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Alan 12:14 Fri Nov 23
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Manchester United's England striker Marcus Rashford, 21, is ready to talk to Real Madrid if he fails to win a regular first-team place at Old Trafford. (Sun)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is not worried about Christian Eriksen's contract situation and insists the club is "working hard" to tie the Denmark midfielder, 26, to a new long-term deal. (Standard)

Turkish top-flight club Sivasspor have contacted Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt, 32, over a potential deal for the second half of the season. (TRT World)

Juventus are considering a move for Wolves and Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves, 21, in January. (Tuttosport - in Italian)

Manchester United are sending a scout to watch Fiorentina's Serbia defender Nikola Milenkovic, 21, play against Bologna on Sunday. (Mail)

AC Milan are interested in Atletico Madrid's Uruguay centre-back Diego Godin, 32, who is a free agent in the summer. (Corriere dello Sport - Italian)

Borussia Dortmund are targeting another young English talent - Everton and England Under-18 midfielder Anthony Gordon, 17. (Mail)

Former England midfielder Scott Parker, 38, will be Claudio Ranieri's assistant manager at Fulham. (Football.London)

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez wants to sign Atlanta United's attacking midfielder Miguel Almiron. West Ham and Everton are also keen on the £15m-rated 24-year-old Paraguay international. (Sun)

Watford head coach Javi Gracia will sign a new contract at the club next week which will take him up to the end of the 2020-21 campaign. (Sky Sports)

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, 26, may leave Anfield"in a season or two" if the club fail to secure silverware, according to his Egypt coach Javier Aguirre. (ONSport, via Goal.com)

Burnley and England goalkeeper Tom Heaton, 32, is keen on a move to Championship side Leeds United. (Talksport)

Inter Milan midfielder Radja Nainggolan, 30, has said he has no regrets about turning down a move to the Premier League. The former Belgium international had been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United. (ESPN)

Brazil left-back Alex Sandro, 27, will not leave Juventus despite interest from Manchester United and Chelsea. (Calciomercato)

Crystal Palace and West Ham are interested in signing 30-year-old Bayern Munich and Germany striker Sandro Wagner, but the Premier League duo face competition from Turkish side Galatasaray and other Bundesliga clubs. (Bild - in German)

Crystal Palace's Netherlands full-back Patrick van Aanholt, 28, says he almost quit football after five loan moves in six years during his time at Chelsea.(Mail)

Stoke are planning a £5m move for Birmingham's 22-year-old English striker Che Adams in January. (Telegraph)

Aston Villa are considering recalling English goalkeeper Jed Steer, 26, from his loan spell at Charlton Athletic in January. (Birmingham Mail)

Le Havre's French centre-back Denys Bain, 25, is a potential target for both Brighton and Newcastle. The 25-year-old was scouted by Arsenal during Arsene Wenger's final season at Emirates Stadium. (Sun)

QPR director of football Les Ferdinand says he turned down an approach from the Football Association to become the governing body's technical director. (Football.London)

England Under-19 striker Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18, is in new contract talks at Chelsea. (Sun)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Paul Doyle

Liverpool are said to be hoping that Nabil Fekir does not hold a grudge over his aborted transfer to Anfield last summer. Because not only is Jürgen Klopp rumoured to be keen on reviving that move, but the German has also developed a liking for Fekir’s 20-year-old Lyon teammate Houssem Aouar. A skilful and dynamic forward who is adept both at winning the ball and at sticking it in the net or on a plate for others, Aouar is right up Klopp’s street – but he’s also aroused the interest of Chelsea and Barcelona, so Liverpool could do with someone putting in a good word for them.

Aouar, whose name sounds best when pronounced by Somerset farmers or a pirate, may even become a replacement for Mo Salah if, that is, the Egyptian heeds the advice of his national team manager, Javier Aguirre, who reckons he should consider leaving Liverpool if he doesn’t win a trophy in the next season or two.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, like Liverpool, have also been browsing in a familiar place. Their recruitment overlord Sven Mislintat has been sniffing around his old stomping ground in Dortmund again and is considering inviting Julian Weigl to follow in the footsteps of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Elsewhere, reports suggest that Marcus Rashford would respond favourably to an invitation to play for Real Madrid if he does not secure more starts at Manchester United. Perhaps the 21-year-old needs his manager to point out to him that he is not Dominic Solanke, not Dominic Calvert-Lewin, not Ruben Loftus-Cheek. José Mourinho has also mentioned, by the by, that UNITED NEED BETTER DEFENDERS. Never one to labour a point, he has not taken to wearing a t-shirt of Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic to every meeting he has with Ed Woodward, apparently.

