WHO Poll

Alan 11:30 Wed Feb 27
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, 28, is in danger of being priced out of Manchester United, despite their willingness to offer him a new £350,000-a-week deal. (Evening Standard)

Arsenal are planning a £25m summer bid for Celtic's 21-year-old Scotland left-back Kieran Tierney. (Scottish Sun)

Juventus have no intention of bringing Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain back to the club after the 31-year-old's loan at Chelsea finishes. (Il Corriere di Torino, via Sun)

Manchester United are monitoring 30-year-old Barcelona and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic. (Mail)

Roma are resigned to losing sporting director Monchi, with Arsenal leading contenders to hire the 50-year-old Spaniard in the summer. (Evening Standard)

Tottenham's Spain striker Fernando Llorente, 34, says it would be nice to retire at former club Athletic Bilbao. (Marca - in Spanish)

Bayern Munich will sign Atletico Madrid's France defender Lucas Hernandez, 23, in the summer, paying his 80m euro release clause. (Sport Bild - in German)

Napoli have offered Mauro Icardi a 11m-euro-a-year contract, but Inter Milan prefer to sell the 26-year-old Argentina striker to Juventus. (Tuttomercatoweb - in Italian)

Watford are among the clubs interested in Boavista's 18-year-old Portuguese defender Goncalo Cardoso. (Mail)

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger's brother says Spain's Cesar Azpilicueta, 29, should be stripped of the Blues captaincy and Rudiger should replace him. (Mirror)

Southampton are preparing to make a fresh move for RB Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin. The 21-year-old France Under-21 international has also been monitored by Everton.(Mail)

Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana, 22, is on Barcelona's shortlist should Netherlands international Jasper Cillessen, 29, leave the club. (El Club de la Mitjanit, via Sport)

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen says Germany team-mate Marco Reus would have been a great signing for the La Liga giants, if the midfielder, 29, had not wished to stay at Borussia Dortmund. (DAZN, via Goal)

Former Portugal international Ricardo Quaresma's wage demands have put Toronto FC off signing the 35-year-old Besiktas winger. (ESPN)

West Brom are tracking 20-year-old Crawley Town defender David Sesay. (Sun)

Sixth-tier Bradford Park Avenue's boss Mark Bower is one of the surprise favourites for the Bradford City job. (Telegraph & Argus)

Tottenham have announced an "official supplier of toiletries". (TottenhamHotspur.com)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Niall McVeigh

Maurizio Sarri may have, at a conservative estimate, 99 problems – but apparently Chelsea’s transfer ban isn’t one. Sarri has said the club is working on being able to make summer signings – although whether he’ll be around to reap the benefits is another matter. Calciomercato reports Fifa will not hold Roman Abramovich up for long – and that Chelsea could sign the Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli.

If the Blues are still tied up in red tape, then Manchester United could benefit. Ole Gunnar Solskjær appears destined for the permanent gig at Old Trafford, and is targeting Romagnoli and the Barcelona playmaker Ivan Rakitic in a continental spending spree. It won’t be three Rs, though, with the perma-linked Cristiano Ronaldo staying at Juventus.

Speaking of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema isn’t missing him at Real Madrid. “I played geared to Cristiano,” he told France Football. “I looked for him continually with the objective to help him score. Now I am the leader of the attack.” Good for you, Karim. But what’s this? Real linked with Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Neymar and/or Paulo Dybala in a £300m+ attacking splurge? Oh Karim!

Gerard Deulofeu’s hat-trick heroics have caught the attention of Milan, where he was on loan in 2017, and while the Spaniard says he’s “focused on Watford”, he’s not entirely convincing. “I was happiest at Milan,” he told Mundo Deportivo. “I felt very loved there, I enjoyed my football a lot.” Watford may find a replacement from an unusual source – the club’s president, Elton John, who fancies himself as a lower-league scout, according to the chairman, Scott Duxbury.

Arsenal are looking for a head of recruitment but if Sir Elton doesn’t fancy it, they are targeting Roma’s Monchi – having been firmly rebuffed by Ajax after chasing their technical director, the former Gunner Marc Overmars. Monchi may have even approved a move for the Lille winger Nicolas Pépé, also wanted by United, Spurs and Wolves. “We are not a rich club,” Lille’s Luís Campos told French media while waving a tiny white flag. “If a really good proposal comes in, we have to sell him.”

Unai Emery may also wave £30m in Celtic’s direction for the left-back Kieran Tierney, while in jarringly unrelated news, the Leipzig forward Jean-Kévin Augustin is attracting interest from Everton and Southampton. On the continent, Juventus like the look of the Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé but not the £78m price tag, and Barcelona will continue the dismantling of Ajax’s thrilling young team by signing the goalkeeper André Onana.

Finally, some done deals that look made up, but aren’t. Sone Aluko has left Reading to join the Chinese Super League newcomers Beijing Renhe; Lacina Traoré, once at Everton, has rocked up at the Hungarian outfit Ujpest; and Greg Halford, released by Cardiff last summer, is back in the game with Aberdeen.


West Ham’s Pablo Zabaleta way past it now, despite fresh contract rumours

By Alex Rigby

If West Ham United want to make drastic changes to their fortunes they’re going to need to shake a reputation they’ve picked up as the graveyard for past-prime footballers.

According to the Standard, Pablo Zabaleta, 34, is due to be rewarded with a fresh two-year contact by his former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini who believes the player provides key experience and influence in the dressing room.

He’s not wrong. The Argentine is one of three squad members who have won the Premier League title in the past and he definitely knows how to win (in theory).

But fans would be forgiven for worrying that his future role at the club is far more hands-on than the advisory role Pellegrini has hinted.

Isn’t it about time they called quits on their attempts to flog a dead horse? Here are two reasons why Zabaleta shouldn’t be handed a new contract…


The obvious one.

Pablo Zabaleta will be 36-years-old by the time he hangs up his boots at West Ham United, which is old for a modern full-back.

Gone are the days where you’d find him capably marauding up and down the right-hand side. Instead, he’s now adopted a more conservative approach to play, and this is affecting West Ham.

Too often, you’ll find a youthful opposing player skipping past the Premier League winner, and as much as Pellegrini talks up his experience, no amount of that will bring back the pace and agility needed to stay effective in this league.


The money could, and should, be spent elsewhere.

Zabaleta is yet to commit to another contract with his current term set to run out this summer, and maybe this is a good time to wave goodbye and invest the money elsewhere.

The club are evidently willing to spend money now having broken their transfer record earlier this year on Felipe Anderson. So why stop there?

West Ham are two decent full-backs away from having a very solid defensive unit and upgrading should be of paramount importance.

They’d be wise to avoid links Antonio Valencia, as well (source: The Sun).

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 8:54 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Texas Iron 8:53 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Gazza_AZ 4:14 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Eleanor Rigby maybe !!

Jasnik 3:26 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alex Rigby = Gazza_AZ

bill green 12:50 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Tottenham have announced an "official supplier of toiletries". (TottenhamHotspur.com) hahhaha

ludo21 11:41 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Theyd be wise to avoid links to Antonio Valencia"

Couldn't agree more!

Thanks Alan 11:33 Wed Feb 27
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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