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Alan 12:24 Thu Jul 18
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
BBC

Real Madrid are planning to launch their "Operation 200" as they look to offload forwards Gareth Bale, 30, and James Rodriguez, 28, to fund their move for 26-year-old Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. (Marca, via Sun)

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has refused to discount the prospect of the Manchester United midfielder returning to Juventus. (AS)

Neymar, 27, has opened the door to United as the Brazil international desperately bids to leave Paris St-Germain. (Mundo Deportivo, via Sun)

Barcelona are exploring different packages to try to re-sign Neymar from PSG, with one involving taking him on loan this summer and an obligation to buy him permanently in a year's time. (Sport, via Express)

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will decide whether Brazil international Willian will get a new contract at the club. The 30-year-old winger has one year left on his Blues deal and Barcelona are interested in signing him for £30m. (Express)

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce could have more than £90m to spend this summer in the transfer window. (Sky Sports)

Bruce 'was the 11th choice' for the Newcastle job and not even on their original shortlist. (Mail)

Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer says he told Bruce not to take the manager's job at the club. (Sun)

Hoffenheim have confirmed striker Joelinton, 22, is in "concrete talks" with a Premier League club - and Newcastle United are hoping to complete what could be a record-breaking deal for the Brazilian forward. (Chronicle Live)

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has warned Manchester United there is a time limit if they want to sign England centre-back Harry Maguire, 26, as the Foxes do not want to leave themselves short. (Star)

Rodgers has praised the professionalism of Maguire and admitted he was "relaxed" about the interest of Manchester United in the central defender. (Independent)

Liverpool remain highly unlikely to sell Simon Mignolet, 31, and have no plans to send the

Manchester United have emerged as new contenders in the race to sign 20-year-old Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. (Mirror)

Striker Romelu Lukaku, 26, is intent on leaving Manchester United for Inter Milan. (Times - subscription required)

Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, who is a free agent after his Tottenham contract expired, is weighing up an offer from Serie A side Fiorentina. (Mail)

Unai Emery insists Arsenal are working to bring in "three or four" players before the start of the new season. (Independent)

Defender Laurent Koscielny, 33, faces showdown talks and being docked pay after he refused to go on Arsenal's pre-season USA tour. (L'Equipe)

Midfielder Granit Xhaka is in pole position to replace Koscielny as the Arsenal captain. (Telegraph)

Juventus supporters gave Matthijs de Ligt's agent Mino Raiola a rock star reception as he accompanied the 19-year-old defender for his medical on Wednesday. (Metro)

Arsenal's pursuit of Celtic and Scotland defender Kieran Tierney is fast becoming the transfer saga of the summer, but the Gunners could have competition for the 22-year-old. (Scotsman)

Arsenal have been warned they have not come "anywhere near" meeting Crystal Palace's valuation of 26-year-old forward Wilfried Zaha. (Mirror)

Pep Guardiola has opened the door for Leroy Sane, 23, to quit Manchester City - by telling the £100m-rated German winger he can leave if he is unhappy. (Mirror)

Burnley are looking for £12m for 33-year-old England international keeper Tom Heaton, £8m more than Aston Villa have currently bid. (Birmingham Mail)

Ashley Cole has sparked speculation he is about to join Chelsea's coaching staff after posting a picture of himself in an airport before a flight to Japan, where the Blues are on tour. (Mirror)

Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri is set to join Turkish side Galatasaray on loan for an initial £1.3m with an option to make the deal permanent. (Mail)




Guardian Rumour Mill

Ben Fisher

As if the underworld of tittle-tattle was not incognito enough, Real Madrid are preparing to launch “Operation 200”, the kind of code that belongs in an MI6 mission to aid James Bond but, in this case, it is simply the La Liga club’s masterplan to offload James Rodríguez and Gareth Bale to fund a move for Paul Pogba. Real’s plan is music to the ears of Mino Raiola, the Manchester United midfielder’s agent, who has fuelled further fire by refusing to rule out a return to Juventus.

With that saga only just starting, Ole Gunnar Solskjær is keen to put another protracted transfer to bed; he wants Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes pronto, with Solskjær said to have piled pressure on Ed Woodward to get the Portuguese in the building. And then of course there is Harry Maguire, but Leicester City are in no mood to make life easy and Brendan Rodgers has made it clear the clock is ticking. “There will be a cut-off point,” he said. “If the valuation isn’t met, it certainly won’t be allowed to go to the very end [of the transfer window] because, if we did want to bring someone in, it would be too late. We cannot leave ourselves short.”

