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Alan 1:38 Mon Jan 27
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham are closing in on PSV Eindhoven's Dutch international forward Steven Bergwijn, 22. (Mirror)

Barcelona have offered £67m to sign Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder. The France international, 29, would fill the gap caused by Luis Suarez's injury. (Foot Mercato)

Tottenham have reopened talks with AC Milan over Poland forward Krzysztof Piatek, 24. (Sky Italia, via Mail)

However, Chelsea have reportedly been offered Piatek. (Star)

The possible Saudi Arabia takeover of Newcastle United would see the new owners try to bring former Magpies manager Rafael Benitez, who is boss of Chinese club Dalian Yifang, back to the club. (Sun)

Manchester United have increased their bid for the Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes to an initial £46.4m but the Portuguese club are expecting a better offer from another club for the Portugal international. (Times - subscription required)

Arsenal are set to battle with Everton to sign Real Madrid's Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez, 28. (AS, via Mail)

Tottenham will be entitled to £10m in compensation if former manager Mauricio Pochettino takes over another team before the end of the season. (Mirror)

Sheffield United have had a bid for Norway midfielder Sander Berge rejected by Genk, with West Ham also interested in the 21-year-old. (Mail)

Leeds United are set to sign RB Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, 22, on loan for the rest of the season. The Frenchman has been on loan at Monaco for the first half of the season. (Star)

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, 27, was linked with leaving the London side in the summer but Gunners boss Mikel Arteta believes he can turn around the German international's career at the club. (Telegraph)

Bournemouth are contemplating a late bid for Levski Sofia's Iceland defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, 29. (90 Min)

Charlton could be set to sign Paul Pogba's brother Florentin, the 29-year-old Guinea international who has been training with the club's under-23s following his release from MLS side Atlanta. (Sun)

Charlton are also keen to bring in Tottenham's Republic of Ireland international striker Troy Parrott, 17, on loan. (Mail)

Everton are close to signing Inter Milan's Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino for £17m. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Manchester United are refusing to drop their £25m asking price for Chris Smalling despite a plea from Roma, where the 29-year-old English defender is on a season-long loan. (Sun)

AC Milan's former Liverpool midfielder Suso, the 26-year-old Spain international, is expected to join Sevilla. (Calciomercato)

Manchester United remain hopeful of a deal for Juventus and Germany midfielder Emre Can, 26, the former Liverpool player. (Express)

Burnley, Leeds, West Brom, Derby and Stoke are interested in St-Etienne defender Harold Moukoudi. The 22-year-old Cameroon international is available on loan until the end of the season. (L'Equipe)

Manchester United will offer Sunderland's highly-rated 16-year-old English defensive midfielder Logan Pye a five-year deal after he was linked with Arsenal. (Sun)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Gregg Bakowski

Having managed to get his Arsenal players to stop shrugging when things go wrong, run further, shout more and generally look like they give a damn when they take to the field, Mikel Arteta can now start to think about the next step in the evolution of his Gunners … and a little creator is what he needs! There’s a player in Spain who has caught the eye but fans of romance will be disappointed to hear that it is not Santi Cazorla. No, step forward Thomas Lemar, the pocket-sized playmaker who has failed to shine in the rigid system at Atlético Madrid. The word is that Diego Simeone would happily hoof him towards London to make space in his squad for another striker, with Edinson Cavani the most likely arrival at the Wanda Metropolitano. The word is that Lemar, who joined Atlético in 2018 from Monaco for £50m is “close” to sealing a loan move with the possibility of a permanent deal in the summer.

Another player who is this close to checking in at the Emirates Stadium is the 6ft 3in Flamengo centre-back Pablo Mari. The 26-year-old spent three years at Manchester City between 2016 and 2019, and though he was mostly out on loan, he clearly left an impression on Arteta, who might see him as a more reliable defensive option to entertainment’s David Luiz. Expect a deal to be wrapped up for around £7m.

It’s going well for José Mourinho at Spurs isn’t it? Little more than a few months in and he is already looking for a mammoth transfer to solve the problems he clearly can’t fix on the training ground. He’s badgering Daniel Levy like no one’s business to bring Gareth Bale home. Home being Tottenham, not Southampton or Cardiff Civil Service. Real Madrid will not sanction a loan deal, though, and any permanent deal would involve agreeing to pay Bale something close to his £650,000 a week wages in Spain. Good luck with that, José. More likely is a £30m deal for the PSV forward Steven Bergwijn or Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek, though Chelsea are winning the race to sign the latter.

Manchester United are starting to resemble a drunk singleton frantically chatting up anyone that catches their eye as they try to secure a striker this January. They’ve started boasting about how good their training ground is to former Leicester striker Islam Slimani and Watford old boy Odion Ighalo. That will stop fans walking out in protest at the way the club is being run at their next home match won’t it, Ed? Ben Chilwell would be a more eye-catching signing, though United will wait until the summer to make a move for the Leicester left-back.

