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 12:37 Thu Jan 9
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal and Manchester United have submitted offers to sign Paris St-Germain and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, 32. (El Chiringuito - via Metro)

Chelsea have made West Ham defender Issa Diop their primary target and will bid £40m for the 22-year-old Frenchman. (Express)

Chelsea will only trigger a £40m buy-back option for Bournemouth and Netherlands centre-back Nathan Ake, 24, if they can offload 23-year-old Denmark defender Andreas Christensen. (Sun)

Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United are trying to sign centre-back Samuel Umtiti, 26, from Barcelona with the Spanish club keen to sell the France international. (El Desmarque - in Spanish)

Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has been delaying a return to management in the hope of replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United. (Mail)

Ajax are considering trying to bring Matthijs de Ligt back to the club on loan despite the 20-year-old Dutch defender only moving to Juventus during the summer. (A Bola - in Portuguese)

Manchester City are planning four to six signings this year, with a centre-back and left-back the priorities for manager Pep Guardiola. (Telegraph)

Brazil midfielder Fernandinho, 34, says he is close to activating clauses in his Manchester City contract which would automatically trigger a contract extension. (ESPN Brazil, via Mirror)

Lyon and France striker Moussa Dembele, 23, was watched by Chelsea and Manchester United scouts as he scored in his side's 3-1 French League Cup win over Stade Brest on Wednesday. (Mail)

Chelsea are unlikely to pursue a move for Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast winger Wilfried Zaha because manager Frank Lampard does not see the 27-year-old as the right fit for the squad. (90min)

Crystal Palace have rejected an approach from German champions Bayern Munich to sign Zaha. (Guardian)

Tottenham have joined the race to sign AC Milan's 24-year-old Poland international striker Krzysztof Piatek with the Italian side holding out for £30m. (Guardian)

Spurs have no immediate plans to sign a replacement for injured midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 30, who is out until April. The club are focusing on signing a midfielder if they sell Kenyan Victor Wanyama, 28, and Denmark international Christian Eriksen, 27. (Evening Standard)
The perfect man to argue your case...
Gareth from The Office and Peter Crouch

Gareth from The Office = Gary Neville

Napoli and Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik, 25, has emerged as a target for Manchester United. (Sun)

Manchester United are understood to be interested in signing Hellas Verona and Albania defender Marash Kumbulla, 19. (Star)

Aston Villa are weighing up a move for Burnley and England striker Jay Rodriguez, 30. (The Athletic)

Aston Villa are set to sign former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 37, from AC Milan. (AS - in Spanish)

Brighton, Crystal Palace and Southampton are all looking to sign Tottenham right-back​ Kyle Walker-Peters, 22, on loan. (Sky Sports)

Chelsea have bid £17m for Metz and Senegal attacker Habib Diallo, 24. (Republicain Lorraine - in French)

Chelsea defender Reece James, 20, is close to signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge. (Metro)

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe, 19, is set to leave on loan this month as the Gunners work on offloading as many as 12 players in a busy January window. (The Athletic - via Metro)

Watford are considering a bid for Fulham left-back Joe Bryan, 26. (Sky Sports)

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has ruled out loan exits for midfielders Luke Freeman, 27, and Ben Osborn, 25, this month but a host of other names could be set for moves away from Bramall Lane. (Mirror)

Guardian Rumour Mill

John Brewin

Despite some financial results revealing that Chelsea needed to go to the Roman Abramovich branch of the Bank of Mum and Dad, there is still cash burning a hole in Frank Lampard’s pocket after that transfer ban.

Central defence remains an area requiring improvement, so a player of Premier League experience is wanted. Step forward West Ham’s Issa Diop, whose 23rd birthday is on Wednesday. At an asking price of £40m (which these days won’t even buy you a Sébastien Haller) Diop is the latest potential cure to that rather leaky Chelsea backline.

Chelsea and West Ham might get that deal done but they are also competing for the signature of Gedson Fernandes of Benfica, against whom the latest price attached is £55m and who seems to be this transfer season’s Portuguese cause célèbre. The midfielder had appeared headed for Stamford Bridge but the Hammers haven’t given up on the chase just yet. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s chase for Moussa Dembélé, the striker, may yet hit the stumbling block of Lyon naming an asking price of £85m. Lyon are not a club given to selling their crown jewels at a cut price so Roman may have to do some even more reaching into his back pocket.

That type of spending would rule out Chelsea’s long-mooted move for Wilfried Zaha, on whom the Blues appear to have gone cool. Meanwhile, another long-term target, Nathan Aké, may not get his own dream move back to Chelsea, since they are struggling to find a buyer for Andreas Christensen.

Centre backs appear to be the desired item among the Premier League’s elite, and with Harry Maguire out for some time with a hip injury, Manchester United have joined the chase for Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou. Another United target could well be the Albanian teenager Marash Kumbulla of Hellas Verona, also wanted by Internazionale, and whose surname might just end up being sung from the terraces with the accompaniment of “my lord”.

