WHO Poll
Q: 2019/20 With seven games to go will West Ham stay up
a. Our demise was sealed when the idiots on the Board appointed Moyes, we're down
b. Despite the efforts of Moyes and the players, we will stay up by the smallest of margins
c. I'm beyond caring & couldn't give two hoots either way

Alan 1:44 Mon Jan 6
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Manchester United are set to revive their interest in signing Sporting Lisbon's Portugal playmaker Bruno Fernandes, 25. (Goal.com)

Arsenal have formally contacted Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to express their interest in 31-year-old Germany defender Jerome Boateng. (Footmercato - in French)

Chelsea are looking at making a move for Bayern and Austria left-back David Alaba, who has 18 months left on his contract. (Mirror)

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti will try to fin a "solution" in the transfer market following his side's FA Cup exit to a youthful Liverpool side. (Times - subscription required)

Barcelona have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Dinamo Zagreb's Dani Olmo, despite both Chelsea and Manchester United having held talks over the 21-year-old Spain forward. (Goal.com)

Manchester United's England midfielder Jesse Lingard, 27, is teaming up with leading agent Mino Raiola, following rumours of his departure from Old Trafford. (Mail)

Juventus hope they can sign Argentina striker Mauro Icardi from Inter Milan, despite Paris St-Germain having an agreement in place to sign the 26-year-old for £59.7m at the end of his loan spell at the club. (Mail)

Newcastle United's English forward Dwight Gayle, 29, has been linked with Championship promotion hopefuls Preston. (Lancashire Evening Post)

Ajax's Morocco midfielder Hakim Ziyech, 26, has been told he can leave the club this month, after being linked with a move to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window. (Football.London)

Chelsea have earmarked Inter Milan's Brazil striker Gabriel Barbosa, 23, as their top January transfer target as manager Frank Lampard looks to sign a new forward. (Express)

Lampard has opened the door for France forward Olivier Giroud to leave the Blues this month, amid speculation linking the 33-year-old with Aston Villa. (Birmingham Mail)

Newcastle want to sign Giroud on loan for the rest of the season but Chelsea have told them they will not let the striker leave unless they can bring in a replacement. (Telegraph)

Meanwhile, Chelsea want any club wanting to take English midfielder Danny Drinkwater on loan to pay the 29-year-old's £110,000-a-week wages. (Sun)

Watford have joined Everton in the race to sign Carlisle's 17-year-old English forward Jarrad Branthwaite. (Watford Observer)

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is planning a move for CFR Cluj's French striker Billel Omrani, 26, this month. (Sun)

Burnley's English defender Ben Gibson, 26, is attracting interest from German sides Eintracht Frankfurt and Cologne. (Mail)

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic says the Baggies will only make signings in January if they can add extra quality to their squad. (Express & Star)

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson wants two strikers in the January transfer window. (South London Press)

Liverpool fans are excited at the prospect of signing Ousmane Dembele - after the 22-year-old Barcelona and France forward liked a mocked-up picture of him wearing a Reds kit on Instagram. (Express)

Birmingham City are confident 16-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham, who is attracting interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund among others, will not push to leave the club in January. (Mirror)

Guardian Rumour Mill

John Brewin

What is the January transfer window for if not panic buying? A month of good money after bad awaits us: for every Virgil van Dijk there is a Denis Suárez and then some.

So, who leads the wanted list? Chelsea have cash to burn, and want to add experience. David Alaba of Bayern Munich, who can play at both left-back and in midfield, is available at a cut price, with 18 months remaining on his current contract, and still just 27. A striker is desired by Frank Lampard, so that Olivier Giroud can find first-team football elsewhere, and Inter’s Gabriel Barbosa is a possible option.

Another player linked with Chelsea is Dani Olmo, a star of Spain’s Under-21 champions of 2019, and who plays for Dinamo Zagreb, having fled Barcelona as a kid. The playmaker is being eyed by his home country’s big clubs as well as Chelsea and Manchester United but a prodigal return to Barça is the most expected outcome.

That United want a creative player is no secret, and that James Maddison is being considered is not much less of a secret but the dynamic has altered somewhat in weekend talk of a £45m payout plus Leicester taking on erstwhile goal and assists machine Jesse Lingard. The self-styled J-Lingz is surplus to requirement at Old Trafford, and a recent link-up with Mino Raiola, he who helped deny United the signature of Erling Braut Haaland while saying star client Paul Pogba deserves to play for a good team, means United may not be too sorry to lose Lingard.