Arsenal may be in a pickle over £25m-rated Kieren Tierney but firmly believe they are making strides on a loan move for the Real midfielder Dani Ceballos, who has turned his nose up at a switch to Tottenham, who could yet flog Fernando Llorente to Fiorentina. The only bum note for Unai Emery and co is that they will have to cough up all of the Spaniard’s wages to get the deal over the line. There is more lukewarm good news for Emery too, it says here: the defender Rob Holding is on course for a return to action during pre-season, while Granit Xhaka could be handed the armband with current captain Laurent Koscielny still hunting for the Emirates exit.

Elsewhere, Steve Bruce fancies making Hoffenheim striker Joelinton his first signing at Newcastle in a deal worth at least £20m. Kalvin Phillips has entered talks with Leeds over a shiny new contract, which would prevent Aston Villa from making a play for the midfielder. Villa are busy counting the coins in the piggybank as they weigh up another bid for Tom Heaton, with Burnley holding out of £12m for the goalkeeper. Meanwhile, Celtic like the cut of Danny Simpson’s jib and teenager Reece McAlear is set to join Norwich from Motherwell, for whom he made his debut at the age of 15.





Thetopflight

West Ham have pulled off a masterstroke in signing Sebastien Haller

West Ham broke their transfer record to sign excellent French striker Sebastien Haller, in a deal that could change the fortunes of the club.

With 15 goals and 9 assists in the Bundesliga last season with Frankfurt, French striker Sebastien Haller is clearly ruthless in front of goal, whether it be with a shot, or with a pass. What those goals and assist don’t tell you however, is that Haller is 6’3, and poses a physical threat, along with being technically gifted enough to score goals and grab assists.

In short, he is a complete striker, and one who is fully worth the £45 million paid for him.

Now, many were surprised to see Haller move to West Ham, and rightfully so. While the Hammers are an excellent team with a beautiful stadium, Haller is a player who is good enough to be playing European football, who could also probably be starting for the likes of Dortmund, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Roma among others.

Haller is worthy enough to be West Ham’s record signing, because despite being good enough for bigger sides, he is more than capable of suiting the Hammers’ style of play. Manuel Pellegrini has an excellent track record with centre-forwards, and Haller’s size paired with his technical quality make him the type of striker that can thrive in any sort of system.

At 25, the Frenchman is somewhat of a late bloomer, as he did not impress in his late teens with Auxerre but really came to his best with Utrecht, before joining Frankfurt in 2017.

West Ham have pulled off a masterstroke in signing Sebastien Haller, a player who can not only get them around 15-or-so goals in the Premier League, but also provide a focal point and bring his teammates into play. The fee might be hefty for a club like West Ham, but there is no doubt they have punched above their weight on this one, and signed a gem.




Star

Sebastien Haller uncovered - What's £45m West Ham signing earn? Is there a buyout clause?

WEST HAM have spent £45m on their new club-record signing Sebastien Haller.

By Jack Staplehurst

But he is far from being the top-earner in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad.

The Hammers have tied highly-coveted Haller down on a five-year contract with the option for a further 12 months.

That could see the 25-year-old potentially play at the London Stadium until 2025.

And the deal to bring the 6ft 3in prolific marksman has worked out relatively cheap in terms of his wages.

While West Ham have forked out a large fee to take the striker from Eintracht Frankfurt, his salary is modest for a player of his calibre.

Starsport understands Haller will earn just £70,000-a-week before any potential goalscoring bonuses.

The figure, though, still stands as a huge bump up from what the Frenchman was on in Germany.

At Frankfurt, where Haller spent two years and became a renowned name in the Bundesliga, he was on just £15,000-a-week.

West Ham have more than quadrupled his wages to lure him to east London.

However, Javier Hernandez is on double Haller’s salary at West Ham, even though the new arrival is set to displace him in the starting XI.

Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko all surpass Haller’s wages too as they are all on at least £100,000-a-week.

Chicharito looks likely to stay following Pellegrini’s decision to finally cut ties with Marko Arnautovic, while Andy Carroll also left as his contract expired.

Lucas Perez also went this summer, and Jordan Hugill is set to drop back down into the Championship soon, so Hernandez will be the only first-team striker to stay from last season.

The former Manchester United poacher has just 12 months remaining on his contract, though, and the club could allow him to run it down.

Haller is someone they have no intention of losing in the immediate future.

While the ex-Auxerre youth may see West Ham as a stepping stone in his career as he holds out for a big move down the line, he won’t leave on the cheap.

