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Alan 1:26 Fri Dec 28
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Paris St-Germain have held talks with Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 28, about a January move. The Wales international is out of contract at the end of the season. (L'Equipe - in French)

And the French side are readying a £9m bid for Ramsey to ward off interest from Bayern Munich and Juventus. (Mirror)

Manchester City will not try to sign anyone in January, meaning they could miss out on Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong. (The Times)

De Jong has agreed a five-year deal with Barcelona, who will now hope to negotiate a lower fee than the 75m (£67.8m) euros Ajax want for the 21-year-old. (Sport)

Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola scrapped his squad's day off on Christmas Eve and made them practise corners in an extra training session. (Sun)

PSG are also keen on 29-year-old Everton and Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gueye. (L'Equipe - in French)

Manchester United will consider Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri in their search for a new permanent manager. (ESPN)

Allegri, 51, is keen on the job and has been taking English lessons over the past year with the view to working in the Premier League one day. (The Times)

Tottenham believe Real Madrid are a bigger threat than Manchester United to take manager Mauricio Pochettino. (Telegraph)

Manchester United will not announce their new manager before the end of the season. (Talksport)

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has no intention of selling France midfielder Paul Pogba, 25, in January or the summer despite interest from Juventus and Barcelona. (Telegraph)

Eden Hazard is still not prepared to discuss a new contract at Chelsea until the summer, amid interest from Real Madrid in the 27-year-old playmaker. (Sun)

West Ham have offered free agent forward Samir Nasri, 31, an £80,000-a-week contract until the end of the season, with his doping ban set to end on 31 December. (Mirror)

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri is prepared to swap Cottagers captain Tom Cairney, 27, for Newcastle's 26-year-old midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.(Sun)

Tottenham striker Harry Kane says his side's success this season justifies them not signing any players in the summer. (ESPN)

Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno says he is not happy with how he has been treated by manager Jurgen Klopp and wants to return to Spain, with his contract set to expire in June. (Onda Cero, via AS)

Gonzalo Higuain wants to move to Chelsea and Juventus are prepared to sell the 31-year-old striker, who is currently on loan at AC Milan. (Sportmediaset - in Italian)

Everton boss Marco Silva insists Turkey striker Cenk Tosun, 27, still has a future at the club. (Guardian)

Nottingham Forest players are "still behind" manager Aitor Karanka, despite the Spaniard's position coming under scrutiny after a poor run of results. (Nottingham Post)

Real Madrid want to sign Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo, 22, as the successor to Marcelo, but face competition from Arsenal and Manchester City. (AS)

A clause in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's Arsenal contract meant the Gunners had to pay former club Southampton £10,000 every time the England midfielder played more than 20 minutes in a match. (Mail)

Colombia centre-back Jeison Murillo, 26, wants a permanent move to Barcelona after joining on loan from Valencia until the end of the season and can be signed for 25m euros (£22.6m). (Marca)

Thorgan Hazard - younger brother of Eden - will not be allowed to leave Borussia Monchengladbach in January despite interest from several clubs, including Tottenham, while Chelsea also have a buy-back clause for the 25-year-old this summer. (Bild - in German)

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy is considering a call-up for Southampton winger Nathan Redmond, despite the 24-year-old having won an England cap in a friendly. (Mail)

Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin will meet with Bayern Munich in January but will not let France defender Lucas Hernandez, 22, leave until the summer. (Spox - in German)

Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are both interested in signing 18-year-old French centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo from Toulouse. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

Samir Nasri, whose 12-month doping ban is coming towards its conclusion, is on his way back to England, with the Mirror saying he has been offered a bumper six-month contract, with an option to keep him longer should everything work out swimmingly, by West Ham. Nasri, who won the title at Manchester City under West Ham’s current manager, Manuel Pellegrini, could earn £80,000 a week at the London Stadium (the Mill, incidentally, has spotted some uncanny similarities between this morning’s Mirror “exclusive” and the almost identical story published by the Evening Standard the best part of two months ago, the difference perhaps being that with the player’s ban ending on December 31, something could actually happen very soon).