Should Lingard leave, a mainstay of this august column is one of the names linked. Welcome back, Bruno Fernandes of Sporting Lisbon, we have been expecting you. And could cost as much as £85m. United, shorn of Scott McTominay and with Pogba’s return to action a fluid situation, desperately need some midfield ballast. Rúben Neves of Wolves is a client of Jorge Mendes, the yin to Raiola’s yang, and would bring Premier League to his potential partnership with Fred.

Another Bayern Munich player, Jérôme Boateng, may be Arsenal’s answer to Calum Chambers’ long-term injury and not wanting to have to play Shkodran Mustafi, who looks set to be sold on.

The Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech, is available if anyone so chooses, and for £43m; Arsenal and Tottenham are competing for him, with the Moroccan seen as a replacement for either Mesut Özil or Christian Eriksen, depending on which side of north London he ends up in.

And down at Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson will not speak publicly about his targets for January or Wilfried Zaha’s potential next destination, but a loan move for Everton striker Cenk Tosun is being mooted.


Pablo Zabaleta goal breaks Gillingham resistance as West Ham progress

Ed Aarons at Priestfield

Pablo Zabaleta was West Ham’s unlikely hero as the substitute’s second-half goal saw off a spirited Gillingham side to record a second successive victory for David Moyes since his return.

The 34-year-old defender smashed home the rebound in the 74th minute on Sunday night

The Argentina defender was part of the Manchester City team in 2011 that ended a trophy drought that had lasted more than three decades before being sent off in the shock 2013 FA Cup final defeat by Wigan so it is fair to say the 34-year-old has seen both sides of this famous competition.

After an uncomfortable evening against opponents who were 39 places below them in the league pyramid, it was Zabaleta who settled West Ham’s nerves 16 minutes from time before his fellow substitute Pablo Fornals added a second in injury-time.

Midfielder Pablo Fornals wrapped up the victory in the fourth minute of stoppage time

“We played with the respect the competition deserves,” said Zabaleta. “We take it very seriously, which is why I’m so pleased with the team.”

His manager clearly concurred, even mentioning that this season marks the 40th anniversary of West Ham’s last FA Cup triumph. “I’ve been in one final before and I would love to get to another one,” Moyes said. “We know the supporters would love to have a cup run but the Premier League is always at the forefront of our minds.”

The seriousness with which he is treating this competition was illustrated by making only three changes from the side that beat Bournemouth 4-0 in his first match since replacing Manuel Pellegrini. Issa Diop’s return meant a switch to a three-man defence as their manager returned to a formation that served him well during his first spell in charge.

The Gillingham manager, Steve Evans, grew up playing for Celtic Boys Club alongside Moyes and had kept in touch with his former team-mate as the pair have racked up the years in management. The 57-year-old’s appointment at the end of last season means he has managed almost 1,000 games in English football, having previously guided non-league Crawley Town to the fifth round of the competition in 2010 when they were beaten by Manchester United.

With his side unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, Evans would have fancied his chances of causing another upset against opponents who were knocked out by AFC Wimbledon last season under Pellegrini and Wigan in 2018 under Moyes.

West Ham dominated possession in the first half but still found themselves under concerted pressure from their all-action hosts, with Tom O’Connor warming Lukasz Fabianski’s gloves in the 18th minute after a series of corners.

Felipe Anderson ended his 22-game goal drought against Bournemouth but the Brazilian was largely anonymous as the visitors struggled to find their rhythm in attack.

A suspected hamstring injury to Ryan Fredericks just before half-time led to Zabaleta replacing him, with Sebastian Haller correctly having a goal ruled out for a foul in the buildup.

Gillingham, looking to reach the fourth round again having knocked out Cardiff at this stage last season, sensed the chance of another Premier League scalp in front of a packed stadium.

Moyes clearly was not impressed with his side’s first-half performance and West Ham could have made amends for their slow start immediately after the restart when a clever ball from Anderson set up Haller, only for the Frenchman to balloon his shot well over the bar.

Another effort that smacked off Jack Bonham’s near post with the keeper beaten gave more encouragement to the pocket of away supporters in the temporary stand behind the goal.

A blatant tug on Declan Rice’s shirt by O’Connor following a free kick from Robert Snodgrass somehow went unpunished by Andrew Madley but in the absence of VAR, no penalty was awarded.

