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Alan 1:33 Thu Nov 15
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger rejected the chance to replace Slavisa Jokanovic as Fulham boss before Claudio Ranieri was appointed. (Mirror)

Former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas and ex-Monacocoach Leonardo Jardim also turned down Fulham. (Telegraph)

New Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri wants to sign Liverpool's Cameroon defender Joel Matip, 27, in January. (A Spor, via Talksport)

Real Madrid are ready to move for one of Paris St-Germain's two key forwards if the French club have to sell players because of Financial Fair Play. Brazil's Neymar, 26, and France international Kylian Mbappe, 19, have long been targets for Real. (AS - in Spanish)

Fifa is investigating five Premier League clubs over possible violations of rules on the signing of foreign players under the age of 18, with the teams in question facing potential transfer bans if found guilty. (Guardian)

West Ham have blocked any move for Austria striker Marko Arnautovic, 29, in January after he said he was the subject of interest from Manchester United in the summer. (Star)

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, 28, remains in discussions about a new contract. The Spain international's existing deal expires in the summer, but the club intend to trigger a 12-month extension. (London Evening Standard)

Everton want to sign Manchester United and England centre-back Chris Smalling, 28, when his contract expires at the end of the season. (Sun)

England manager Gareth Southgate will give debuts to Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, Brighton defender Lewis Dunk and Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson in Thursday's friendly against USA. (Mirror)

Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe, 36, is wanted on loan by Championship club Sheffield United, after he has been restricted to four appearances in the Premier League this season. (Star)

Outgoing Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore is in line for a CBE in the New Year's Honours. (Times - subscription required)

Manchester City and England Under-21 midfielder Phil Foden, 18, is on the verge of signing a new six-year contract. (Telegraph)

Chelsea are favourites to sign Borussia Dortmund's USA winger Christian Pulisic, 20, in the summer. (Guardian)

Chelsea are willing to listen to loan offers for 32-year-old central defender and captain Gary Cahill, whose contract runs out at the end of the season. (Mail)

Chelsea's France midfielder N'Golo Kante, 27, refused to have part of his salary paid through an offshore company. (Times - subscription required)

Roma are preparing a bid for Manchester United and England full-back Ashley Young, 33, in January. (Sun)

Wolves are keen to sign 28-year-old Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, who will be allowed to leave Manchester United in January. (Birmingham Mail)

Newcastle are interested in 24-year-old Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron, who plays for MLS club Atlanta United. (Chronicle)

Owner Mike Ashley is in talks to sell Newcastle in a £350m deal with a US investor. (Mirror)

AC Milan are determined to re-sign 37-year-old former Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Calciomercato)

Agent William Salthouse, whose clients include Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray, has been criticised by a gambling addiction charity after taking payments from bookmakers. (Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling could swap life at one mid-table Premier League club for another if speculation linking with with a move to Everton turns out to carry any weight. Tabloid tittle-tattle says the Goodison Park outfit want to take him on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer, but could make a bid for him in January instead. Smalling is currently negotiating a new contract with United, in a state of affairs that cynics might suggest is in some way related to the coincidental appearance of stories linking with him a move elsewhere.

The defender’s team-mate, Ashley Young, is also reported to be the subject of interest from elsewhere, with the Sun saying Roma may move for him in the next transfer window. The 33-year-old’s contract also expires at the end of the season, but United are ready to offer him a one-year extension.

Fulham’s appointment of Claudio Ranieri as their new manager caught everyone by surprise, but it seems the Italian wasn’t Shahid Khan’s first choice to replace Slavisa Jokanovic. The Telegraph claims Arsène Wenger was approached to take over at Craven Cottage, but turned down the job because he’s holding out for the soon-to-be-vacant gig at Bayern Munich. Former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim and former Chelsea and Tottenham boss André Villas-Boas are also reported to have “politely declined the opportunity to speak to Fulham” before the club hierarchy gave the job to Ranieri on an unspecified “multi-year” contract.

A Uefa investigation into Financial Fair Play could lead to Paris Saint-Germain having to sell Kylian Mbappé or Neymar. Real Madrid are ready to pounce on either, with the Brazilian considered most likely to leave the French champions if they are forced to part company with one of their stars.

And finally, pictorial evidence of Avram Glazer gadding about in Saudi Arabia has prompted further speculation that the number of Premier League clubs in Manchester owned by repressive Middle Eastern regimes may be about to increase by one. Pictures have emerged of the Manchester United co-owner meeting with an associate of Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who was rumoured to have offered £4bn for the club last month. At the time the Guardian reported there was little, if any, appetite within the Old Trafford hierarchy for a change of ownership. Newspaper reports suggest Glazer is in the Gulf state this week to speak at the Misk global forum, a two-day event that “brings young leaders, creators and thinkers together with established global innovators” and sounds like a whole lot of fun.


Fifa investigating five Premier League clubs over youth transfers
• Chelsea confirm they are one of the teams under scrutiny
• The quintet risk transfer bans if found guilty

Dominic Fifield

Fifa is investigating five Premier League clubs over possible violations of rules on the signing of foreign players under the age of 18 with the quintet risking transfer bans if found guilty by the governing body’s disciplinary committee.

