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 1:14 Wed Nov 15
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was linked with moves to Manchester United and Paris St-Germain last summer, wants to leave Real Madrid after rejecting a new contract. The 32-year-old Portuguese still has three years to run on his current deal. (El Chiringuito de Jugones, in Spanish)

Italy World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero wants Antonio Conte, 48, to return as the Azzurri head coach when he leaves Chelsea. (Sport360)

Former Inter Milan defender Giuseppe Bergomi wants Jose Mourinho, 54, to replace Giampiero Ventura as Italy's coach after their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. (Daily Star)

Arsenal will make another attempt to sign Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, 22, in January. (Daily Mail)

Chelsea are ready to sell midfielder Willian, 29, to fund a move for Paris St-Germain midfielder Lucas Moura, 25. (Le 10 Sport, via Daily Star)

New West Ham boss David Moyes wants to make 25-year-old Brighton defender Lewis Dunk his first signing. (Mirror)

Valencia winger Carlos Soler, 20, is Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho's top transfer target in January. (Independent)

Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi, 30, has signed a new contract to stay with the club. (Sky Sports)

Manchester City are unlikely to sign Paris St-Germain midfielder Yacine Adli, after the 17-year-old said he would prefer to join Barcelona or Bayern Munich. (L'Equipe - in French)

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 29, does not want to be a substitute at Barcelona if his club eventually sign Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho. (Diario Gol - in Spanish)

And Barca chiefs want to meet their Reds counterparts to see if they can broker a deal for Brazilian Coutinho. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Newcastle, West Brom and West Ham all want 26-year-old Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu. (Talksport)

Arsenal are unlikely to continue their pursuit of 22-year-old Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, having had a £90m deadline day bid turned down by the French club at the end of the summer transfer window. (Mirror)

Midfielder Andreas Pereira, 21, says he would rather see out his season-long loan with Valencia rather than return to parent club Manchester United in January. (Metro)

Leicester, Blackburn and Celtic are all interested in signing 20-year-old midfielder Mark Styles from Irish Premiership side Glenavon. (Leicester Mercury)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, 68, wants to manage a side at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. (Bein Sports)

Everton, who spent £140m in the summer transfer window, offered Watford £8.5m for boss Marco Silva. (Times - subscription required)

The Toffees are willing to double Silva's wages and give him a considerable January transfer budget. (The Independent)

Everton have ruled Silva and ex-England boss Sam Allardyce out of the running for the job. (Sky Sports)

Former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke, 46, has applied to become the next manager of Sunderland. Yorke, who played for the Black Cats, says he is yet to hear anything back. (Talksport)

Sunderland remain some way off appointing a new manager even though it is now more than two weeks since they sacked Simon Grayson. (Northern Echo)

Four-time Premier League winner Didier Drogba, 39, is to retire at the end of the season. The former Chelsea striker is currently playing for Phoenix Rising in America's United Soccer League. (Daily Mirror)

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, 26, says he does not regret joining Brighton even though the Dutchman is still waiting to make his first Premier League start for the club. (The Argus)

West Brom's chairman has replied to emails from fans calling for head coach Tony Pulis to be sacked, promising to make decisions to the best of his ability and in the interests of the club. (Express & Star)

Everton's former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and wife, Camille, dressed up as characters from Game of Thrones to celebrate the player's 28th birthday. "Had fun celebrating my 28's with family and friends," he wrote on social media. "Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes #myqueen @camille_schneiderlin #jonsnow #gameofthrone #addict" (Instagram)

Bolton Wanderers have negotiated an advanced payment from Arsenal for defender Rob Holding. The 22-year-old joined the Gunners in July 2016 in a £2.5m deal which could rise to £5m, depending on bonuses. (The Bolton News)

Former Aston Villa manager Remi Garde, 51, will join MLS side Montreal Impact as head coach in December. (MLS)

Best of Tuesday's gossip

Real Madrid have decided to sell Wales forward Gareth Bale, 28, in the summer. (AS - in Spanish)

Former Tottenham and Southampton player Bale should return to the Premier League if it makes him happy, says Wales boss Chris Coleman. (Mirror)

Arsenal have "almost done" a £60m deal for 24-year-old Lyon attacker Nabil Fekir, whose arrival will help offset the departures of unsettled duo Mesut Ozil, 29, and Alexis Sanchez, 28.

