WHO Poll

Alan 11:41 Mon Sep 10
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham and Barcelona have both had offers rejected for Ajax's 21-year-old Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Manchester United's 23-year-old England full-back Luke Shaw is keeping his club waiting over a new contract. His current deal expires at the end of the season. (Sun)

Shaw is set to return to United's medical team on Monday having suffered concussion in England's 2-1 Nations League defeat by Spain on Saturday. (Mail)

Harry Maguire's new contract at Leicester could end Manchester United's pursuit of the 25-year-old England defender. (Times - subscription only)

United's France midfielder Paul Pogba, 25, says there have "always been little things" between him and Jose Mourinho, but their "relationship is still the same". (TF1, via Express)

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri wants to sign AC Milan's Italian defenders Alessio Romagnoli, 23, and Mattia Caldara, 24, in January. (Mail)

West Ham are backing manager Manuel Pellegrini to turn their form around after a poor start to the season. (Sun)

Former Chelsea defender John Terry, 37, is set to join Spartak Moscow but will miss out on a reunion with ex-England team-mate Steven Gerrard - now manager of Rangers, who the Russian side have drawn in the Europa League group stage - because Uefa says he has missed their deadline for registering players for the competition. (Mirror)

Premier League clubs will agree to set next summer's transfer deadline back to 31 August. (Sun)

Real Madrid's 32-year-old Spain defender Sergio Ramos says he received death threats over his role in the injury Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, 26, suffered during May's Champions League final. (ESPN)

England manager Gareth Southgate will make nine changes to his team for Tuesday's friendly against Switzerland. (Mirror)

There is concern Southgate will leave his job after Euro 2020 because he has not yet extended his contact. (Mail)

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says he wants to return to management soon. (RTVE, via Marca)

Roma are interested in signing Porto's 28-year-old Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera. (Corriere dello Sport - in Italian)

Bournemouth's 35-year-old English striker Jermain Defoe is considering a career in management. (Bournemouth Echo)

Mario Lemina, Southampton 25-year-old Gabonese midfielder, has had his 'UK record' £96,425 speeding fine reduced to £2,000 because he was sentenced under guidelines for the wrong charge. (Southern Daily Echo)

Birmingham City would be able to appeal and negotiate over any points deduction for breaching Financial Fair Play rules. (Birmingham Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

With no standout speculation with which to lead today’s charge, the Rumour Mill finds itself at something of a loss to know which particular morsel of tell-all is worthy of top billing. Unsubstantiated news of interest from Manchester City and Manchester United in Wolves midfielder Rúben Neves will pique interest in one particular city, while prompting indignation in another. Wolves fans are unlikely to be impressed with multiple tabloid reports predicting a “£60m January race” for the 21-year-old playmaker, but can take heart from the Birmingham Mail’s assertion that Wolves are not believed to be in any big rush to part company with their star attraction. Neves, for his part, seems content with life in the Midlands.

Gareth Southgate also seems happy enough with his lot as England boss, but is reported to be unwilling to ink a new contract with the Football Association. Word has it the 48-year-old wants to get back into club management when his current deal expires at the end of Euro 2020. Zinedine Zidane is equally eager to get back into the daily cut and thrust of training-ground life and said as much on Spanish TV over the weekend. “Soon I will return to training because it is what I like and is what I have done all my life,” said the man who is being tipped as José Mourinho’s successor at Manchester United and is rumoured to have Toni Kroos, Thiago Alcântara, James Rodríguez and Edinson Cavani in the United side he’s currently practising with on Football Manager 2018.

Fernandinho isn’t getting any younger, which may explain why Pep Guardiola is hitching his skirts in the direction of Borussia Dortmund defensive midfielder Julian Weigl. The 23-year-old is valued at almost £70m and Manchester City may bid for him in January. City are also courting Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, but will have to fend off interest from Real Madrid and Liverpool to land the Poland international.

Having gone from an estimated 60 to 120 smokes a day thanks largely to the stress generated by watching Chelsea’s attempts at defending in the early stages of this season, Maurizio Sarri will attempt to bring AC Milan duo Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara to Stamford Bridge in January. Cesc Fàbregas could bring the curtain down on a four-year spell at Chelsea by going the other way.

Meanwhile in Russia, former Chelsea captain, leader and legend John Terry is about to sign for Spartak Moscow in a deal that will net him £1.8m for the season after tax. Terry’s decision not to re-sign for Aston Villa means Steve Bruce could satisfy his desire for an ageing Premier League-winning war-horse by offering Robert Huth a contract instead.

Luke Shaw is dithering over the offer of a new deal at Manchester United, a state of affairs few could have foreseen when he was frozen out of the first team last season. The defender has returned to Manchester for further assessment after being knocked out during England’s defeat at the hands of Spain on Saturday.

And finally, tired of no longer being the centre of relentless transfer speculation linking him with moves that never come to pass, Atlético Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has announced he would like to finish his career in America playing MLS.