The Hammers could also move for Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama, who could join a mass exodus from the fringes of the Spurs first team. According to the Mail they would consider selling Wanyama as well as Mousa Dembélé – wanted by Monaco and perhaps Internazionale – Georges-Kévin Nkoudou, Vincent Janssen, Fernando Llorente and Michel Vorm in the January transfer window. And if they all go Tottenham might even sign someone as well.

Though the uncertainty over their manager’s long-term future is unlikely to help the club sell itself to potential recruits. The Telegraph this morning says that Real Madrid could make a double swoop on London in the summer to snaffle Mauricio Pochettino and Eden Hazard. Hazard, they insist, “is prepared to keep Chelsea sweating on his future until the summer as he waits to find out if Real Madrid will make him their No1 transfer target” (and is also miffed at not being allowed to play in his favoured left-wing spot all the time), while Tottenham, whose manager is believed to be toppermost of Manchester United’s managerial wish-list – though ESPN say Juventus’s Massimiliano Allegri is also upon it – “believe Real pose a bigger threat in their fight to hold on to him”.

Across London, Aaron Ramsey’s departure from Arsenal could now be imminent. L’Equipe say he has already been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain (while also linking Everton’s Idrissa Gueye to the Parisian outfit) while the Mirror aver that they could make a £9m bid in January, as they attempt to outdo their rivals for the Welshman’s summer free transfer by throwing a pot of cash in the direction of the Emirates Stadium and running off with him immediately.

In further London-based midfielder news, the Sun point out that Tom Cairney, the Fulham captain, is not guaranteed a place in the Cottagers’ starting XI at present and that he has previously been linked with Newcastle, where Jonjo Shelvey has dropped out of favour over the last couple of months, and thus proposes a mutually convenient January swaperoo. Fulham, they add, are also keen on West Ham’s Pedro Obiang.

Leeds want to sign Hull City’s 22-year-old winger Jarrod Bowen, who has scored eight league goals so far this season, to replace the departing Samuel Sáiz, but will be asked to shell out £6.5m to make it happen. Sáiz is joining Getafe on loan and is not the only northern-based forward making such a journey, with Middlesbrough’s Danish international Martin Braithwaite heading to Leganés after, according to the Telegraph, causing “deep frustration at Boro this season with his attitude”.


Felipe Anderson’s double for West Ham leaves Southampton deep in trouble

Stuart James at St Mary's Stadium

Southampton’s revival under Ralph Hasenhüttl was brought to an abrupt halt on a night when Felipe Anderson delivered the sort of performance that suggests West Ham United have a new hero in their ranks. The Brazilian was outstanding as he scored twice in six minutes to turn this game on its head and extinguish any hopes Southampton had of putting some distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

Nathan Redmond’s early second-half goal – bundled over the line with his arm – put Southampton ahead but that lead lasted for 168 seconds. Felipe Anderson scored only once in his opening 10 Premier League games after joining from Lazio in a club-record £36m deal but the 25-year-old has been making up for lost time since. He hauled West Ham level here with a terrific shot from just outside the area and then made it seven goals in his last nine matches by finishing off a superb counterattack with a beautifully placed winner.

The Brazilian fired his first from the edge of the area through a crowd of bodies into the bottom corner

His second goal of the game came following a devastating counter attack from a Southampton corner

That double blow left Southampton in a state of shock from which they never really recovered. Hasenhüttl, who had won two of his previous three games in charge, admitted his players looked tired in the closing half an hour and also expressed his frustration with the way that “old behaviours were seen today”. Southampton have lost more points from a winning position this season than any other Premier League club, which is why the manner of this defeat felt all too familiar.

West Ham, on paper, were welcome opponents. Manuel Pellegrini has a major injury crisis on his hands – he is without 10 senior players and was able to name only six substitutes here – yet the visitors looked the more accomplished side throughout. Declan Rice was particularly impressive in the centre of midfield in the first half, when Southampton faded after Danny Ings stabbed an early chance into the side-netting, while Felipe Anderson became more and more influential for West Ham and was unlucky not to finish the game with a hat-trick.