Chelsea are one of those clubs, as reported by the Guardian in January, and the French investigative website Mediapart reported on Wednesday that Fifa’s Integrity and Compliance unit would seek to impose a two-year transfer ban to stretch across four windows, and a fine of 500,000 Swiss francs. Mediapart is one of the outlets publishing documents obtained by Football Leaks.

Chelsea released a short statement on Wednesday night saying they had “fully cooperated with Fifa and provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations”.

Sources familiar with the Fifa investigation have confirmed that another four English top-flight clubs are running the risk of a transfer ban, along with high-profile clubs across Europe. The identity of the other English quartet has not been revealed, though Fifa confirmed in September 2017 that Manchester City’s conduct involving youth players was under review. The Premier League champions denied any knowledge of the situation at the time.

In a statement, Fifa said: “As communicated in September 2017, investigations were opened concerning the club Chelsea FC as well as other English clubs in relation to potential breaches of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. The proceedings are ongoing and, to date, no decision has been passed by the Fifa judicial bodies. Thus, the clubs are to be presumed innocent unless decided otherwise. No further information can be provided as the cases are ongoing.”

Fifa’s rules prohibit the international transfer of players under the age of 18 unless their parents have emigrated for reasons unconnected with football, or if both the player and the purchasing club are based within 50km of a national border. There are exceptions relating to transfers within the European Union or European Economic Area.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have been found guilty of infringements related to the signing of minors, with Atlético and Barcelona serving a two-window embargo and Real’s similar punishment halved to one.

The investigation into Chelsea was carried out by the compliance unit of Fifa’s transfer matching system (TMS), which was first alerted by the case of Bertrand Traoré, the Burkina Faso forward who now plays for Lyon. He was signed on professional terms by the Premier League club on 1 January 2014, the first day of the window immediately after his 18th birthday, despite being pictured playing in an under-18s game against Arsenal when he was only 16. The club subsequently admitted they had acquired a first-refusal option to sign the player in April 2011, with “the option agreement registered with, and approved by, both the FA and the Premier League”.

Mediapart has suggested the Fifa investigatory body has proposed a fine of 500,000 Swiss francs and an embargo across four transfer window for offences relating to the recruitment of minors involving 19 players, including 14 minors who were illegally transferred. “We will not comment further on speculation concerning confidential contracts or player related matters,” added Chelsea’s statement.


Arnie’s brother is the real problem

The news that Daniel Arnautovic could be engineering a move for his brother Marko shouldn’t come as a surprise to West Ham supporters. We all know the routine!

As a football agent if you only have one client the only way you properly earn big money is to move him on to another club as often as possible, he did the same at Stoke City and he attempted to do the same last Summer but failed.

Of course, the club will say privately he is not for sale at any price and he won’t be allowed to leave and Marko will say he loves the club and is happy here but in reality money talks for both sides.

These foreign media reports can be often taken out of context and the translation itself can leave room for interpretation. Translated to English Arnautovic said: “I want to compete with the very best but in such matters, I fully trust my brother”

On its own not very controversial as he already competes with some of the very best in the Premier League but the statement on trusting his brother is the more worrying statement. Time will tell but no reason to write Arnie off as Hammer just yet!

FA plan could devalue West Ham players

The FA’s plan to cap foreign players at twelve could cost West Ham in the valuation of foreign players they may be forced to offload. The Hammers are concerned that many of their 17 non-home grown players will massively lose value overnight if the plan is implemented.

West Ham could be forced to offload five foreign players as part of the FA plan but a rush by all Premier League clubs to do so at the same time could crash the foreign player market while the value of homegrown players would massively increase overnight.

A senior source told Claret and Hugh by Email: “The FA plan to cap foreign players at 12 is worrying to us as our foreign players would massively lose value overnight and we won’t be able to offload five, we have 17″

The idea is contained in an FA position paper that has been circulated around the game’s main stakeholders and will be discussed again at a meeting of Premier League club chairmen today. The FA plan is in response to the effects of BREXIT.


Samir Nasri to train with West Ham in bid to prove fitness

Samir Nasri will train with West Ham in a bid to prove his fitness as he attempts to win a contract with the club, according to Sky sources.

Sky Sports News reported on Tuesday that the proposed deal to sign the ex-Manchester City and Arsenal midfielder on a six-month contact, with wages thought to be around £80,000-per-week, was in doubt, but the club will now give him a chance.

The 31-year-old former France international underwent a medical on Monday, but West Ham are worried about how long it will take him to reach the required fitness levels to play in the Premier League after 18 months out.
Nasri was banned from football for breaching World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules in 2016 after he visited an intravenous treatment centre in Los Angeles, but he can play again from January 1.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini wants to sign the free agent, who he deployed to great effect during their time together at City, and he has been free to train with the squad since the beginning of November.

His last competitive appearance came for Antalyaspor on November 26 last year.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

gph 12:10 Fri Nov 16
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan

Thanks Alan 1:34 Thu Nov 15
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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