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Alan 1:22 Tue Jan 29
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal want to sign Chelsea and former England centre-half Gary Cahill, 33, to help ease their defensive injury problems. (Mirror)

Everton's 29-year-old midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who was the subject of a failed £21.5m bid from Paris St-Germain, wants to leave the Goodison Park club. (Mail)

Chelsea want to sign Croatia and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 30, in the summer. (Sport, via Express)

Manchester City are interested in signing Leicester and England defender Ben Chilwell, 22, this summer. (ESPN)

Liverpool and Senegal winger Sadio Mane, 26, says the Reds are his "only concern" amid speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid. (World Soccer)

Newcastle United have yet to sign anyone in January and manager Rafael Benitez has offered no guarantees he will stay at the club. (Times - subscription required)

But Benitez, whose Magpies contract expires at the end of the season, says it would be "very difficult" for him to leave Newcastle after the January transfer window closes on Thursday. (Sun)

Manchester United were interested in Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic under former boss Jose Mourinho but are not set to compete with Arsenal for the 29-year-old Croatia international now the Portuguese has left the club. (Evening Standard)

Manchester United have offered Spain midfielder Juan Mata, 30, a 12-month contract extension in a bid to stop him leaving on a free transfer. (Mirror)

Tottenham are planning a £30m summer move for Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, with the 22-year-old also being monitored by PSG. (ESPN)

Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara has been suspended by the club and linked with a move away from the Cottagers. However, manager Claudio Ranieri says he would welcome the 23-year-old back into his squad after the London side's investigation into the Frenchman. (Mail)

Leicester have turned down a bid from Aston Villa to take Austria left-back Christian Fuchs, 32, on loan until the end of the season. (Sky Sports)

Manchester City have agreed to sell Wales winger Rabbi Matondo, 18 for an £11.29m fee to German club Schalke.(Telegraph)

Tottenham are planning a summer move for Valencia's Spanish midfielder Carlos Soler, 22. (ESPN)

Burnley are considering moves for Birmingham's English striker Che Adams, 22, and Tottenham and Netherlands forward Vincent Janssen, 24. (Mail)

Ligue 1 side Lille are in talks with Swansea to sign their captain and Netherlands midfielder Leroy Fer, 29. (Sky Sports)

The Swans' Fer is also a target for Turkish giants Fenerbahce. (Mail)

Wolves will pay £18m - equalling their club record - to buy Spanish defender Jonny Castro Otto, 24, who is currently on loan at the club from Atletico Madrid. (Express & Star)

Southampton striker Charlie Austin, 29, will be allowed to leave the club if an offer is made. (Daily Echo)

West Ham are in talks with Celta Vigo over a double deal for Uruguay striker Maxi Gomez, 22, and 24-year-old Slovakia midfielder Stanislav Lobotka. (Teamtalk)

Reading's Portuguese defender Tiago Ilori, 25, is nearing a return to former club Sporting. (O Jogo - in Portuguese)

Leeds will make a £6m offer for 21-year-old Swansea and Wales winger Daniel James in a deal which will also include incentives worth a further £4m. (Sun)

Hull City boss Nigel Adkins is weighing up a move for English defender and free agent Liam Ridgewell after inviting the 34-year-old to train with the club. (Hull Daily Mail)

Sheffield United will snub a £4m offer from West Ham for Scottish midfielder John Fleck, 27. (Yorkshire Post)

Nottingham Forest's former Scotland defender Danny Fox, 32, will have a medical at Wigan on Tuesday. (Sky Sports)

The departure of manager Arsene Wenger and his staff from Arsenal cost the Gunners £17.1m. (Times - subscription required)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Simon Burnton

Chelsea are preparing a summer swoop for Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, reports the Spanish paper Sport. Barcelona, having agreed the transfer of Frenkie de Jong and with Adrien Rabiot likely to follow, have a glut of midfielders and not all of them can stay. Rakitic, subject of “a colossal offer from Paris Saint-Germain last summer”, is braced for fresh bids – and they are likely to come from England.

