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Alan 1:59 Sun Mar 31
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy would want £130m from Real Madrid for Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, 27. (Sunday Mirror)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, has held two phone conversations with Real over a move to Spain for the 26-year-old. (Marca, via Manchester Evening News)

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has told Pogba he wants him at the Bernabeu and insists he does not know why the France international-old would not want to move to the Spanish giants. (Sunday Mirror)

Paris St-Germain will meet David de Gea's wage demands of £350,000 a week and the 28-year-old Spain goalkeeper will leave Manchester United if they do not match the offer. (Sun on Sunday)

Real Madrid are weighing up whether to join PSG in trying to sign De Gea, with Italian club Juventus also keeping an eye on developments. (Sunday Express)

Chelsea do not plan to hold talks with winger Callum Hudson-Odoi until the summer, when the 18-year-old England international will have one year left on his contract. (Mail on Sunday)

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is Roma's first choice to become their manager for next season. Former Chelsea and Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is in charge of the Serie A side, having been appointed until the end of the season following the sacking of Eusebio di Francesco. (Sunday Express)

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona want Leicester's England left-back Ben Chilwell, 22, for £50m. (Sun on Sunday)

Manchester United will increasingly focus their transfer policy on younger players, with Crystal Palace's England Under-21 right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 21, one of their main targets. (Mail on Sunday)

Inter Milan have agreed to double the wages of Milan Skriniar, 24, to keep the Slovakia defender from moving to one of a host of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. (Sunday Mirror)

Leicester are closing in on a £40m deal for on-loan Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans, amid speculation Tottenham and Manchester United want to move for the 21-year-old Belgian. (Sun on Sunday)

West Ham's England midfielder Declan Rice, 20, has played down the chances of leaving the club this summer, having been linked with Manchester City. (BT Sport, via Manchester Evening News)

West Brom's on-loan Scotland striker Oliver Burke, 21, says he would relish the chance to stay at Celtic. (Daily Record)

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane insists defender Raphael Varane, 25, is happy at the club despite speculation linking the Frenchman with a move to Manchester United. (Manchester Evening News)

Liverpool's 21-year-old Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella, who is on loan at Extremadura until the end of the season but cannot play after the deal failed to be ratified in time on deadline day, wants a return to Spain next term. (Liverpool Echo)

Ajax's 19-year-old Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt says he could sign for Juventus, amid interest from Liverpool and Arsenal. (Talksport)

Barcelona are willing to listen to offers of over £40m for Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 31, with Manchester United understood to be interested. (Mundo Deportivo)

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has dismissed a possible link with Chelsea. (Metro)


Kurt Zouma and Bernard punish sloppy West Ham as Everton ease to victory

Nick Ames at the London Stadium

By the end well over three-quarters of West Ham’s supporters, unwilling to cut their team slack after an abrupt halt to an improved run of home form, had long since drifted into the night. Everton’s travelling contingent were far more visible and vocal but the two fanbases might have had one question in common: where, exactly, did that come from?

Everton had not put in a 90-minute performance of this accomplishment since Marco Silva’s arrival last summer but such a slick, dominant display bodes positively for the task ahead. That is to finish seventh, earn the lukewarm best-of-the-rest chalice and see if it squeaks them into the European spots; they are a point away now and, with consecutive league wins to their name, the manager’s buzzword throughout a troubled winter – “consistency” – lies within reach.

“I’m proud of what we did here this afternoon,” Silva said after watching goals from Kurt Zouma and Bernard secure a margin of victory that could have been far higher. “From the first minute we were the best team on the pitch. The general performance was really, really good.”

They were in total command even before Zouma, taking advantage of Issa Diop’s inability to muster a meaningful challenge, rose to convert Gylfi Sigurdsson’s deep corner with a bouncing header in the fifth minute. By the 13th they could have been three or four goals up, Lukasz Fabianski saving from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne. It is far from uncommon for teams to begin sluggishly after an international break but West Ham never came close to clearing their heads.

It was a pitiful, bloodless display from Manuel Pellegrini’s team and comfortably among the worst since their move to the London Stadium. Competition for that title is stiff but the mystery was that, in seven unbeaten games here before this, they had struck a vein of form. While Silva eulogised, Pellegrini could only accept his players had plumbed depths uncharted this season.

“Not only the worst home performance: the worst performance of the year, away or at home,” he said. “We played very badly in both boxes and Everton also had chances to score more. It was one of those bad days.”

West Ham barely created a chance, Marko Arnautovic stumbling when given space to run at Michael Keane early in the first half and snatching at a tame effort from range later on. Pellegrini’s decision to partner him in a 4-4-2 with Lucas Pérez, who was far from alone in performing lamentably, never looked like bearing fruit. Pérez was replaced at half-time and the boos rang out for Arnautovic when, midway through the second half, he made way for Grady Diangana. Arnautovic flung down a water bottle as he took his seat on the bench; Pellegrini observed afterwards that nobody could be blamed individually for the defeat but any truce that developed since the forward’s abortive move to China appears wafer-thin.