Juventus are considering making an offer to Wolves’s Rúben Neves to become Emre Can 2.0. Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez is hoping Newcastle overlord Mike Ashley will be so intoxicated by the Christmas spirit that he will agree to present his manager with one Miguel Almirón, an attacking midfielder currently with Atlanta United. The problem is, he’s also on the wish lists of Everton and West Ham, and they are not run by Ashley.

Speaking of running, that’s one thing that Usain Bolt can do pretty well. But is doing that while kicking a ball pushing multitasking beyond his limits? Sivasspor, a Turkish club who want us to mention them more often, are preparing to give the Jamaican a chance to show his skills.

Marcelo Bielsa, a betracksuited wizard, can magically improve many players. But sometimes it’s just easier to buy new ones, and Leeds may move to cure their goalkeeping worries by signing Tom Heaton from Burnley. Finally, Crystal Palace want to fight West Ham. Not just for the hell of it, but for the signature of Germany striker Sandro Wagner.


Manuel Pellegrini puts faith in finding ‘real’ Samir Nasri

• Midfielder Nasri eligible to play from 1 January
• Pellegrini and Nasri worked together at Manchester City

Jacob Steinberg

Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful “the real Samir Nasri” will emerge if the Frenchman convinces West Ham to sign him on a free transfer.

West Ham remain undecided about whether to offer the former Manchester City midfielder a six-month deal worth £80,000 a week with the option of a one-year extension, and are assessing the 31-year-old’s fitness in training as he nears the end of his 18-month doping ban. However Pellegrini is in favour of signing Nasri, who is not eligible to play until 1 January, and does not think the France international is past his best.
How Samir Nasri went from being the ‘new Zidane’ to an outcast
Read more

“Samir Nasri is a very technical player who always made the difference playing as a midfielder when he is fit,” Pellegrini said. “We are going to give him a hand to try to return. You have seen over the years what he can do. He was an important player not only for me and City but also for Arsenal. What we need is to recover the real Samir Nasri.”

Pellegrini knows Nasri from his time at City and is confident it will not take the former France international long to regain sharpness. “If he has no injuries from now until 1 January, when he can play, I think he can be fit without any problems,” the manager said. “The most important thing is not to do it too fast. When you have gone so long without playing, you can have an injury that will delay your return.”

Pellegrini dismissed concerns over Marko Arnautovic’s future after the Austrian forward hinted he could be ready to leave West Ham in order to play in the Champions League. Arnautovic is represented by his brother Danijel, who said that the 29-year-old needed to be playing at the highest level during an interview with the Austrian newspaper Kurier last week.

“I cannot tell everyone what they must say or what they must not say,” Pellegrini said. “Everyone is the owner of their own words. With Marko, he didn’t say those words to me. He can say what he wants.

“I don’t want to continue talking about the words of the brother of the player. I know Marko. I know the way he thinks. I think that every player in every team must have an ambitious mind. But I am sure he is happy here and the best way to do it is to continue having good performances.”

Guardian article from 14 months ago:-

How Samir Nasri went from being the ‘new Zidane’ to an outcast

Samir Nasri has drifted to the periphery at Manchester City and, with a doping case hanging over his head, time is running out for a resurrection

Nick Ames

Samir Nasri had taken to Premier League life straightaway but within three months of his Arsenal debut something was bothering him. The season had, on a collective level, lapsed into a now familiar pattern of inconsistency but Nasri thought he and his team-mates were being treated poorly. They had just beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge but before the next match, a home game with Wigan Athletic that became infamous for the treatment meted out to Emmanuel Eboué from the stands, he railed against the “acharnement” – widely translated as relentless criticism and perhaps better shortened to invective – he felt Arsenal had received from the press.

Almost nine years have passed and Nasri may reflect that those were the days when, at 21 and hyped as the “new Zidane”, there was far less to worry about. He is in limbo now, remaining within a Manchester City set-up that has little choice but to integrate him while concrete interest from elsewhere fails to materialise. The obvious question is: how has it come to this for a player who still seems too young for such a sharp decline in status?

The most immediate concern for Nasri is the doping case, being overseen by Uefa, that hangs over him following an intravenous drip therapy treatment he is said to have received at a Los Angeles clinic late last year. City are yet to be given a date for its resolution and the effect is obvious: nobody, whether Roma or one of the other Italian and Chinese clubs to have been linked with his services, will exercise anything but caution while the possibility of a lengthy ban remains.