Life comes at you pretty fast in the crazy world of top-rated central defenders. Matthijs de Ligt, a one-time mainstay of these pages, has struggled at Juventus and so Ajax, his former club, are prepared to take him back on loan for some tender loving care as he cannot displace the likes of Leonardo Bonucci or Merih Demiral at Juve. It’s been another busy month for Mino Raiola, the 20-year-old’s agent.

Another defender for whom a loan move is being mooted is the right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, who Brighton, Crystal Palace and Southampton would all like to sign, his involvement under José Mourinho having been limited.

Still licking their wounds after that FA Cup derby defeat by Liverpool’s creche XI, Everton are looking for some retail therapy and Steven Nzonzi may well be the first port of call. The French World Cup winner who Sam Allardyce wanted to play for England is currently on loan at Galatasaray from Roma and would add some experience and energy to Carlo Ancelotti’s rather pedestrian midfield.


Chelsea make Issa Diop top transfer target as imminent £40m bid lined up

EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea want to beat Tottenham to a £40m January transfer deal for West Ham defender Issa Diop.

By Tony Banks

Chelsea are poised to make a £40million January move for West Ham’s French defender Issa Diop. Express Sport understands the 22-year-old centre back has emerged as Chelsea’s top defensive target this month as manager Frank Lampard attempts to strengthen his squad now that their transfer ban has been lifted.

Chelsea have been watching Diop, who has three and a half years left on his West Ham contract, for some time, with Lampard keen to add defensive reinforcements to his youthful team, and a bid is now imminent.

Diop, who is also a target for Tottenham, has impressed this season even while West Ham struggled under previous manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The big centre-back joined West Ham from Toulouse 18 months ago in what was, at the time, a club-record £22m deal.

New Hammers manager David Moyes is, though, unwilling to let Diop go at this stage of the campaign, having only had two matches in charge of the club since succeeding Pellegrini.

And West Ham are in any case believed to value Diop at around £50m. The highly-rated centre-back, who has six caps for the France Under-21s side, has made 14 Premier League starts so far this season.

Chelsea are also looking at Bournemouth’s former Stamford Bridge defender Nathan Ake as a defensive option – but he is currently injured and expected to be out for a month with a hamstring injury.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wants Diop as a replacement for Jan Vertonghen, who is stalling on signing a new deal at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

AC Milan are, meanwhile, interested in a loan deal for Chelsea’s Danish international defender Andreas Christensen this month, but that deal would only happen if moves for either Diop or Ake were finalised.


West Ham United close in on £102m star, board meeting today

John Verrall

West Ham United are said to have improved their offer for Gedson Fernandes of Benfica.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham United are closing in on signing Gedson Fernandes from Benfica.

West Ham’s initial move for Fernandes had stalled, with the Hammers struggling to get the deal over the line.

However, West Ham have now improved their bid, and Benfica’s board are set for a meeting to discuss the new offer today.

The Portuguese club are reportedly ‘leaning towards’ accepting West Ham’s offer, as they feel it could be good for them.

The Hammers want to take Fernandes on loan until the end of next season, with a £33 million fee agreed for 2021.

Benfica actually installed a £102 million release clause in the central midfielder’s contract (Sky Sports), but they have realised that fetching that sort of money for the prized prospect is simply not realistic.

West Ham could now land the 21-year-old, with David Moyes looking to improve his side’s midfield options.

Fernandes wants to move to the Premier League, with London appealing to him, so West Ham should have no trouble agreeing a contract with him, if their bid is accepted.

There is no doubting that Fernandes would be an exciting signing for West Ham, as he is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Portugal.

West Ham’s ambition has been questioned of late, but Fernandes’s arrival would really prove that they have a desire to start climbing the table.

Fernandes could slot in West Ham’s midfield alongside Declan Rice, and that would give Moyes two brilliant prospects to develop at the London Stadium.


West Ham make renewed bid for Gedson Fernandes

By Tom Procter

West Ham United have reportedly made another offer for Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes.

Apparently West Ham’s new offer is an 18-month loan deal that contains a £33 million obligation-to-buy.

That is less than the £55 million Chelsea are offering (also with the initial 18-month loan), but Fernandes would have to play fewer games for the Irons to trigger the obligation-to-buy.

It is thought Fernandes would have to play in at least 50% of games for Chelsea for Benfica to receive the £55 million

Benfica are to hold a meeting about the player today, and discussions will be had about where is best for the 21-year-old and which move is most likely to land them a payout.

TBR’s view – Fernandes could be a brilliant addition

West Ham will now wait to discover if their bid for Fernandes has been successful.

Fans should be excited if the Benfica board decided their club is the right environment for Fernandes, who is certainly a talent.

He hasn’t featured much this term and has had injury problems, but he has a bright future and the fact he would have to play fewer games for West Ham than Chelsea for Benfica to receive their cash might just be what swings it for them.