Set in this context it is hard to gauge exactly how good Everton were. They were certainly surgical when it mattered, Bernard scoring their second goal shortly after the half-hour, when the latest of many smart moves down the right released Séamus Coleman to cross. It was the Brazilian’s first league goal for Everton and felt like overdue reward for a season’s perspiration.

West Ham showed marginally more spine early in the second half but Everton always posed the greater threat. Calvert-Lewin shot wide from an angle and Richarlison, heading against the bar with the number on hand to bear witness dwindling fast, could have made things worse.

“What I worry about is that it’s not the first time we have had the opportunity to be seventh,” Pellegrini said of his side’s failure to seize that spot. “We must find a way of thinking and playing as a big team.” For one evening at least, Silva and Everton set a compelling example.


Slick Everton expose West Ham's embarrassingly soft centre

Sam Dean, at London Stadium

This was an impressive win for Everton, their second in succession, although it comes with an unavoidable asterisk for Marco Silva and his players. However good they were, West Ham were just as bad, if not worse.

Everton looked terrific in attack at times, particularly in a dominant first half, but they were allowed to express themselves by a team whose performance was abject.

Harsher words could be used to summarise West Ham’s showing, and harsher words were used by the swathes of home supporters who did not hold back in their assessments.

Marko Arnautovic, still trying to win back the love after his flirtation with a move to China, was subjected to more personal condemnation, too.

It said plenty about his struggles he was hooked by a despairing Manuel Pellegrini after little more than an hour.

“We played very bad in both boxes,” said the West Ham manager. “It was not only our worst home performance, it was the worst performance of the year, away or at home.”

To focus so intently on West Ham’s difficulties is to do a disservice to Everton, though. Silva’s side followed up their recent victory over Chelsea with an encouragingly attractive display in east London. “I’m very satisfied,” said Silva. “From the first minute we were the best team on the pitch.”

They started the onslaught early, with Kurt Zouma heading Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner into the ground and up into Lukasz Fabianski’s top corner after five minutes. Lucas Digne, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson all had clear chances to double the lead before Bernard strode into the box and tapped home a low Seamus Coleman cross.

West Ham were lacking in all areas, from their ineffective forwards to their overrun midfield and their horribly exposed defence. Everton kept breaking, outnumbering West Ham every time. The game was so stretched in the early exchanges it was as if Pellegrini’s side were playing with nine men.

The boos from the fans at half-time were to be expected, then, despite West Ham’s recent good form at the London Stadium. Victory here would have been their fourth successive win at home, a feat that has not been achieved since 2002. Instead they were lucky it wasn’t worse, as Calvert-Lewin spurned late chances and Richarlison struck the bar with a powerful header.


West Ham want Lyon defender Rafael on free transfer

Jordan Harris

West Ham United could reportedly make a move for Rafael when his contract expires in the summer.

According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (31/3; page 59), West Ham are interested in signing Rafael when his Lyon contract expires in the summer, while the defender is keen on making the move to the London Stadium.

The Hammers have largely enjoyed a encouraging season. But their recent results have arguably highlighted that Manuel Pellegrini needs to do some substantial work to his squad in the summer if they hope to progress further.

Right-back has been a problematic area for the Irons at times this season. Pablo Zabaleta has been an extremely popular signing but he is well into the twilight of his career, and Ryan Fredericks appears to have taken a little time to adapt to life in the Premier League - though there have been some glimpses of outstanding quality from the summer signing.

Unfortunately for Fredericks, it appears that he may have more competition in the summer. The Sun on Sunday reports that the Irons are keen on signing the former Manchester United man.

And the report adds that the 28-year-old - who is out of contract at the end of the year - would 'welcome' the chance to join Pellegrini's side four years after leaving the Premier League.

Interestingly, Rafael has recently made a return to the Lyon starting lineup, having been rotated for much of the campaign. He played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win against Rennes on Friday. He also made three Champions League appearances earlier in the season.

He is perhaps not the kind of marquee signing that West Ham fans would have been hoping for - especially after Saturday's defeat to Everton - but a deal could have the potential to be a decent piece of business, particularly as it will leave Pellegrini with funds to strengthen in several other areas.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

eusebiovic 10:09 Sun Mar 31
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
charleyfarley 2:12 Sun Mar 31

He would still be younger than Ilunga was...

Mex Martillo 3:37 Sun Mar 31
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 2:22 Sun Mar 31

Thanks Alan 2:22 Sun Mar 31
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

charleyfarley 2:12 Sun Mar 31
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al. I read the article and saw

According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (31/3; page 59)

and thought it read we were buying a defender age 59

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