It may turn out Nasri was simply unlucky but the wider picture is that he tends to bring problems on himself. Few more infuriating characters have competed in the Premier League over recent years; the one thing no one questions about Nasri is his talent and it is only three years since, having frustrated Roberto Mancini with inconsistency to the extent the former City manager said he would like to “give him a punch”, he rallied under Manuel Pellegrini to star in a second title-winning campaign. Perhaps he will come good again but the suggestions are of burned bridges, with team-mates reported to have bridled against his perceived arrogance in pre-season.

That flash of annoyance with the media in December 2008, a month after he had scored twice in a defeat of Manchester United, betrayed more than seemed obvious at the time. Nasri is a sensitive, touchy character who reads his reviews and has a habit of reacting to them. It is a trait whose most high-profile effect came in the foul-mouthed row with a French journalist during Euro 2012 that led to his being phased out of the internationalset-up; it has rubbed others, too, up the wrong way and the impression is of an individual whose reflex for self-preservation has had the opposite effect to the one he intended.

Vikash Dhorasoo, a former France international who knows the alienation a free footballing spirit can feel, expressed it well – and sympathetically – when saying in a newspaper column five years ago: “I just hope when he retires Nasri will discover the joys of the collective.”

It was a telling remark because Nasri, famously accused of disrespecting Thierry Henry by sitting in his seat on the France team bus, has rarely been one to go with the crowd. In football that does not get one very far and perhaps Nasri has suffered on the pitch by not being the player a manager is willing to build an attack round.

At Arsenal he jostled for prominence with Cesc Fàbregas and Robin van Persie, outdoing both in an excellent 2010-11 season; at City he has tended to play his best football when David Silva, a less explosive player but one more conducive to a team’s continuity, has been sidelined.

Nasri has never quite had the place he feels his abilities deserve; that has not always translated into a positive influence elsewhere and his head has shown a tendency to drop. The red card he received after his loan club last season, Sevilla, fell behind to Leicester in their Champions League last-16 match is recent evidence and it tainted an otherwise respectable spell in Spain.

It all adds up to the image of a self-centred, unreliable individual and that is unfortunate because, where ideas about football are concerned, Nasri has always been more switched-on than many. On arriving at Arsenal he described himself as a “non-axial playmaker”; coming from an onlooker’s mouth that would run the risk of being unfathomable jargon but in this instance it suggested a refreshing degree of thought about his role.

During his early seasons in England Nasri would talk with particular knowledge and clarity about other players and teams; no one could say he does not know the game, and perhaps a kind reading of his plight would be that it is a consequence of consistently overthinking while others simply get on with the job.

He will need somebody to be similarly sympathetic if he is to achieve what looked possible a decade ago. He will also need enough people to care. In France Nasri’s name is a near-irrelevance as players such as Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé brim with the promise he once held. In England players of inferior ability are shuttled between top-flight clubs for fees several times what it would cost to prise him from City.

Nasri has time to avoid being yesterday’s man. If he makes any more mistakes, then relentless criticism will, when looking back at a career of such possibility, be an enduring norm.


'We didn't have money for football boots': Felipe Anderson grew up in Brazil with no shoes now his fast feet frighten Premier League defenders

Felipe Anderson honed his skills on the streets of Santa Maria without boots
Coaches at the winger's old club Lazio believed he was Serie A's fastest player
Anderson envied his friends because he couldn't afford a football sticker album
West Ham's £40 million-record signing was spotted by a scout when he was 13

By Kieran Gill

Catch me if you can. It is a challenge that Felipe Anderson will lay down to any defender at any club in the Premier League, particularly now he has the appropriate footwear.

Growing up in Brazil, Anderson honed his skills on the stone streets of Santa Maria, though he did so without football boots because of a shoestring family budget.

Regardless, the Brazilian found a way. Blessed with natural speed and swagger, he spent hours with a ball at his feet, whether barefoot or in school shoes.

Anderson's homeland is a world away from West Ham, where sports scientists analyse how to extract that extra dash of speed and measure his every move.

Coaches at his previous club Lazio reckoned he was Serie A's fastest player when running with the ball. His dangerous dribbles even saw supporters christen him 'FA7' - a nod to Cristiano Ronaldo's 'CR7' moniker.

West Ham's £40million-record signing is still finding his feet in the Premier League but once the brakes are off, the 25-year-old believes there will be no stopping him. It is only a matter of time.

'Everyone knows that when you have got that title of club-record signing you're expected to do something different, to do big things,' explains Anderson. 'There is a lot of belief in you.

'I think it is more about the trust of the club. The club trusts me to perform. It's not as much pressure. They are trusting me to play my game. One hundred per cent.

'I always followed the Premier League. It's a quick game with very strong players. Speed is one of my characteristics.

'This was where I wanted to be. I felt ready to come to West Ham. Now I feel ready to take on these challenges and do something great here.'