Atletico Madrid have contacted midfielder Ozil to offer the former Real Madrid player a return to Spain. (Sun)

Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann has hinted at a move to Paris St-Germain, with the 26-year-old saying playing alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe would be a dream. (Telefoot via the Independent)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Michael Butler

Who remembers the Sami Khedira transfer storm of 2015? Well, that’s because there wasn’t one. Khedira, criminally under-appreciated at Real Madrid, joined Juventus on a free transfer and that was that. It was a good move for Khedira, it was a cheap move for Juve, who now want to repeat the trick of nabbing a handsome German international central midfielder with extremely good hair on a free transfer … with Liverpool’s Emre Can.

“Emre! How could you?” go up the cries on Merseyside. Why anybody would want to leave a team that has won one League Cup in the last 11 years for a team that reached the Champions League final in June and has won six Scudettos on the trot is anyone’s guess. That said, reports in Italy say that Khedira has been putting on the charm offensive on Can in the international break and with Liverpool’s contract negotiations stuttering over various clauses, the Old Lady look favourites to get Can as well as Schalke’s Leon Goretzka, whose contract also expires next summer: “They are available for free at the end of the season,” chief suit Giuseppe Marotta smiled. “We are interested and we’ll make an attempt but it all depends on their will.”

The aptly-named Athletic Bilboa goalie Kepa Arrizabalaga is being linked with Real Madrid and Arsenal, according to the Spanish media. The 23-year-old is another whose contract is up at the end of the season and, after impressing this season – and making his Spain debut on Saturday against Costa Rica – the Basque club could be willing to sell in January, perhaps for less than his £20m release clause. “Of course I know of the rumours, I can see them and hear them, you know they exist but I know my situation better than that,” Arrizabalaga flirted. “They don’t make me nervous and I’m keeping calm.”

Chelsea are reportedly trying to trade in one outrageously talented Brazilian in Willian for one that is slightly worse in Lucas Moura, who admittedly once nearly scored a really, really good goal against Marseille three years ago, but has otherwise been going through the motions a little bit at PSG.

Manchester United have added Steven N’Zonzi to the list of the central midfielders they are trying to sign. The Frenchman might be wary of joining a club that already has Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan in central midfield, but then maybe the Sevilla hotshot can buy his old house in Blackburn and do the commute to Carrington from there. “ I love the Premier League, as that’s where I started to play at a high level and I had a great time there,” the 6ft3in giant is recently quoted as saying.

It says here that West Ham want Lewis Dunk to join the David Moyes Revolution in east London, but this correspondent suspects Brighton won’t be too keen on letting their vice-captain, who only signed a shiny new five-year contract in the summer, join their relegation rivals.

Internazionale are eyeing Everton flop Sandro Ramírez, and seem confident of landing the Spaniard for even less than the £5m that the Premier League club paid for him in the summer. Despite being fully fit, the 22-year-old has been left out of the last five Everton matchday squads but the Italian club are apparently still keen on a player who scored 14 La Liga goals for Málaga last season.

After their failed £92m bid for Thomas Lemar in the summer, Arsenal have cooled their interest in the Monaco star, and are instead sending their scouts on a nice, extended trip to Lyon to monitor Nabil Fekir, who anybody can see is the best player in Ligue 1 right now. The France international won’t come cheap, but might be tempted to team up with his old mucker Alexandre Lacazette on a bench somewhere in north London.


Craig Bellamy brilliantly puts dismissive pundits in their place over West Ham

Damien Lucas

Dismissive pundits and rival supporters often belittle West Ham United fans over their ideals, expectations and the 'West Ham way'.

West Ham are languishing in the relegation zone over a quarter of the way into the new season.

Just two wins from their opening 11 games has cost Slaven Bilic his job and David Moyes has been brought in to replace him.

Moyes' appointment was met by apathy and anger from some supporters who felt it lacked ambition.

Others have suggested the Scotsman will not play the kind of football Hammers fans enjoy watching.

And that drew criticism from the usual glut of sneering pundits and journalists belittling the club's ideals and the 'West Ham way'.

The inference from those dismissing the West Ham way as a fallacy is that it is Barcelona-esque tika taka football.

But that only demonstrates a lack of knowledge about the club ethos which was cemented into West Ham's history by the likes of Ron Greenwood and John Lyall.