Moyes threw on Fornals in the hope of inspiring something from his side but it was Anderson who finally provided it, even if the goalscorer’s identity was rather unexpected. A quick one-two between the Brazilian and Arthur Masuaku allowed the full-back to pick out Zabaleta at the far post and his shot squeezed past Bonham.

Zabaleta was perhaps lucky to escape with a yellow card after going down easily in the penalty area and then arguing with Madley.

The closest Gillingham came to forcing a replay was when Stuart O’Keefe let fly from long range before Fornals gave the scoreline a more generous hue.


Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Bonham 5; Fuller 5.5 (Ndjoli 86), Ehmer 5.5, Tucker 5.5, Ogilivie 5; Jones 6, O’Keefe 6, O’Connor 6 (Marshall 79), Lee 6; Hanlan 6.5, Jakubiak 5.5 (Charles-Cook).

Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Willock, Pringle.

Booked: Jones

Manager: Steve Evans 6

West Ham (5-3-2): Fabianski 6; Fredericks 5.5 (Zabaleta 43, 7), Diop 6, Balbuena 6, Ogbonna 6, Masuaku 6.5; Lanzini 7, Rice 6.5, Snodgrass 6.5 (Fornals 70, 7); Anderson 7.5 (Sanchez 90+5); Haller 6.

Subs not used: Roberto, Reid, Ajeti, Holland.

Booked: Zabaleta

Goals: Zabaleta 74, Fornals 90+4

Manager: David Moyes 6.5

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 10,913

Star man: Felipe Anderson


Returning manager David Moyes must do more than just keep West Ham in the Premier League


Now — with West Ham under-achieving once again — he is back and this time his contract is 18 months. It is hardly an invitation to plan long-term but long enough to tell us what we need to know about a manager who, at 56, should really be at his peak.

In many people's eyes, the bar has already been set and it's strangely low. 'Can Moyes keep West Ham up?' they have asked.

The answer to that question is 'yes' simply because he will. Even under the barely interested Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham were never likely to drop. They are not that good but they are not that bad, either.

So for Moyes to properly succeed at West Ham — where he has a decent squad not lacking in depth — he must do more. He must provide evidence of what he did at Everton, namely get the very best out of players, develop team spirit and move a club from the shadows to the edge of real achievement.

During his peak years on Merseyside, Everton — despite the odd setback and a modest record in really big matches — felt like a club moving forwards.

Taking over at West Ham for the first time in November 2017, Moyes won eight of 27 remaining League matches. It was enough to finish 13th but did not feel like a major shift in trajectory and that, as much as anything, is why he wasn't retained.

You could argue that was a harsh call and Moyes continues to back himself. 'I win,' he said last week, which appeared to overlook the fact that he didn't at United or, indeed, Sociedad or Sunderland.

And this is the nub of the debate. Old Moyes — Everton Moyes — won a lot but the recent version not so much.

Sometimes it is hard to escape the feeling that something fundamental died within Moyes at Old Trafford. He is right when he says he didn't get much time at United — less than nine months — but he didn't do much to buy a longer stay either.

Moyes believes he was failed in terms of transfers but in parts of the job only he could control — such as winning the trust of big players and dealing with scrutiny — he failed too.

Belief is key in management and if a light did go out in Moyes' soul in Manchester, this second spell at West Ham may be the last chance he gets to switch it back on.

At Leicester, Brendan Rodgers and his new club have been good for each other and that is the benchmark. That is improvement, real improvement. That is a manager proving his real worth after some time away.

Nobody is asking Moyes to take West Ham to second place. But it is not too much to ask him to take West Ham well into the top half of a congested and rather average Premier League table. That is where they should be. Despite what people may say, survival will not be enough this time.


Stuart Pearce says owners blocked return as part of David Moyes' team

Stuart Pearce says West Ham's owners blocked his return to the club as part of manager David Moyes' backroom team.

The ex-England and Hammers defender had questioned the decision not to keep Moyes on after his first spell as boss.

Pearce had been an assistant along with Alan Irvine and Billy McKinlay but said he will not be returning this time.

"It won't happen. I think the owners felt I was a little bit critical of the regime when we left last time and put the block on it," said the 57-year-old.

West Ham have declined to comment, although it is understood West Ham's owners David Sullivan and David Gold deny blocking his return and were happy to leave the decision to Moyes.