West Ham have free run at signing Gabriel Barbosa from Internazionale

by Danny Lewis

West Ham United do not have any European competition for the signing of Internazionale striker Gabriel Barbosa, according to Sportitalia journalist Alfredo Pedulla.

What’s the story?

There is supposedly no other European side showing an interest in the man often known as Gabigol, aside from the Hammers.

Various other clubs have been linked with the Brazilian, with an example being that The Express reporting he was previously a target for Chelsea.

However, it seems as though that interest has now been dropped, giving West Ham a free run at getting their man.

West Ham insider ExWHUEmployee has also confirmed that the Hammers are interested in signing Barbosa, while speaking on the West Ham Way Podcast 163, claiming that there are multiple agents working on the deal.

A goal threat

Considering the lack of competition for his signature, there are no excuses for West Ham not to go out and sign the 23-year-old if they truly want him.

They should definitely be looking into this with the club in need of more goals. Aside from Sebastien Haller, they have Michail Antonio who has been converted to a frontman and Albian Ajeti who is still yet to score a single goal for the club.

Barbosa has shown in recent times that he can contribute to goals on a regular basis, having produced a very impressive 34 goals and 11 assists from 41 games for Flamengo, across the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A.

That tally includes both of Flamengo’s goals in their 2-1 victory against River Plate, to secure the continental crown for the Brazilian club.

His failure to make a breakthrough at Inter could be cited as a reason not to sign the Brazilian, but he wasn’t exactly given much of a chance by I Nerazzurri, making nine substitute appearances and one start for the club, from which he got one goal.

This is an opportunity for West Ham to sign a striker who has been prolific this campaign, and it is one they should not pass up.

Football League World

West Ham and Norwich join the race for impressive Nottingham Forest star

By George Harbey

West Ham United and Norwich City are reportedly interested in signing Joe Worrall, with Nottingham Forest expecting bids to arrive for their defender.

The 22-year-old has been an everpresent under Sabri Lamouchi this term, making 27 appearances in all competitions and helping the Reds climb to fourth in the Championship.

The homegrown star has come up leaps and bounds since spending time on loan with Rangers last season, and has been a leader for Forest in the absence of Michael Dawson.

Worrall has produced a string of solid performances alongside the likes of Tobias Figueiredo and Chema in defence, and is likely to attract plenty of transfer interest this month.


Gedson Fernandes: West Ham make loan offer with no option to buy

West Ham have made an offer to take Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan without an option to buy.

Benfica are believed to be leaning towards accepting the new deal, with the Portuguese club feeling Fernandes is more likely to maintain his value at West Ham where they feel he will get more first-team opportunities.

Benfica are due to hold a board meeting on Thursday to discuss the final conditions of the proposed deal for the young midfielder.

West Ham and Benfica have been in continued negotiations over the signing of Fernandes, with the Hammers initially offering an 18-month loan with an obligation to buy for £33m.

Sky Sports News understands Chelsea have also made an offer for Fernandes, which is believed to be an 18-month loan with an obligation to buy for £55m.

Chelsea's offer for Fernandes is dependent on the Portugal international midfielder playing at least 50 per cent of games during his loan spell at Stamford Bridge.


Report: West Ham interested in Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga

By Tom Procter

West Ham United are reportedly interested in Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga.

According to Arena Napoli, the Hammers are in the race for the Ivorian forward, along with Everton and Napoli.

It is claimed Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli has ‘great interest’ in the 23-year-old.

Sassuolo have apparently slapped a €30 million/£25 million asking price on the former Chelsea player as they brace for interest this month.

It is thought a summer move for the player would be more likely.

Boga has four goals and two assists from 18 appearances so far this term, and has netted seven times for the club since joining in July 2018.

Record states Wolves have promised to return with an improved offer for Gedson Fernandes. Benfica are looking for €40 million (around £34m) to part with him.

Separately, the website claims West Ham have asked to take Gedson on an 18-month loan deal, for which they would pay a total of €1.5m (around £1.3m) in three installments - and adds that Chelsea are also in the race.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

wansteadman 8:46 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
If Harry Maguire is deemed to be worth £85m then telling Chelsea/spurs what to do with their £40m should be simple

jimbo2. 6:23 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Diop has to be worth at least £50m in today’s market, but hope we don’t sell! Thanks Al.

angryprumphs 2:17 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 12:43 Thu Jan 9

Dont think it would be an issue getting that sort of money for Diop, sellers market, his age, long contract, potential, Mourinho known to be and admirer.

ted fenton 1:59 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:51 Thu Jan 9

Alan 1:38 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Gedson Fernandes update added.

Exiled In Surrey 1:10 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

bill green 12:43 Thu Jan 9

Russ of the BML 1:05 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
If we sign Fernandes, Barbosa and Worrall.... And get Randolph over the line. Is that a good window?

Thanks Alan 12:51 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

bill green 12:43 Thu Jan 9
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan
40M for Diop? dont think so

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