Southampton, however, were entitled to question whether his second goal should have come about. Television replays showed Rice wrestling with Jan Bednarek in the West Ham area in the lead-up to the breakaway that ended with Michail Antonio releasing Felipe Anderson clear on goal. “I haven’t seen it. But I heard it,” Hasenhúttl said, when asked about the penalty claim. “Maybe with VAR it can be a penalty for us. It could make a big difference for us in that moment. But we try to look at ourselves first and find the mistakes we made.”

The Southampton manager was particularly disappointed in that respect. “We didn’t have our best evening; too many players didn’t perform like they did maybe last week or the week before,” he said. “And you see what I tell my players, that it’s the Premier League and, if you make easy mistakes like we did on the second goal, then you don’t deserve to win. The first goal we could also defend better. It was too easy how we gave our 1-0 lead away.”

Pellegrini, in contrast, could reflect on a hugely satisfying night, especially given that long list of absentees. West Ham have now won five out of their last six league games and they are up to ninth in the table, with 27 points on the board – not bad for a team that have been playing catch-up after losing their first four fixtures.

Felipe Anderson is clearly their star attraction, although Pellegrini was guarded in his praise. “I think he will continue improving,” West Ham’s manager said. “He still loses too many balls, maybe because he must understand the Premier League is difficult if you keep the ball in your feet. But in every game he makes important plays and that’s the most great thing that he has.”

The match had been a slowburner and precious little happened before the break, apart from Lucas Pérez squandering a golden chance for West Ham. It came to life after the interval, however, when Redmond scored within five minutes of the restart. Lukasz Fabianski initially denied the Southampton winger, who was played onside by Grady Diangana, and the West Ham goalkeeper also thwarted Oriol Romeu. Redmond refused to give up, though, and controversially nudged the ball over the line.

Felipe Anderson then equalised with a 22-yard shot that flashed inside Alex McCarthy’s near post. If McCarthy’s positioning was questionable on that occasion, there was nothing Southampton’s goalkeeper could do to prevent West Ham’s second. Antonio tore upfield and picked out Felipe Anderson, who took a couple of touches to steady himself before steering a rising shot into the far corner. Although Fabianski had earlier denied Stuart Armstrong and later kept out Mario Lemina’s effort, Pérez and Felipe Anderson both had chances to add a third for West Ham.


Felipe Anderson fires West Ham to victory from behind against Southampton and into top half

Sam Wallace, Chief Football Writer

In a year of living dangerously, West Ham’s biggest financial investment of all, the £42million on Felipe Anderson, looks like it might just be their soundest yet with two goals on this night for their Brazilian star that take his club into the top half of the Premier League table.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team, hit with 10 players out injured and one short of a full set of substitutes, won with two goals from Anderson in the second half that emphasised the importance of a player who can take his opportunities. They go into their final game of 2018 in ninth place in the Premier League, the early crisis that beset the Pellegrini regime looking ever more distant and their manager talking about climbing higher.

The Hammers have won five of their last six Premier League games and could look back on a night which owed much to the saves of Lukasz Fabianski who thwarted Southampton when required. But it was Anderson whose rapid feet and ice-cold finishing when it mattered were the centre-piece of the win, and takes him to eight for the league season.

Pellegrini said later Anderson still “loses too many balls” although not this evening. He was bought to be the difference in games for West Ham and in the battle outside the top six, the club have two of the best players in their Brazilian and the injured Marko Arnautovic. Anderson now has seven goals in his last nine games and Pellegrini said later that his summer signing could yet do better.

“Felipe is just getting to know the Premier League – he’s improving,” Pellegrini said. “It’s not easy to score seven goals [in nine games]. I am sure he will continue to improve in the second part of the season.”