Another underwhelming striker who might be available before the window shuts this week is Christian Benteke, though Aston Villa are likely to be the quickest off the mark for the Crystal Palace outcast who will hope to party like it’s 2013 again if he returns to his old stamping ground.

Reports in Portugal suggest Liverpool are leading the race to sign Benfica’s 18-year-old midfielder Rafael Brito, who is also on Barcelona and Real Madrid’s radar. They will have to fork out a cool £38m for him, though.

And Newcastle’s hopes of bringing in Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcácer on loan this week may be dashed by goings on in Spain. With Barcelona likely to snaffle Rodrigo away from Valencia, the La Liga club may look to bring Alcácer back to the Mestalla, where he spent six years of his career between 2010 and 2016. Barça also like the look of Monaco’s £67m-rated Ben Yedder, though, which would be good news for Steve Bruce.


Saudi Arabia criticised over pirate TV service 'that airs Premier League'

EU says country has failed to halt BeoutQ, which reportedly also airs La Liga and Serie A

Mark Sweney

Saudi Arabia has been named in a European commission report for its failure to crack down on a homegrown pirate TV and streaming service that reportedly provides illegal access to prime content including Premier League football internationally.

The report has emerged at a highly sensitive time for Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, who is attempting to sell the Premier League club in a potential £340m deal led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s investment vehicle.

The biennial report lists the 13 countries the European commission deems have the worst track record for piracy and protecting intellectual property rights that “causes considerable harm to EU businesses”.

The Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Uefa are understood to be among at least eight rights holders and broadcasters to have submitted official complaints relating to the Saudi-based pirate TV service in the consultation stage of the commission’s report.

The inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the report for the first time follows two years of calls from sports bodies – including Fifa, Uefa, Germany’s Bundesliga, La Liga and Italy’s Serie A – as well as broadcasters including the BBC, Sky and NBCUniversal for Saudi Arabia to block the pirate service. The sporting bodies have attempted to take legal action in Saudi Arabia, but nine local legal firms declined to take on the copyright case.

The report, which aims to help the European commission “focus efforts and resources” on tackling piracy, says that Saudi Arabia’s enforcement of intellectual property rights “features serious shortcomings”.

“Stakeholders report high-scale satellite and online piracy and ineffective enforcement measures to tackle them,” the report says. “An allegedly Saudi operator called BeoutQ currently makes available – without authorisation – content belonging to EU sport event organisers and EU right holders in the territory of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa as well as in the EU. Saudi Arabia has reportedly not taken sufficient steps to stop the infringement despite the fact that the satellite services of BeoutQ are being transmitted by the satellite of the partly state-owned Arabsat.”

The pirate TV service, which also provides access to illegal streaming apps, surged in popularity after making global headlines for broadcasting the entire football World Cup. The All England Lawn Tennis Club has condemned BeoutQ for illegally streaming Wimbledon worldwide for the past two years.

BeoutQ was was launched in 2017 when Saudi Arabia mounted an economic boycott of Qatar. It initially only pirated the feed of Qatar’s beIN Media, which spends $15bn (£11.5bn) on sports rights and has 55 million pay-TV customers worldwide, as part of a wider political dispute.

Saudi Arabia is named as a “priority 3” country, which places it below countries including China and Russia which are ranked as “priority 1” and “priority 2” level infringers, although the European commission says any nation appearing on its list is causing considerable harm to businesses across Europe.

“Infringements of intellectual property, including piracy, threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs in the EU every year,” said Phil Hogan, the EU trade commissioner. “The information gathered in the report will enable us to become even more efficient in protecting EU firms and workers against intellectual property infringements like counterfeiting or copyright piracy.”

Yousef al-Obaidly, the chief executive of beIN Media Group, said: “The European commission’s latest report adds to the chorus of voices calling on Saudi Arabia to follow the most basic international norm – that is to uphold the rule of law.”


Media tide turns on owners

The losses against Leicester City and West Brom this week has seen a number of prominent media people to join in criticism against the West Ham board.

Sun columnist Mark Irwin penned a scratching article in the printed version of the Sun last week and Sun reporter Duncan Wright joined in over the weekend by saying “Alarming how a Premier League club can quite get itself into a mess in terms of completely unbalanced and inadequate squad as West Ham. Serious lack of identity and vision. And you just know they are making it up on the hoof ahead of deadline day too.”

