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Alan 1:35 Wed Oct 17
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Manchester United will prioritise a new contract for Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, 27, after making significant progress on extensions for England left-back Luke Shaw, 23, and 22-year-old France forward Anthony Martial. (Evening Standard)

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi could be allowed to leave the club for free in 2020, if the 31-year-old Argentine does not join another "elite" league. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Tottenham are closely monitoring 23-year-old Bournemouth and Netherlands defender Nathan Ake. (Sky Sports)

Spurs are also interested in Sampdoria's 22-year-old Danish centre-back Joachim Andersen. (Sport Mediaset - in Italian)

Barcelona want a central defender, with Ajax's 19-year-old Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt their preferred option. (Marca)

Spain left-back Marcos Alonso, 27, says he is set to sign a contract extension with Chelsea "in the coming days". (AS, via Evening Standard)

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to leave Arsenal for Everton on a free transfer in the summer, with the Goodison Park club ready to offer the 27-year-old a £15m signing-on fee. (Sun)

However, AC Milan could swoop for Ramsey, with the Italian club interested in bringing the player to the San Siro next summer. (Mirror)

Porto have lowered the asking price for Algerian winger Yacine Brahimi, 28, with West Ham linked to the player. (Football.London)

Arsenal have joined AC Milan and Inter in the race to sign Cagliari and Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella, 21. (Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)

Galatasaray and Besiktas will battle it out to sign Liverpool striker Divock Origi in January, although Everton are also interested in the 23-year-old Belgian. (Turkish Football, via Talksport)

Bournemouth are planning contract talks with Scotland winger Ryan Fraser, 24. (Sun)

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a new contract with 20-year-old English midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Chronicle)

Meanwhile, a group of American businessmen are considering buying the Magpies for £300m. (Mail)

Manchester City are concerned about what state the Wembley pitch will be in when they play Tottenham on Monday, 29 October, with the venue set to host a NFL match a day earlier. (Manchester Evening News)

Former England manager Sam Allardyce says Tottenham and Three Lions midfielder Eric Dier, 24, is as good as his Barcelona and Spain counterpart Sergio Busquets, 30. (Talksport)

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires says the Gunners will "100%" finish in the Premier League's top four this season. (Express)

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes says not even Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi, 31, would play well under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. (ESPN)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Scott Murray

Manchester City will have been delighted to see their man Raheem Sterling silence his England doubters by breaking his international goalscoring drought the other night. The only problem is, having done so in Spain, his superb performance was staged right under the noses of increasingly fidgety Real Madrid officials. And now they’re preparing a £100m bid. How’s that for timing?

Three Sterlings = one Newcastle United. A group of very rich US businessmen are reportedly considering a £300m deal for the club! But Toon fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too soon: the consortium are waiting to see if the side can extricate themselves from relegation bother first. Ah. Also: Mike Ashley.

Aaron Ramsey could bag a £15m signing-on fee from Everton in the summer. That’d leaves a vacancy in the Arsenal midfield, and Unai Emery wants to fill it with Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella. The 21-year-old Italy international will have his pick of grand old clubs that aren’t quite what they were in their heyday: Milan, Internazionale, Manchester United and Liverpool are also interested.

Everton are also up for signing Liverpool striker Divock Origi. That would be quite the swoop: nobody’s crossed Stanley Park in that direction since Gary Ablett in 1992. Everton have done well with Liverpool old boys in the past: Peter Beardsley, Kevin Sheedy, Johnny Morrissey, and the only man to win the title with both clubs, Dick Forshaw. No pressure, Divock.

Tottenham Hotspur want a new centre-back. Bournemouth’s Nathan Aké and Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen are on their list. As is Ajax teenager Matthijs de Ligt, but Barcelona are after him, so.

And finally Manchester United are planning talks to keep hold of prize asset David de Gea, while Marcos Alonso will be offered a new deal with Chelsea. More hot contract-extension chat tomorrow, if you’re very lucky.


West Ham suspend coach who went on Democratic Football Lads Alliance march
• Under-18s coach Mark Phillips tweeted about event
• Kick It Out confirm they are monitoring situation

Exclusive by Jacob Steinberg

West Ham have suspended one of their youth coaches pending an investigation after he said he went on a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, a group condemned by anti-racism campaigners.

Mark Phillips, who coaches West Ham’s Under-18s, now faces a fight to keep his job after his support for the DFLA was brought to the attention of Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity. Phillips tweeted about attending the DFLA’s march through central London last Saturday and went on to defend the right-wing organisation in subsequent tweets.

The DFLA, a group formed of mainly middle-aged, white male football fans had planned a mass march from Park Lane to Whitehall. Organisers said on Facebook they were protesting against “returning jihadists”, “thousands of Awol migrants”, “rape gangs and groomers” and “veterans treated like traitors”. The demonstration descended into violence when anti-racist protesters attempted to block the DFLA’s route.

Although there is no suggestion that Phillips was involved in any of the disturbances, his future at West Ham is under threat given the DFLA has been accused of spreading Islamophobia and of having links with far-right organisations.

Kick It Out contacted the club on Monday after receiving a report from an anonymous complainant and is monitoring the situation. It also alerted the Football Association. However, the FA is not in a position to take disciplinary action, because Phillips does not appear to have broken any laws or regulations.

A Kick It Out spokesman said: “We can confirm we’ve received a report about a West Ham coach claiming to have attended the DFLA rally. We have passed it on to the club and are liaising with them about the issue.”

West Ham took action on Tuesday evening, although there is a chance Phillips could earn a reprieve if he expresses remorse and agrees to attend one of Kick It Out’s educational courses about discrimination. The Premier League warned clubs about the DFLA’s growing presence inside stadiums this year.