Pellegrini has been forced to move players around his team to fill positions and was rewarded with some good performances, including Declan Rice in central midfield. The West Ham fans called for the teenager to get his new contract soon, although the club insist he is contracted until 2021 when one takes into consideration the extra year’s option. He was a little fortunate with a foul committed at the start of the move for Anderson’s second goal, although Southampton’s new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl did not try to make the case for his side deserving more.

They scored at the start of the second half when Nathan Redmond handled the ball over the line at the third attempt, although they then conspired to throw it all away. They have now conceded 15 points from winning positions – more than any other side in the division - and although that is not all Hasenhüttl’s doing by any means, it is now his problem. “We didn’t have the best evening,” he said. “Too many players didn’t perform like they did in the last two weeks.”

It was clear that there was a tiredness among the Saints players after an enthusiastic first few minutes. “I was expecting there would come a time when you feel that the freshness is gone and the speed slows down,” Hasenhüttl said. “We didn’t make such deep runs. We made the decision to play back. Against a team as physically strong as West Ham you don’t have time to play back.”

Without the suspended Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and the injured teenager Michael Obafemi, Hasenhüttl warned darkly of seeing “a lot of the old behaviours”. The home crowd at St Mary’s came anticipating something more after the two victories over Arsenal and Huddersfield Town but their team remain in 16th place with some forbidding games coming up soon.

Pellegrini had named only six substitutes on a bench permitted to accommodate seven, his chief reason being that Pablo Zabaleta, who would have started, had gone down with illness the previous night. The West Ham manager has been dipping into the Under-23s team to make up the numbers.

It was a slow burner of a game with only one first half chance scuffed wide of the post by Lucas Perez whose confidence looked badly shot. Saints missed Hojbjerg and the sight of Oriol Romeu trying stoically to dribble round fellow holding midfielder Rice late in the first half, summed up the futility of much of their efforts. Danny Ings worked himself into the ground to make chances but was too often isolated.

The young Grady Diangana was responsible for playing onside Redmond for Saints’ goal, which was why the latter found himself unexpectedly unflagged and in a surprising amount of space for his first shot. Somehow Fabianski saved, also getting up to block the follow-up from Romeu. Alas, for West Ham the third was beyond their goalkeeper, forced over the line by Redmond’s arm.

West Ham’s first came just 168 seconds after that Southampton goal, a move beginning with Aaron Cresswell’s work down the left and a ball cleared straight to Anderson who had started the sequence. He struck a shot sweetly with his right foot inside Alex McCarthy’s near post before the goalkeeper had time to weigh his options.

The Brazilian got the second after an entertaining tearaway counter-attack which began with a Southampton corner. When the Saints corner came into the area, Rice fouled Jan Bednarek – a clear penalty if the referee Craig Pawson had seen it, but a risky move that paid dividends. Michail Antonio carried the ball forward the furthest and will have been surprised to see almost half his team-mates on the counter with him. He correctly picked out the right ball to Anderson whose finish was frankly a cut above anything else on the night.

The 4th Official

West Ham United Players Rated From Win Vs Southampton

West Ham United clinched their fifth win in last six matches as the Hammers got the better of their opponents Southampton in a crucial matchup in the Premier League. It was a hard-fought affair at the St Mary’s Stadium as the east London club responded with two quick goals via Felipe Anderson after Nathan Redmond opened the scoring for the South Coast club. The scoreline remained 1-2 in favour of the visitors, and West Ham United came out as the eventual winners.

Here is how the West Ham United players were rated from their win against Southampton.

Lukasz Fabianski: 7

Made a number of crucial saves throughout the match to help his side get over the line against a resilient opposition.

Michail Antonio: 6

Did well to press the opposition on the run. Was caught off guard a few times while defending.

Angelo Ogbonna: 6

Sturdy performance from the centre back in the first half. Looked a bit shaky in the second though.

Issa Diop: 7

Kept his composure throughout the match and helped his side get all three points.

Aaron Cresswell: 6

Made some good runs with the ball in the danger area but his backtracking was not great.

Pedro Obiang: 7

Was given the nod ahead of Mark Noble and he made good utilisation of the opportunity by putting in a solid shift in midfield.