As a kid, Anderson would watch with envy as school friends traded football stickers because he could never afford his own album. Now, at home, he has a copy of the Calciatori Panini 2014-15, where he featured on the front cover as a proud Lazio player.

It acts as a reminder of how far he has come, and so do the tattoos that smother his body. Among them, he has 'gratidao' written across his ribcage, or 'gratitude' to you and me.

'Tough,' says Anderson with a wry smile, looking up at the empty stands inside the London Stadium while we stand on the pristine pitch. 'Where I grew up, it was a tough area. There weren't many opportunities or any conditions for us to play football. From a young age, I always had that dream that I wanted to be a professional player.

'My family knew about this dream and supported it, despite our tough conditions. We didn't even have money for football boots. But they supported me. At the end of the day, it was destiny.'

Since signing, Anderson has taken on a role with West Ham's Players' Project, a scheme aimed at helping underprivileged London kids participate in football.

It is something he is passionate about, considering a similar programme was behind his first steps into becoming a professional.

Santa Maria's police force came up with the idea of a 'soccer school'. It was aimed at keeping local kids on the good side of the law, with organised crime and drug dealing rife.

In 2007, a scout spotted 13-year-old Anderson and he was invited to join the Santos academy 650 miles away. His mum, Elza, was not happy but he left the family home, feeling he had a dream to chase.

There - alongside Neymar, who he would later win Olympic gold with at Rio 2016 - he broke into the Santos first team. At age 17, he was handed Pele's No 10 shirt. No pressure, kid.

'When you were on the pitch wearing that No 10, everyone was expecting you to do something incredible,' Anderson says. 'Pele's shirt. There was always going to be an importance with that.

'It was hard for me. I was so young. I was 17-years-old and going professional at that age, playing for such an important team in Brazil, but it really helped me mature a lot.'

In a sink-or-swim situation, he came out on top at Santos, then again at Lazio. He is confident of rising to the challenge at West Ham too, with the winger having been a thorn in the sides of Huddersfield and Burnley in his last two appearances.

Chelsea and Manchester United scouted Anderson in 2016 but when previous Premier League clubs came calling, Lazio held firm, quoting large prices. It was West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan who signed off on the big-money move in the summer.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini was particularly keen in adding the attacker to his ranks and Anderson adds: 'What I was really looking for was for a project and a team that believed in me 100 per cent.

'That's what I found with West Ham. The coach always supported me and still supports me. When I found out it was West Ham who had an interest in me, it was an easy decision.

'I had no difficulty in saying yes. I knew about the traditions. That's why I wanted to come here.

'Of course Europe is an objective. Recently there have been big changes to the club, with new players and a new coach, so the most important thing right now is to get the wins.

'We've got a solid team. We're definitely finding our style. There are bigger goals, but we're taking it game by game and winning all we can.'

Anderson knows he is expected to bring Brazilian flair to east London. With Manchester City up next on Saturday, it represents a chance to test his pace and skills against the Premier League's very best.

The days when this former street footballer could only dream of owning a pair of adidas Predators are long gone. With three goals in two games, Anderson is now wearing his shooting boots. Beware, City.


Hammers renew interest in Inter star Keita Balde

The Senegal forward has also been linked with a move to Wolves

By Billy Hawkins

West Ham are showing interest in signing Inter star Keita Balde, according to reports.

Balde, the Senegal forward, has been struggling at the San Siro since joining Inter on loan from Monaco earlier this year.

Big things were expected of the 23-year-old, but he’s started just three league matches and has not scored a single goal across all competitions.

Inter may cut short Balde’s loan to send him back to Monaco in January, rather than waiting until the end of the season, and another move away from the Stade Louis II could be on the cards.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, West Ham are showing interest in Balde, who is also reported to be a target for their Premier League rivals Wolves.

This is not the first time West Ham have been linked with Balde, with the east Londoners attempting to sign him before he joined Monaco prior to the start of last season.

The Senegal forward left Lazio for France in 2017, but before signing for Monaco Balde was subject of an offer from West Ham.

But despite West Ham’s bid for Balde reportedly being accepted, the player himself is alleged to have rejected a move to the Premier League.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

jakehammer 9:10 Fri Nov 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks Alan
you super news reporter you. COYI !!!.

Texas Iron 8:28 Fri Nov 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Mex Martillo 7:17 Fri Nov 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 2:28 Fri Nov 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mr Logic 2:12 Fri Nov 23

Mr Logic 2:12 Fri Nov 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

gph 12:30 Fri Nov 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Surprised Anderson had such a tough upbringing.

Some of his early performances weren't at all suggestive of that.

Thanks, Alan

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