“Good turnout as usual from the West Ham fans today in W1,” Phillips tweeted on Saturday. “Always the biggest [party emoticon]. Fair due to Millwall as well, good show south London.”

Phillips later told another Twitter user the disturbances during the march were sparked by protesters who confronted DFLA supporters and said it was “fake news” to label the group a far-right organisation.

The DFLA was set up after the London Bridge terror attack in 2017 and has called itself an anti-extremist group. It has received support from Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League.

Responding to a witness who said he was at the march, Phillips said: “I was too. The football fans were sticking to the agreed route and Antifa chose to confront the march. They had there face covered up. We didn’t. Ask yourself honestly who instigated the trouble??”

Phillips mounted a defence of the DFLA’s actions and said he left the march at Embankment: “The police made a mistake by walking the peaceful football fans’ march into the aggressive Antifa group and not the other way round. Ask the police on duty for the truth,” he said.

“Who said they were far right? Not true. Football fans yes. Far right. Fake news. Admittedly there was a lot of EX football hooligans there. But their behaviour was non-aggressive until ambushed by people hell bent on causing trouble. No matter how people look it’s there behaviour that counts. Ask your ex-colleagues the truth.

“I can’t comment I got the tube home from Embankment station and did not enter Parliament Square. I only comment on things I actually witnessed.”

The club said in a statement: “West Ham United is an inclusive football club. Regardless of gender, age, race, ability, religion or sexual orientation, every supporter within our diverse fanbase is warmly welcomed at London Stadium, free to enjoy watching their team play football without fear, discrimination or abuse.

“We have a zero tolerance policy to any form of violent or abusive behaviour. We continue to protect and cherish those values and we remain committed to ensuring every single member of the West Ham family feels safe, respected and included.”

This is the second time West Ham have been rocked by controversy this year. Tony Henry lost his job as their head of recruitment after making inappropriate comments about African footballers in February.


Brady to tell West Ham’s side of the story

West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady will give evidence at City Hall at the London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee this afternoon to tell West Ham’s side of the story with regards to the financial situation at the London Stadium.

In late September senior executives from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) appeared in front of the London Assembly budget and performance committee spinning their own tall tales on the financial mess that surrounds the London Stadium.

The LLDC revealed they have spent £4m on legal disputes with West Ham claiming they had won one out of four challenges under a legal expert determination process. They also claimed the Hammers honours board was being withheld because of West Ham unpaid invoices.

By far the biggest claim by the LLDC was that Stadium owners E20 owned by LLDC lose as much as £260,000 net per West Ham in match day running costs excluding the seat move costs. Baroness Brady is likely to dispute many of these claims this afternoon when questioned by London Assembly members.

The meeting will be streamed LIVE at 2.30pm from https://www.london.gov.uk/budget-monitoring-sub-committee-2018-10-17

Transfer Tavern

West Ham set to return for Franco Vazquez in January

By Alex Ford

West Ham United could look to return to the transfer market in the winter and try and sign one of Manuel Pellegrini’s original targets.

According to a report by Tuttomercatoweb, the Hammers are believed to make a fresh approach for Franco Vazquez.

The playmaker, who is currently with Sevilla, was thought to have been a target for the Chilean in the summer, however, they failed to land him from the La Liga side.

It is understood that the player is a clear possibility for West Ham and someone that they still remain interested in adding to their team, despite all the signings they did make during the previous transfer window.

The Verdict:

The London Stadium outfit added the likes of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko to give them some more attacking threat going forward, however, it appears that Vazquez is the man they really want.

The 30-year-old is not a natural goalscorer, something that West Ham could probably do more with at this stage, but he has started this season for Sevilla extremely well – having scored three and assisted a further three already.

However, with the Spanish outfit believed to have knocked back an offer in the summer for their Argentina international, it remains to be seen if the Hammers do head back in for him in January and whether they make an offer that the La Liga club deem worthy of accepting.

This is Futbol

West Ham plot swoop to sign Edin Dzeko

West Ham are plotting a January swoop to sign Roma forward Edin Dzeko, according to Calcio Mercato.

The Italian news outlet claims that Manuel Pellegrini is considering a move for Dzeko, 32, with a huge £21.9million bid on the cards to acquire his services.

It is understood that Roma could be open to the idea of selling the Bosnia and Herzegovina international, who earns £77,000-a-week on his current deal in the Italian capital.

Calcio Mercato adds that West Ham would be willing to offer the ex-Manchester City forward a “top salary” in order to lure him to the London Stadium.

Good move for West Ham?

Dzeko is a proven goal scorer, not only in the Premier League, but also in Serie A and the Champions League, so even though he is 32-years-old, he would definitely be a solid addition to the Hammers attack.

The Roma striker has two Premier League titles on his CV and even helped the Italian giants reach the Champions League semi-finals last season against all odds.

£21.9million is not a lot of money in terms of what West Ham could probably afford, but that is a lot for someone who they may only get a couple of years out of.

However there is no substitute for experience and given that Dzeko may be available, it is a move that Pellegrini definitely should consider.

This is Futbol rating 8/10

Likely to happen?

Calcio Mercato claims that Roma would be willing to offload Dzeko to get him off their wagebill, pocket a decent fee and give up-and-coming star Patrick Schick more game time, so there is definitely the chance that the Bosnian will be on the move next year.

Pellegrini knows Dzeko so could be tempted to sign someone who he has previously got the best out of, but paying £21.9million for someone who is 32 does not seem like a great business plan.

This is Futbol rating 6/10

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

norwaytips 1:58 Thu Oct 18
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

Takashi Miike 1:23 Thu Oct 18
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Alan 3:45 Wed Oct 17
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Edin Dzeko story added.

Texas Iron 2:12 Wed Oct 17
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Thanks Alan 1:35 Wed Oct 17
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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