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Alan 12:38 Tue Dec 4
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Chelsea have made their first official approach to Borussia Dortmund to sign USA winger Christian Pulisic, but the German club could demand £70m for the 20-year-old, whose preferred move would be to Liverpool. (Evening Standard)

Spanish midfielder Brahim Diaz, 19, is set to leave Manchester City and join Real Madrid, despite pleas from manager Pep Guardiola to stay. (Sun)

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Aaron Ramsey's improved performances are the best thing for the 27-year-old Wales midfielder and the club as the decision to withdraw their contract offer remains "closed". (Telegraph)

Arsenal and Tottenham target Adrien Rabiot, 23, has ended new contract talks with Paris St-Germain. The France midfielder wants to leave at the end of the season. (RMC, via Sport)

Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, West Ham,Newcastle and German side Schalke are interested in signing Chelsea's England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22, who admits it is "tough" not being a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge. (Mirror)

Juventus and Brazil defender Alex Sandro has received an offer of 10m euros (£8.9m) per year from an unnamed Premier League club. The 27-year-old was linked with Manchester United in the summer. (Calciomercato - in Italian)

Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all interested in Real Madrid and Spain attacking midfielder Isco, 26. (Sun)

West Ham's Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, 30, wants to leave the club next month. (El Gol Digital, via Talksport)

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini says the club have signed a £100m player in 26-year-old England midfielder Jack Wilshere. (Sun)

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas can leave on a free transfer next summer and is able to sign a pre-contract with an overseas club next month. The 31-year-old Spaniard's agent is said to have met AC Milan, who are also interested in former Manchester United and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 37. (Football Italia)

Tottenham, Arsenal and Southampton have joined Everton in monitoring RB Salzburg's 19-year-old attacking midfielder Hannes Wolf, who has been likened to Spurs playmaker Christian Eriksen. (Mirror)

Southampton are hoping to appoint former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as Mark Hughes' replacement before the end of the week. (Telegraph)

Everton want to sign Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes on a permanent deal when his loan expires at the end of the season. Portugal international Gomes, 25, has a 100m euros release cause. (Liverpool Echo)

Colombia forward James Rodriguez, 27, will look to leave Bayern Munich - where he is on a two-year loan from Real Madrid - if he is unable to win a place in Niko Kovac's side when he recovers from a knee injury. (Marca)

Chelsea's Spain defender Cesar Azpilicueta, 29, has increased his salary from £120,000 to £150,000 per week after agreeing a new contract that commits him to the club until at least 2022. (Goal.com)

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is open to fringe players Ezequiel Schelotto, 29, and Markus Suttner, 31, leaving in the January transfer window. (Argus)

Aston Villa are expected to give Ghana winger Albert Adomah, 30, a new long-term contract. (Football Ghana)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

Cesc Fàbregas has played just 48 minutes of Premier League football this season and is preparing to leave Chelsea in search of regular game time, with a return to Spain being his most likely course of action. El Gol Digital report this morning that he “has decided to leave in January” and that Valencia are already close to agreeing a contract. Reports in Italy, however, suggest Fàbregas might move to Milan instead.

With the Guardian reporting this morning that Ruben Loftus-Cheek may ask to leave on loan next month, something of a revolution may be brewing on Chelsea’s substitutes’ bench, which currently seems to be rife with jealousy and discontent. On the plus side, their departures would give the club more money to give to Borussia Dortmund for Christian Pulisic, with the Evening Standard saying an official approach has been made for the £70m-rated American.

Headline-writers on sports desks nationwide will be crossing fingers, toes and any other crossable bits that the rumoured English interest in RB Salzburg’s Hannes Wolf comes to fruition. Tottenham, Arsenal, Southampton and Everton are all linked with the midfielder (or, in tabloid headline-speak, “hungry for the Wolf”) in the Mirror. “The Austrian attacking midfielder,” they helpfully explain, “has been likened to Spurs star Christian Eriksen.”

Arsenal and Tottenham are also battling for another top talent, according to the Mail, with the north London giants joining Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the race for Feyenoord’s 17-year-old Orkan Kokcu, who scored 17 goals and claimed 34 assists for the club’s Under-19 side last season and “is regarded as one of the brightest emerging talents in European football”.