Big things are expected of the goalscorer in the Premier League, as he also attracted interest from Manchester United among other top European clubs.

Haller’s representatives subsequently tried to insert an escape clause into Haller’s deal with West Ham which would allow a Champions League club to sign him for a set fee.

However, West Ham negotiated hard in the wake of their failure to sign first choice Maxi Gomez, who opted for top European football at Valencia.

And Starsport understands there was no release clause added into Haller’s contract, meaning West Ham have control of his future.

The hope would be that Haller continues progressing following his arrival in English football and his stock rises further.

Haller has ambitions of breaking into the senior France national side, having flourished at all youth levels for his country.

And he could yet achieve that while at West Ham, just like how compatriot Dimitri Payet became a household name on the world stage after moving to the East End.




The Scotsman

West Ham 'could sign Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos for £5m' claims source

West Ham were this week linked with Rangers' Alfredo Morelos, with reports crediting the Hammers and Crystal Palace with a "tentative interest" in the Colombian forward.

The former HJK Helsinki striker was valued at £20 million by the Ibrox side last season, when a host of clubs including Leicester and Newcastle were credited with an interest.

But speaking on a West Ham podcast earlier this week, an individual close to the club claimed that Morelos could be available for a bargain fee.

During the segment on the West Ham Way podcast, broadcast on Phoenix FM, someone going by the name EXWHUEmployee reckoned the Hammers would only have to offer between £4 million and £5 million to secure the striker's services.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have already shelled out £45 million for French striker Sebastien Haller, and also have Javier Hernandez as an option up front, but the source seems to believe Morelos represents an affordable third option in attack for the Hammers.




Sport Witness

West Ham make ‘interesting’ bid for Portuguese midfielder – Complex situation

Portuguese newspaper Record brings today an interesting piece on West Ham’s chances to sign midfielder João Palhinha.



The outlet says the 24-year-old has been approached by a few Premier League clubs, but it’s the Hammers who really made an attractive offer.

The problem is that the situation is a little complex because Palhinha belongs to Sporting, and is in the middle of a two-year loan spell at Braga.

The agreement between the clubs says that in case of a sale, Braga not only are paid a fine, but also have the chance to match the offer.

That’s why Record talks about the possibility of the Portuguese club using this clause to buy him and then sell him to the Premier League demanding the terms they want.

Still, Record sounds optimistic about West Ham’s offer, saying it’s ‘advantageous’ for Sporting, Braga and the player.

Palhinha reportedly sees the move ‘with good eyes’, since the chance to continue his career in the Premier League would be something great for him, but Record are still to report the details of the bid.

He doesn’t look like an expensive player, but we all know how Portuguese clubs like to make big demands when Premier League sides come for signings.




Goal (Translation)

Liverpool, Arsenal, West Ham: England makes soft eyes to Bilel Hassaini

In the small papers of West Ham and Arsenal, the talented offensive midfielder Bilel Hassaini (18 years) also pleases the side of Liverpool.



A time courted by the PSG, midfielder 18-year-old Bilel Hassaini could continue his young career across the Channel.

While discussions with the Capital Club did not succeed following the change of direction and the withdrawal of the reserve team, West Ham and Arsenal have for several weeks expressed their interest in the French hope at the end of contract in Nancy.

The two clubs continue to negotiate to convince him to commit, but will have to contend with the competition of a third client.

Thus, as announced by Foot Mercato, Liverpool entered the dance these last hours.



Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Vexed 1:03 Fri Jul 19
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers babes. It was unnecessary, I can see that now. Accept my apologies. Uncalled for.

Eerie Descent 12:59 Fri Jul 19
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Good one.

Vexed 12:56 Fri Jul 19
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
You can show him where the best ones are you fucking pikey.

Eerie Descent 10:11 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Starsport understands Haller will earn just £70,000-a-week"


Let's hope he knows where the nearest food bank is...

Nicey 9:47 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Whitester. 7:39 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Every day I read your post and have done now for nearly fifteen years.

Alan 1:57 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Morelos story added.

y2smif 1:51 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
That Star article actually has the sentence "Haller is someone they have no intention of losing in the immediate future."
He signed a contract yesterday FFS!

Thanks Alan

Exiled In Surrey 12:44 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Sydney_Iron 12:38 Thu Jul 18

ted fenton 12:42 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sydney_Iron 12:38 Thu Jul 18

Sydney_Iron 12:38 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 12:31 Thu Jul 18

bill green 12:31 Thu Jul 18
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan





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