Speaking to Talksport, former Manchester City, England Under-21 and Nottingham Forest manager Pearce said: "They make decisions, they own the club, and I respect that.

"They were humble enough to pick the phone up and say to David: 'Will you come back in?'

"I'm just delighted to see Dave back working in the Premier League, which I think his talents deserve."

Moyes was appointed as interim manager in November 2017 and helped the club avoid relegation, but was not kept on for the following season as Manuel Pellegrini was brought in.

Pearce played 42 times for West Ham between 1999 and 2001, towards the end of his playing career.

After Pellegrini's appointment, he said: "It'’s a wonderful club - I had a fantastic seven months there [as assistant] and really enjoyed my time - and they'’ve now got a very good manager.

“"They’'ve decided not to go down the David [Moyes] route. I was a little surprised by that as I saw first-hand what a good job he did in a situation that could have gone either way.”

"He recouped around £25m in one transfer window. So it wasn’'t a case of going in there and having money to spend - he recouped money. So that money is somewhere around the club.”"


West Ham set to seal £4 million move for Middlesbrough’s Darren Randolph as they weigh up deal for Newcastle United right-back Javier Manquillo

According to The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas, West Ham United are expected to seal a £4 million move for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph, and a deal for the 32-year-old could be done within the next 48 hours.

The Hammers are also looking to boost their options at right-back and are looking at Newcastle United’s Javier Manquillo, alongside Norwich City’s Max Aarons and Derby County’s Jayden Bogle.

Randolph left West Ham two-and-a-half years ago in search of regular playing time, and has since played 106 Championship games for Boro.

However, the Republic of Ireland international is currently out of the team after getting injured in November, and could have played his last game for them as he eyes a reunion with the Hammers.

While Randolph is coming in as number 2, he will fancy his chances of giving Lukasz Fabianski quality competition.

Roberto could be sent on loan, while David Martin will resume his role as third choice goalkeeper, and boss David Moyes will be hoping to quickly sort things out in the department.

Ryan Fredericks’ hamstring injury against Gillingham yesterday means West Ham need a quality replacement and cover, and while Pablo Zabaleta could be in charge until his recovery, the 34-year-old is showing signs of ageing.

Manquillo could be keen on leaving Newcastle for regular playing minutes after starting nine league games this season, but the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool man doesn’t exactly look like an upgrade on Fredericks, and it will be interesting to see which right-back Moyes eventually brings in.

Sport Witness

West Ham in talks with director to sign young striker – Positive first round of negotiations

Fanatik claim West Ham United are interested in signing Bursaspor’s young striker Ali Akman.

It’s reported West Ham scout Thomas Hengen has met with Bursaspor sporting director Selcuk Erdogan with regards to signing the 17 year old, who has been impressive for his club this season.

According to the Turkish newspaper, the first round of talks went very well, and discussions will continue in the coming days. West Ham will be looking to bolster their squad this month, but Akman is likely to be seen as one for the future.

Akman has played 11 games for the Turkish club in all competitions this season and has scored four goals in the Turkish second tier.

He’s also been linked with a move to Fenerbahce in recent months after reports the Istanbul club’s sporting director Damien Comolli has been watching him.

His contract with Bursaspor will expire at the end of June 2021 so the Turkish club may consider selling him.


West Ham want Sevilla striker Munas Dabbur

By Jordan Harris

West Ham United boss David Moyes is interested in signing Sevilla striker Munas Dabbur

Dabbur has endured a difficult time since moving to the La Liga side in the summer. He had scored 44 league goals across his final two seasons with Red Bull Salzburg.

But he is yet to start a top flight game since moving to Sevilla, making only two substitute appearances. He has had more success in the Europa League, scoring three goals in six games.

Despite his struggles, it appears that Moyes is considering taking a gamble on the Israel international. The Sunday Mirror reports that the 27-year-old is on the Hammers’ radar.

TBR View – Dabbur could be worth the risk for West Ham

West Ham fans would be forgiven for rolling their eyes at the prospect of signing a striker who has barely played this season. But perhaps, Dabbur could be worth taking a risk on.

Albian Ajeti has been a really underwhelming addition to the Irons’ ranks. So signing cover for Sebastien Haller looks to be a must for this window for the new West Ham boss.

Dabbur’s record in Spain is poor. But he has scored a handful of goals in Europe. And he has previously been lethal in Austria’s top flight. He also scored eight goals in last season’s Europa League.