Sky Sports

West Ham's worrying start: Things need to change for Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini has problems at West Ham but does he have the personnel to change things? Adam Bate assesses their poor start and the challenge that the Chilean boss faces in turning it around...

For the West Ham supporters at London Stadium, the stoppage-time goal that made it four defeats from four Premier League games this season highlighted the problem. It was not just that Carlos Sanchez dawdled on the ball and was dispossessed by Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves. It was that this sort of intensity had been missing from their own play.

Manuel Pellegrini's appointment in the summer came with the promise of playing more attractive football after a functional campaign under David Moyes. The £100m outlay on new players appeared to give him the tools to implement much-needed change. But despite Pellegrini's reputation there has been little sign of his philosophy taking root thus far

Upon his arrival, the Chilean declared that his football has "always delighted the fans" and pressing has been an important part of that idea. "What I want is to recover the ball as near to the other box as we can," he once said. "And when we have the ball, play." But the statistics so far only support the view that this has been not been happening.

Just four games into the Premier League season, West Ham's opponents have outrun them by a combined total of more than 20 kilometres. In the 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth alone, they gave up eight kilometres to the visitors. There is much more to football than running, of course, but at this juncture it is tempting to think that it would be a start.

The lack of intensity has been alarming. Contrary to Pellegrini's stated ethos, West Ham have been happy to let their opponents have the ball. Understandable against Liverpool and Arsenal, but even at home to newly-promoted Wolves, in a game that surely represented a wonderful opportunity to pick up their first points, there was no attempt to press.

Again, it was reflected in the numbers. Wolves had completed only 69.8 per cent of passes made in their own half in the previous game against Manchester City. Against West Ham, they completed 92.9 per cent of them, their highest tally of the season. Liverpool and Arsenal also recorded their best pass-completion numbers against Pellegrini's team.

The Gunners were actually troubled by West Ham, particularly on the counter-attack. It was from one such move that Marko Arnautovic opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium and he might well have done the same late on against Wolves following another breakaway. But the theme to every performance has been that they are just too easy to play against.

Given that his previous Premier League assignment was at Manchester City, there is a suggestion that Pellegrini is ill-suited to coaching a more modest team. But his record in Spain with both Villarreal and Malaga indicates that he can make it work. It is fair to assume that Pellegrini does want to construct an aggressive, attacking team at West Ham.

Whether he has the personnel to achieve that is less clear. It may be too much to expect club captain Mark Noble to adapt, while Pellegrini finds himself reunited with a 33-year-old Pablo Zabaleta too. As with Javier Hernandez, now 30, their best days may be behind them. Even among the talented new acquisitions, there are caveats and concerns.

Jack Wilshere is a tidy footballer with an assured touch. But like Noble, mobility is an issue and in a team that sees less of the ball, his weaknesses are magnified. Pellegrini opted to pair them in a two-man midfield against Bournemouth but it did not work and with Sanchez having similar flaws, perhaps Cheikhou Kouyate will be missed more than was anticipated.

Elsewhere, there are more encouraging signs. Lukasz Fabianski has been an upgrade in goal, while Issa Diop's own goal against Arsenal should not overshadow the fact that the 21-year-old centre-back has huge potential. With greater protection in front of them, his fledgling partnership with fellow newcomer Fabian Balbuena could yet be a successful one in time.

Unfortunately, time is a luxury now. West Ham's trip to face unbeaten Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday has already taken on huge significance. Not just because of the four games that have preceded it but because of the two games that follow it, with both Chelsea and Manchester United making the trip to London Stadium. Pellegrini is concerned.

"We knew before we started that we had a tough start, seven difficult games," he told Sky Sports after the Wolves defeat. "I don't think it is a bad start, it is a very bad start. We didn't think we would lose six points here at home. Here at home to lose we must be very worried. But I think everyone inside the club is calm. We need to be calm."

There is rarely much of that at West Ham. And while Pellegrini's record suggests that he will turn it around, the more pessimistic supporters will feel they have seen all this before. The players are different but the culture is the same. Pellegrini must change that if he is to make an impact. And Everton will surely need to be the start of the change.


Lanzini on course for comeback

Manu Lanzini is making good progress and showing an “outstanding attitude” as he bids to ensure he makes a much needed Irons return before the end of the season.

The midfielder is three months into a six month rehab programme before he is expected to start some light jogging and running soon after Christmas.

And ClaretandHugh was told this morning: “Given the terrible injury there were even doubts as to whether he would play again – now we are discussing whether he will be back before the end of the season!

“And given his amazing attitude and progress there is no doubt about that and if you were an optimist you might expect him to be back in action – firstly for the under 23s – early next year.

“There was a lot of ligament damage and that is mending but he is in the gym pumping iron and keeping himself fit.

Manu has a really great attitude and doing everything he is told and there’s no reason at this point why he shouldn’t his his target of playing again this season.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Russ of the BML 6:24 Mon Sep 10
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"perhaps Cheikhou Kouyate will be missed more than was anticipated".


Mex Martillo 3:23 Mon Sep 10
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 11:52 Mon Sep 10
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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