1:29 Mon May 13
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
This made me laugh:


Grasshopper Zurich were relegated for the first time in 70 years and the fans threatened to storm the pitch and demanded the players hand over their shirts and shorts as they were not considered worthy of wearing them, before telling the team to crawl back to the dressing room like dogs.

Thanks Alan 1:08 Mon May 13
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 1:06 Mon May 13

bill green 1:06 Mon May 13
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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