Declan Rice: 7

Reliable as ever. Partnered well with Obiang to break the opposition attacks before they could build.

Grady Diangana: 6

Did well in the midfield with his physicality and presence of mind.

Robert Snodgrass: 6

Made a few good runs into the danger area with the ball but lost his composure in the second half. Looked a bit fatigued as well.

Felipe Anderson: 8

The star of the show for the Hammers. Kept deceiving the opposition players with his classy footwork and agility. Cancelled out Redmond’s opener to score twice in quick succession to sink the Saints at St Mary’s in the second half.

Lucas Perez: 6

Led the line with grit. Didn’t look at his hundred per cent though.


Andy Carroll: 6

His physicality had some influence on the opposition defenders throughout the match.

Mark Noble: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

Arthur Masuaku: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.


Samir Nasri offered West Ham contract worth £80,000-per-week after serving doping ban

The French midfielder last played for Antalyaspor but could be reunited with Manuel Pellegrini

By Darren Lewis

West Ham have offered Samir Nasri a six-month contract worth £80,000-a-week.

The Irons have backed boss Manuel Pellegrini by handing the 31-year-old French midfielder a heavily-incentivised deal until the end of the season.

It means the pair are reunited after Nasri lifted the title under Pellegrini at Manchester City four years ago.

It also comes with Pellegrini hit by the loss of striker Javier Hernandez and defender Fabian Balbuena.

Balbuena suffered a knee injury against Watford on Saturday and striker Hernandez came off with back and hamstring problems.

Should Nasri impress, West Ham will have an option to keep him beyond next summer.

He will not be able to play for the Hammers until they host Brighton on January 2 as he is currently serving an 18-month doping ban which ends on December 31.

As a result Nasri has been training with the east Londoners in a bid to regain his fitness. West Ham have moved for him with their midfield ravaged by injuries this season.

The club have lost summer captures Carlos Sanchez and Wilshere to injury after selling Cheikou Kouyate to Crystal Palace. Manuel Lanzini has also been a long-term absentee with a knee injury.

West Ham have also lost £22million Ukrainian Yarmalenko for six months with a torn Achilles.

The Boot Room

After smashing 15 year record, Jayden Fevrier one to watch for West Ham

By Sam Leveridge

West Ham United may have an up and coming star to keep an eye in the form of Jayden Fevrier after the teenager smashed club captain Mark Noble’s record as the youngest ever player to feature for the club’s under 23 team.

Fevrier made his debut as a substitute against Leicester City in October at the age of 15 years, six months and 12 days, beating Noble’s record by two and a half months when he made his first appearance at that level in February 2003.

A versatile defender, Fevrier was deployed at left-back and continues to progress, having only made his under 18 debut a year before, in November 2017, at the age of just 14 years and seven months.

The youngster’s rapid rise through the ranks has impressed a number of coaches and, given the opportunities afforded to the likes of Grady Diangana and Declan Rice in the past year, he may hope to continue building on that.

It is still early days in Fevrier’s development at the club, but given his versatility, it is easy to see why he is a coach’s dream. Much like Noble, his attitude has opened doors for him and made a strong first impression.

Now, the England under 16 international will hope to continue to build on his success to date and follow further in the footsteps of Noble in progressing from inexperienced teenager to club captain.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 1:35 Sat Dec 29
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Crassus 12:07 Sat Dec 29
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Thank you for this and a years fine service to the board - would not be the same without your contribution mate and wishing you a healthy new year

gph 6:12 Fri Dec 28
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Southampton is full of Antleys, then...

Thanks, Alan

SDKFZ 222 3:41 Fri Dec 28
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ironsofcanada 1:32 Fri Dec 28

I have been reading comments on the Saintsweb forum.

They are decrying the Rice ‘foul’ but Redmond’s handballed goal is rarely mentioned.

Thanks Alan 1:44 Fri Dec 28
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

ironsofcanada 1:32 Fri Dec 28
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks for this

Good see the papers calling out Redmond's goal for what it was.

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