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Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan 1:21 Wed Oct 30
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Juventus sent scouts to Anfield on Sunday to watch Liverpool's Egypt forward Mohamed Salah, Tottenham Hotspurs' South Korea forward Son Heung-min, 27, and Spurs' Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, all 27. (Tuttosport - in Italian)

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale's agent says the Wales international is "ecstatic to play" for the Spanish club, following reports linking the 30-year-old with a move to China. (Deportes Cuatro, via AS)

Manchester City and Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus, 22, has dismissed rumours linking him with Bayern Munich, writing on social media that the speculation was a "lie". (Manchester Evening News)

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have been in contact with representatives Borussia Monchengladbach's 22-year-old Switzerland midfielder Denis Zakaria. (Sky Deutschland, via Inside Futbol)

Manchester United have almost completed a deal to sign Juventus and Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic, 33, in January. (Tuttomercatoweb - in Italian)

United sent scouts to watch Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali last week. Manchester City and Inter Milan are also interested in the 19-year-old Italian. (Sun)

Newcastle United are ready to sign French midfielder Ibrahima Sissoko, 21, in a £13m deal from Ligue 1 club Strasbourg. (Sun)

Manchester United have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Red Bull Salzburg and Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, 19. (Corriere dello Sport, via Manchester Evening News)

Lyon have made contact with Oliver Giroud's agent over a potential January move for the Chelsea and France striker, 33. (Soccer Link, via Football.London)

Everton have scouted Czech Republic and Spartak Moscow midfielder Alex Kral, 21. (Clubcall)

Belgium forward Eden Hazard, 28, has revealed he spoke with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez a year before he secured a move to the club from Chelsea. (Talksport)

Arsenal's players want Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka to retain the club captaincy despite the 27-year-old appearing to swear at home fans during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday. (Times - subscription required)

Leicester City and Watford are among the clubs tracking Ronald Sobowale - the cousin of Bayern Munich and Austria star David Alaba. Sobowale, 22, plays for eighth-tier Bostick League South East side Whyteleafe and has also had a trial with Middlesbrough. (Mail)

Former Manchester United and Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 38, has hinted he could join a La Liga club following his 18-month stint with LA Galaxy. (Metro)

Arsenal's English attacking midfielder Stan Flaherty, 17, has spent time on trial at Newcastle this month. (Newcastle Chronicle)

The Premier League is planning to bring in enhanced video assistant referee (VAR) technology which will increase the accuracy and speed of offside decisions. (Mail)

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says referees need to consult pitchside monitors when making decisions reviewed by VAR. (Times - subscription required)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes a number of Chelsea's youngsters are ahead of their Old Trafford counterparts in their development because of the time they have spent out on loan. (Times - subscription required)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Michael Butler

"Hola España, guess what? I’m coming back."

So says Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in a decidedly cryptic social media post, which means he’s planning a move back to La Liga, or a family holiday to the Costa del Sol. It’s hard to see the 38-year-old re-signing for Barcelona but perhaps he would be tempted by a January move to second-placed Granada? Watch this space.

Newcastle could probably do with a bit of the Swede’s razzle dazzle up top, but they may have to settle for the France U21 international Ibrahima Sissoko, who is no relation of the former Toon favourite Moussa. The word on the wire is that Newcastle have met Strasbourg’s £13m valuation and will begin talks over personal terms in the coming days, as Steve Bruce looks to reinforce a midfield currently being held together by the Longstaff brothers.

Manchester United have sent their finest to watch the Italian teenager Sandro Tonali, who has been dubbed the “new Pirlo” on account of him playing for Andrea’s first club, Brescia, and the fact that he nearly always stands on the near post at corners. Probably. The 19-year-old midfielder could cost United around £40m.

Everton have forgotten that their £22.5m summer signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin is due to return from injury in January because they are already making plans to spend some more dosh on Spartak Moscow’s Alex Kral. The midfielder – who played in the Czech Republic’s victory over England this month – likes a tackle and would cost considerably more than the €12m Spartak paid a couple of months ago.

Rumours that Granit Xhaka has already set sail on the good ship, Do One, are premature – Arsenal’s players have reportedly told the Swiss they want him to continue as the club’s captain.

However, the Gunners are thinking about about new blood, namely Xhaka’s compatriot Denis Zakaria, who is currently tearing up trees for Xhaka’s former club and the Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Mönchengladbach. The thing is, Liverpool are also keen and PSG had a €30m bid rejected in the summer.


Pape Cisse admits Arsenal, Wolves and West Ham are interested in him

Danny Owen

Premier League trio West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Unai Emery's Arsenal were all interested in the Olympiakos defender.

Olympiakos defender Pape Abou Cisse has admitted that Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United wanted to sign him over the summer, adding to Le Quotidien that Unai Emery was keen to bring his services to Arsenal.

Back in August, Greek publication Gavros claimed that Wolves were set to make an offer for a highly-rated centre-back, who is valued at around £18 million, while Arsenal were apparently confident of getting a deal over the line too before the transfer window slammed shut, according to 90Min.