The West Ham way is as much about working hard, showing pride in the badge and being brave and fronting up no matter what the scoreline or result as it is free-flowing attacking football.

And despite spending just two injury-hit seasons with the Hammers, former striker Craig Bellamy seems to understand that more than most.

The firebrand Welshman was discussing the Hammers on Sky Sports' The Debate show when he brilliantly put the condescending pundits in their place over the West Ham way.

"Look West Ham, like a lot of football clubs, expect you to work hard, demand their players to work hard," Bellamy told Geoff Shreeves on The Debate after he questioned the ethos.

"But also - and what took me with West Ham supporters - they see the game. Don't be fooled thinking you can go around kicking people and not take responsibility on the ball because they'll still dig you out as well.

"They expect you to show for the ball. Do you know when it ain't going well and if you show courage for them, if you're willing to get on it when they're on your back and you're willing to brave up and show responsibility, take the ball, they'll get behind you.

"Even if you give it away they'll say "Do you know what (at least he's trying)."

"What they will see is players hiding and they're the ones they will dig out. It's a good club with good fans."

A round of applause for Craig Bellamy. Other less knowledgeable pundits take note.


Newcastle and West Ham eyeing Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu

West Ham and Newcastle are interested in improving their attack this season and Cedric Bakambu is thought to be a target for the Premier League trio.

As per Marca, the Villarreal striker has been a star in La Liga for a while now and his impressive start to this season has attracted a lot of attention. Bakambu has scored eight goals in the league so far and is only behind Messi and Zaza in the scoring charts.

The likes of Everton have shown interest in the player during the summer window but the Spanish outfit decided to hold on to their prized asset.

It will be interesting to see what happens in January now. It is certain that Villarreal will be unwilling to sell a key player halfway through the season but if Bakambu’s suitors can submit an offer too good to refuse, a move is definitely possible.

One major positive for West Ham and Newcastle is that the player dreams of playing in the Premier League.

The 26-year-old would be a season-defining signing for most midtable teams and it will be interesting to see whether Rafa or Moyes could pull it off.


West Ham target Brighton's Lewis Dunk to be their first transfer under new boss David Moyes

Club with the Premier League's worst defensive record want centre-back now earning calls for an England place

By Alex Crook

West Ham boss David Moyes wants to make Brighton star Lewis Dunk his first Hammers buy.

Centre-back Dunk has impressed during the promoted Seagulls’ solid start to life in the Premier League and Moyes believes he would improve the brittle ­backline he has inherited from the sacked Slaven Bilic.

The third-bottom Hammers have conceded a Premier League worst 23 goals after 11 games, keeping only three clean-sheets in those matches.

However, Albion would demand a huge fee to sell the 25-year-old, who only signed a new five-year contract in August.

Brighton-born, 6ft 4in Dunk has played 180 league games for his hometown club in League One, the Championship and now the top flight since his debut seven years ago.

His partnership with Republic of Ireland ace Shane Duffy has led to calls for him to be named in the England squad.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Sarge 6:57 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Many thanks Alan

Hope all is well.

Mex Martillo 6:47 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Great understanding from Bellamy, great to read
Thanks Alan

Mickey Rat 4:31 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Nice piece from Bellamy, unlike Fat Sam and most of the sneering football media twats he gets what we're about!

gph 3:54 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Bakambu has scored eight goals in the league so far and is only behind Messi and Zaza in the scoring charts."

If he comes to us, he'll easy beat Zaza in the West Ham scoring charts...

Kelly Smunt 3:29 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Agree with Bellamy, if a player is poor he is poor but if he puts in a shift and grafts then that is all you can ask. We've had plenty of poor players down the years who are well regarded simply because they gave it everything. If fans of most clubs (not just us) see real effort they will warm to a player.

Hugh Jampton 1:37 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Bakambu has scored eight goals in the league so far and is only behind Messi and Zaza in the scoring charts."

Which just goes to show that scoring in La Liga doesn't mean you will score in the Prem. Messi might, I suppose....

ironsofcanada 1:27 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thank you Alan

Really liked Bellamy's comments; one of the reasons some of us like Mark Noble even if he does not have the physical gifts or skills of some.

ted fenton 1:25 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:16 Wed Nov 15

Takashi Miike 1:22 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 1:16 Wed Nov 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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