“Apart from Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have the player in their sights for June,” Sport report. “They want to know the availability of the player and will wait until the January window closes to test the water.” The Croatian apparently intends to concentrate on his football for the remainder of the season, before deciding his next step. “Barça are clear,” Sport concludes, “that there will be very juicy exit options for the player.” One thing Chelsea will not be doing any time soon is selling Callum Hudson-Odoi, who will now stay until the end of the season.

Across London, Unai Emery says Arsenal will make up for this month’s lack of action in the summer. “The club is telling me this moment is not good to buy players, but they say to me in the summer it is going to be different – we are going to have chances to spend money to buy players.” The Times meanwhile reports, coincidentally, that the departure of Arsène Wenger at the end of last season cost the club £17.1m in severance pay, handed to the Frenchman and members of his coaching staff.

Across London, Tottenham are said to be preparing a £30m summer assault for the Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, according to ESPN. After taking a two-transfer-window break from transfer-related activity they are preparing to dust of the chequebook at the end of the season and the Spanish Under-21 international has been “regularly watched by Tottenham’s scouting team during this campaign”, meaning that despite potential rival interest from PSG “Spurs are the frontrunners”. The Mail insists Spurs have plenty of money in their transfer kitty but that Mauricio Pochettino “has been unwilling to seek a big name, instead weighing up moves for talent that can be developed such as Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen and Jack Clarke of Leeds”.

Burnley are joining Southampton in the hunt for Birmingham’s Che Adams, says the Mirror, despite having an £8m offer rejected. “Birmingham want to keep their prized asset,” they report, “but an offer in excess of £15m could land the striker.” Southampton, says the Sun, will pay £11m, while the Express says that West Ham “are preparing a £10m deadline-day move” for the in-demand 22-year-old goal-grabber. If Burnley sign him they could sell Sam Vokes, perhaps to Stoke. Southampton however will sell Charlie Austin even if no new striker has arrived.

West Ham are keen on Sheffield United’s 27-year-old midfielder John Fleck, who is valued in the Mirror at £4m. Leeds want Swansea’s Daniel James and will offer a downpayment of £6m with the promise of another £4m to come, which will disappoint the Swans, who are said to expect £12m for someone the Sun call “jet-heeled James”.

Finally Manchester United will give Juan Mata a 12-month contract extension, thereby committing themselves to paying around £130,000 a week, or £6.8m in total, to a player they hardly use simply to prevent him leaving on a free transfer in the summer. This seems perfectly reasonable to us.


West Ham star Samir Nasri explains what really led to his doping ban

West Ham star Samir Nasri was recently suspended from playing football for eighteen months by anti-doping agency WADA until January 2019 following a doping violation.

The former France international then signed for the Hammers following the ban, and has since become a key part of manager Manuel Pellegrini’s plans.

Nasri has now revealed the events that led to his ban to L’Équipe (via GFFN).

“I was on holiday with my family. I became ill, I had a virus. I did not leave my rooms, I was suffering from vomiting, big headaches, I was empty. I called a friend and told him to find me a doctor. He couldn’t. He said to me: “there is a clinic, it will re-boost you”. Especially as I was going back to Sevilla in two days time,” the former Arsenal and Manchester City star told L’Équipe (via GFFN).

“I said ok. I didn’t know the rules. And that by the way, should serve as a lesson to all young players, to properly read the anti-doping rules, to really pay attention because everything can go in a completely different direction. To be honest, I did not think that anything would come of it.

“This woman came to give me a drip of vitamins. She asked for a photo, I said yes, for me I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was of the view that this was not a doping product, it was fine. Can I promise that I have never doped? Yes, I have handed over the files, there was no doping product in it.”