Of course, it is still a risk to make a move. But perhaps Sadio Mane’s form in England after arriving from the same club Dabbur left in the summer should also leave the sceptical Hammers fans with a little hope if the club do decide to make a move.


West Ham consider move for free agent Zeffane

Premier League side West Ham United are considering a move for free agent defender Mehdi Zeffane, DZ Football understands.

Mehdi Zeffane (R)

The right-back, who has been without a club since being released by Rennes, won the French Cup last season as well as the Africa Cup of Nations in the summer with Algeria.

Zeffane started the semi-final and the in the final for the Desert Foxes, keeping the likes of Sadio Mane quiet in the competition last July. The 27-year-old came through the academy system at Lyon.

The Hammers currently have issues at right-back, with Ryan Fredericks limping off in the FA Cup win against Gillingham on Sunday night, Pablo Zabaleta is the other choice for the East Londoners, however his fitness is not what it once was.

Espanyol were in talks with the player earlier in the season, but a move never materialised.

Free agents can be signed at any point during the season and are not restricted to transfer windows.


Everton and West Ham interested in Nzonzi

Steven Nzonzi's adventure at Galatasaray has come to the closing credits. The Roma-owned midfielder has been knocked out for disciplinary reasons and, with the market window open, he looks to his future. According to Telefoot, the Frenchman (31) has a market in England, where West Ham and Everton are interested in him. In particular, the Hammers have already started contacts with Nzonzi agents.

Le10 Sport

West Ham draws for Sanson

Courted by English clubs for almost a year, Morgan Sanson has seen one of them draw a proposal. As revealed by le10sport.com on December 24, Jacques-Henri Eyraud has indeed received a firm offer for a transfer. And according to our sources, this is West Ham. If the precise amount of this offer has not filtered, it would not meet Marseille expectations, revised upwards after the good performance of the midfielder in recent weeks. This offer was not accepted and OM do not seem to want to sell their player at this price. The main party is not too warm to leave during the season. But a larger offer, beyond 35 million euros, could clearly be a game-changer. Because West Ham is not the only club to watch Morgan Sanson. Crystal Palace, Newcaslte and Wolverhampton are also watching him very carefully…

Football League World

Exclusive: West Ham readying £3.5m bid to sign 29-year-old

By Sam Rourke

West Ham United are readying a £3.5 million bid to sign Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, a source close to the London club has exclusively confirmed to Football League World Chief Editor Sam Rourke.

The 29-year-old has been one of the Bluebirds’ most consistent performers in the last few seasons, and this form has attracted the interested of David Moyes’ side, who are looking for an adequate back-up to first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham have struggled in the goalkeeper department this season, with second choice goalkeeper Roberto failing to impress in between the sticks whilst Fabianksi was out injured, leading to 33-year-old David Martin being given a run of games in the side.

As per the source, Cardiff City are unwilling to let Etheridge leave for a minimal fee and are reluctant to see the Philippines international leave in this window, though this has not stopped the Hammers in readying a bid to sign the shot-stopper.

Etheridge has been a regular in the Cardiff first-team this season, making 16 appearances as Neil Harris’ side sit in 12th spot in the Championship table.

Alex Smithies was involved earlier on in the season for the Bluebirds, and has proven to be a more than sufficient replacement for Etheridge if he was to depart, whilst Joe Day can also offer competition for the number one spot at the Cardiff City stadium.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Russ of the BML 12:12 Tue Jan 7
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Although, when you see it looking like we were in for Barbosa, now he will go to Chelsea and we will get Giroud, that is under-whelming. But, that's the life of a West Ham fan.

Russ of the BML 12:11 Tue Jan 7
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
jimbo2. 11:04 Mon Jan 6

I am not so sure. When you look at clubs like Wolves and Leicester they do good business and rarely sign household names.

jimbo2. 11:04 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
A fairly underwhelming list of alleged transfer targets listed! thanks As always Al!

eusebiovic 6:56 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Manquillo is, was and always will be shite

Kaiser Zoso 6:15 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Alan 2:45 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Nzonzi story added.

ted fenton 2:44 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:44 Mon Jan 6

Alan 2:39 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Zeffane story added.

Alan 2:32 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Dabbur story added.

Alan 2:21 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Akman story added.

Thanks Alan 1:44 Mon Jan 6
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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