Arsenal and Chelsea are also battling for another top talent, both teams sending scouts to watch Roma’s 2-2 draw with Internazionale on Sunday with Nicolò Zaniolo, Roma’s 19-year-old midfield prodigy, the focus of their attention. Bayern Munich also had a representative present, says CalcioMercato, and though the scouts could of course have been sent to look at different players – indeed, Talksport says they were watching Cengiz Ünder – Zaniolo played very well so we can assume that they noticed him.

José Mourinho has “become increasingly baffled” by “Manchester United’s bloated scouting department”, reports the Mail. The club apparently employs 58 scouts across the world but Mourinho wants “a more streamlined operation”, given that he “remains largely in the dark” about their activity below the two chief scouts, and anyway most of the players he seems to want to sign you could find out about just by watching Champions League highlights and the occasional Match of the Day. “Mourinho also fears he will miss out on top target Kalidou Koulibaly in January”, the Mail continues, because “United chiefs vetoed a move last summer” since when the Napoli defender has become both more expensive and more old, without getting more good. According to Metro, Mourinho “has informed United’s board that Koulibaly is his No1 target”, but is also “already giving up hope” of signing him.

Evening Standard

West Ham star Javier Hernandez puts January escape plan on hold as Felipe Anderson partnership blossoms


A few days before he scored two goals in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Newcastle, Javier Hernandez was talking pointedly about an “exit door”, possibly as early as next month.

If the man they call ‘Little Pea’ or ‘Chicharito’, scores again on Tuesday against Cardiff — and keeps developing a blossoming playing relationship with team-mate Felipe Anderson — then both the Mexico striker and his club will be happy to close that door and throw away the key.

Anderson’s ability to thread a pass through a packed defence, plus Hernandez’s skill at finding space in crowded penalty areas, could mean West Ham are about to move up the Premier League table to a position more in keeping with their £100million summer outlay.

Add the power and pace of Marko Arnautovic to the mix and West Ham fans have every right to feel more optimistic than after the first four games of the season ended in defeats.

Hernandez’s scoring ability has never been in doubt. A total of 50 goals in 106 internationals for Mexico, 37 in 103 for Manchester United and 28 in 54 for Bayer Leverkusen says it all.

For West Ham, though, the 30-year-old has yet to fire consistently. Since he signed for £16.2m in the summer of 2017, he has rarely had a run in the team.

Injuries and illness have been one factor, while West Ham’s inconsistency and managerial changes have not helped.

In a recent interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Hernandez spoke of his dilemma when he said: “I want to play, to participate as much as possible, and I have the ability to win a place, but I need to respect the decisions being taken and, for that reason, I am not closing the door on moving this winter.

“There is an exit door and another in the summer. I’m happy here but I want to play more. I am not ruling it out but it needs to be for a top club and that is the case now or in the summer.”

Hernandez’s salary, thought to be around £145,000 per week, is another consideration, especially when he is not a regular in the team.

Under Manuel Pellegrini, Hernandez looks certain to be handed more game-time, especially if he continues to link so well with Brazilian Anderson (both right), himself looking more at home with every game.

“I spoke with Javier and the club at the beginning of the season,” said Pellegrini. “Whenever I am asked if he can leave, I repeat the same answer: he is a very important player for us. He hasn’t played more for us because he was out for more than a month with illness (glandular fever).

“It was very difficult for him to recover his best shape, but easy to pick up muscle injuries, so we started giving him the minutes he deserved in every game.

“Now he has the option to start and form is very important. He is in good shape and scored two goals at the weekend. Now the future will depend on him.

“Most of the teams I have managed have had two strikers. With Marko Arnautovic in the team as well, we need a box player — and Javier is one of those.”

Pellegrini would surely have liked to have kept an unchanged team for Tuesday's match, but a hamstring injury to Aaron Cresswell means that Arthur Masuaku is likely to replace him at left-back.

West Ham will also leave it late before deciding whether Fabian Balbuena has recovered from a knock, otherwise his place in central defence will be taken by Angelo Ogbonna.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

BubblesCyprus 3:42 Tue Dec 4
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated

gph 3:17 Tue Dec 4
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

Thanks Alan 1:15 Tue Dec 4
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Crassus 12:44 Tue Dec 4

Crassus 12:44 Tue Dec 4
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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