The 31-year-old has played two Premier League games for West Ham since signing a deal until the end of 2018-19, assisting once, and he will be hoping to prove himself all over again after impressive spells with City and Arsenal.

Nasri spent three seasons at Arsenal, scoring 27 goals in 125 appearances across all competitions.

It was at Manchester City that the former Marseille attacking midfielder enjoyed most success, though, winning the Premier League twice and the League Cup once and making the PFA Team of the Year after scoring 27 goals in 176 appearances in five seasons at the Etihad.

He left England for Sevilla in the summer of 2016 on loan before linking up with Turkish side Antalyaspor the following season.


West Ham remain the Premier League's most baffling team both on and off the pitch

Alistair Tweedale

Just about every single football fan on the planet considers it "typical" when their team follows up their best performance of the season with a woeful defeat.

West Ham supporters will argue that claim is most accurate when said about their club, though. West Ham are utterly confusing and totally inconsistent on the pitch and equally baffling off it.

Investment in the team has been heavy for a number of years now, and Manuel Pellegrini, who will be costing the club a fair amount himself, has been backed significantly in the transfer market.

They have an expensive, talented squad and plenty of flair to go with a decent smattering of experience.

West Ham have produced a handful of displays to be proud of this season - the 3-0 win at Newcastle, a 3-1 win over Manchester United and this month's victory over Arsenal stand out - but the contrast with some of their poorer games is concerning.

Tenth in the table and 12 points clear of the drop zone, a forgettable first few months of the season has been left behind, but while relegation is almost certainly out of the question, any kind of challenge to the top six is also well out of reach.

So with the league season almost certain to peter out, the FA Cup presented a real and genuine chance of an adventure.

And yet, a West Ham team including two-time Premier League winner Javier Hernandez, £22m Issa Diop and plenty more quality contrived to crash out this weekend to AFC Wimbledon.

That's bottom-of-League-One Wimbledon, who have scored just 22 goals in 29 games this season and struggled past non-league Haringey Borough in the last round. They scored four against West Ham.

That result, naturally, came just two weeks after the defeat of Arsenal.

Then, just 22 minutes after going out of the cup, the club announced a contract extension for Marko Arnautovic.

For a little perspective, let's quickly rewind to January 10.

It was then that, in light of interest from the Chinese Super League, Arnautovic's brother and agent said: “Now West Ham have a fantastic offer. It is close to double what they paid for him. He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants. It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.”

On Saturday night, a “happy” Arnautovic was telling fans to “listen to what this club and myself are saying... don't listen to the other people who are not in the club” having just been handed a new and improved contract. Funny how things like that work out.

The new contract is reported to include a pay rise and release clause that means Arnautovic can leave in the summer for the right price.

So, which one is it? Is he happy at the club or still seeking these trophies in China? It sounds distinctly as though he's committed to West Ham only until a better offer comes along.

Meanwhile, his brother's statement also suggests something else worrying about the club: that they are not going to be challenging for "titles".

With the league season heading for an uneventful mid-table finish, West Ham should surely have been taking the cups more seriously this season.

The addition of 'The General' Fabian Balbuena to an already lengthy injury list has not helped, but they should have had more than enough to see off Wimbledon. If motivation was the problem then that falls at Pellegrini's door and needs addressing. Losses to Brighton and Bournemouth the week after beating United and Arsenal, respectively, hint that that could be an issue.

It all points to a confused approach. What exactly are West Ham hoping to achieve?

“Our target, of course, is to climb as high as possible in the league table,” said Arnautovic after signing his new contract. Inspiring stuff.

It's only fair that the fans might expect slightly more than that given not only the investment but also the vast potential this team have shown.

Wolves are up next for West Ham on Tuesday night. That's a far harder game than Wimbledon, but it would be no surprise to see West Ham get a result. Wouldn't that just be typical.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Lee Trundle 1:30 Tue Jan 29
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Thanks Alan 1:26 Tue Jan 29
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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