Despite such high interest, Cisse stayed in Piraeus to help Olympiakos, who have not won the league title for two years now, fly to the top of the table after just eight games.

And, speaking after an impressive 2-0 win against 2018 champions AEK Athens, the Senegal international has admitted that he was contacted by three Premier League clubs during the off-season.

“Arsenal had not made an offer. The coach was interested and there were discussions. There were other English clubs; West Ham, Wolverhampton. In France, there was Rennes, Monaco,” said Cisse, who dreams of playing in the English top flight at some point.

“But hey, I'm still in contract with Olympiakos. My goal this season is to go very far in the Champions League or Europa League (and) win the Greek championship because it's been two years since we won a title and Olympiakos is a club used to winning titles.”

Given how poor Arsenal have been defensively this season with David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos looking like an accident waiting to happen despite their considerable top level experience, maybe the Gunners should have done more to bring one of Emery’s top targets to North London.


Bernardo Rosa: Under-23s’ chemistry is brilliant

Ten wins and only one defeat from 12 competitive games. 37 goals scored in those fixtures, with the most prolific attack and the second sharpest defence in Premier League 2 Division 2.

Three points clear at the top of the table – and entertainment abounding in every match. After almost half of the domestic league campaign for Dmitri Halajko’s West Ham United U23s side has been played, it’s safe to let such numbers speak for themselves.

Yet this season, pivotal games have always seemed to loom for the U23s this season, and this week's sees Premier League International Cup action return to East London with the visit of Wolfsburg ‘B’ to Rush Green Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Both teams won their opening group stage games against Valencia ‘B’ last month – West Ham winning 1-0 in Dagenham, while Wolfsburg hit four without reply in Hampshire – and will be looking to take the next step towards qualification for the knockout stages.

19-year-old Bernardo Rosa has started each of the last eight games for the Hammers’ U23s in all competitions, and believes there is massive momentum behind his team ahead of the tricky tie.

“I’m feeling good, and the team’s playing really well right now,” he said. “We’ve put in some great overall team performances recently, and as a result we’re top of the league.

“Our team chemistry is brilliant at the moment, on and off the pitch. It just feels like everything is clicking together and working well and, hopefully, things will stay the same way for us going forwards.

“Everyone’s happy in the dressing room. We’re winning a lot of games, so we just need to keep going in this way, and keep fighting hard.”

The versatile Brazilian initially rose through the Academy of Football as an attacking midfielder, but has been deployed in a variety of positions throughout this campaign so far including holding midfielder and, most recently, as an attacking right-back.

“There were a lot of injuries at the back at the start of the season,” Rosa explained. “Dmitri [Halajko] and Steve [Potts] suggested I try one game at right-back. I’d never played there before this season – just in midfield, and also winger sometimes – but I did well, and it’s just kept going from there!”

“At the beginning, changing position felt a bit weird! Now, though, it just feels natural to me. I’m glad that I can help the team, whatever position I’m playing in.

“Playing games in different positions has really helped me to get sharp and a better understanding of my roles, as well as more experience around the pitch. Everything’s working well so far.”

Rosa’s confidence in his new surroundings is clearly burgeoning with every game, capped off by his first assist of the season in a 4-1 victory away at Norwich last week, helping to seal the game with a perfectly measured through-ball to Amadou Diallo.

“I finally got an assist from right-back too!” he smiled afterwards. “I’m really pleased about that, it’s been something I’ve been working towards. I got the ball, I looked up and saw Amadou calling for it. His run and movement was great, I made a good pass into him, and he finished it well.”

Qualification for the next round of the Premier League International Cup could yet prove a tight affair, with only the six group winners – plus two best runners-up – making it into the competition’s quarter-finals.

The competition is designed to pit leading English Academy sides against the best development squads in Europe – but Rosa believes the Hammers will be prepared to settle for nothing less than three points.

“We want to win every game we play, including on Wednesday,” he said. “For me personally, I’m happy to play wherever I can help the team do that. I’d like to get better at one-on-one defending as the season goes on, as well as get a better understanding of my new position.

“My goal is just to keep playing well, get as many minutes as possible, and play as much football as I can.”

After the game against Wolfsburg ‘B’ - which you can follow right here on whufc.com with our live blog (kick-off at 7pm) - West Ham United U23s play their final Premier League International Cup game against Brighton & Hove Albion U23s at The People’s Pension Stadium, Crawley, on Wednesday 27 November.

They also resume their Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign away at Swansea’s Landore Training Centre on Sunday lunchtime, with kick-off at 1pm.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 5:04 Wed Oct 30
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sounds like watching the U23s if a lot more fun than the 1st team
Thanks Alan

ak37 1:32 Wed Oct 30
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Dmitri Halajko seems to be doing a decent job with the U23’s. I’d never heard of him before.
Anyone know much about him?

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