On Sky’s Sunday Supplement programme Guardian Journalist Jonathan Liew said “It’s a Premier League club in London and generates huge amounts of cash and it is being run like a fruit stall” while Daily Telegraph sports writer Matt Law said there was a complete lack of investment in infrastructure saying “It’s just a shambles, an absolute shambles”

Tony Cascarino told TalkSport listeners “A lot is wrong upstairs at West Ham, I am not a fan of the owners and there’s a lot going on”

BT sport pundit and two time Hammer Joe Cole added more fuel to the fire saying “You feel the frustration from West Ham fans, they are not a hard bunch to please. They want players who fight, who graft but there also want a little bit of flair. West Ham have not won anything for thirty years. David Moyes hasn’t got pressure on him to win the FA Cup but fans want to see a team that is pulling in the right direction. I think the problem lays more with the owners and the board in the eyes of the fans. There is a counter-argument that actually spent money, they have not just spent it wisely”

Former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has lifted the lid on his relationship with West Ham owner David Sullivan.

And he has revealed the club owner would sometimes turn up pre-season with a present of centre forward signing he fancied.

Big Sam told Alan Brazil on Talksport “David (Sullivan) will have his own mind on his own players, we all need to work hand in hand I found with dealing with David when I was there was the order of the day.

You get the odd present from David now and again, where he fancies it so brings him in anyway, so you have to live with that He don’t mind that and he says “I have got you a little present” but you just hope it works.

He just turned up pre-season and says “I fancied this one;” it’s always a centre forward, one that scores goals which is fine because you think you can come and score goals.

Asked by Alan Brazil what happens if you don’t play him Sam smiled and said “You get the can for that!” it’s your coaching techniques not bringing the best out of him. I am not naming names, no I am not”

Sport Witness

West Ham and Aston Villa rejected, after it was claimed Hammers were close to deal

Steven Nzonzi has been linked with multiple Premier League clubs during the January transfer window, with the idea being he’d arrive on loan from AS Roma.

He’s spent the first half of the season with Galatasaray, but things haven’t gone well for the midfielder in Turkey. The Turkish club haven’t been too fussed about losing him, and he hasn’t been used since December.

That’s allowed Nzonzi to look for a new destination, and now it’s claimed West Ham and Aston Villa have been rejected in favour of Rennes.

On January 22nd, we covered a claim from Turkey that the player had chosen West Ham.

On January 25th, it was reported in France that West Ham were ‘vying’ with Rennes for the signing, and a decision would be made in the coming days.

Foot Mercato now say the decision has been reached, and Nzonzi will join Rennes on loan for the rest of the season. Aston Villa and West Ham get a mention, with it being reported they’ve been turned down after the Frenchman was impressed by the sport project at the Ligue 1 side.

It’s expected the move will be formalised soon.


West Ham United to decide if they will go for Sampdoria central midfielder Ronaldo Vieira in 48 hours

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, West Ham United are expected to decide by Wednesday if they will pursue the signing of Sampdoria central midfielder Ronaldo Vieira before Friday’s transfer deadline.

The Hammers are fighting for survival after picking up just 23 points in 23 Premier League games, and they are looking to boost the squad this month.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan and manager David Moyes are both strong admirers of Vieira, and are deliberating over making a January move for him or to wait till summer.

Sampdoria aren’t keen on losing the England youth international and will demand around £17 million for his services.

Burnley also want Vieira, 21, and did send their senior scout to run the rule over him during Sampdoria’s game against Sassuolo on Sunday, but aren’t expected to move for him this month.

Moyes also wanted to go watch the game in Italy, but the midfielder’s recent struggle with a knee injury did cast doubt on his starting chances – and he only played for 18 minutes

The former Leeds United man has featured in 20 games across all competitions for the Serie A side this term, and has been a solid shield for their backline.

West Ham could do with services, but they badly need a quality finisher at the moment, and signing one will help boost their survival chances.


It's increasingly clear: West Ham are a club drifting towards disaster

If 'The West Ham Way' exists in 2020, it is a culture of bouncing between competing ideas and styles – none of which work for them

Seb Stafford-Bloor

In the UK on Sunday, football supporters woke up to a blistering segment on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, in which The Telegraph’s Matt Law and The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew took aim at West Ham.

It was good television. It was also unusual because the deeper issues at West Ham are rarely discussed, with debate generally limited to the problems with the first team and the head coach. While those issues are hardly irrelevant, they’ve always seemed more like a symptom than a cause under the current ownership and, as such, really beside the point.

On Saturday, David Moyes’ side suffered fresh humiliation in the FA Cup, losing 0-1 to Slaven Bilic’s West Bromwich Albion. As dire as the performance was, the symbolism was worse. Bilic may yet take his new club back to the Premier League. His former employers, however, bereft of ideas and increasingly short of options, have just rotated back to the man who replaced him.

As a metaphor for their ideological inertia, that will take some surpassing.

Unfortunately, this propensity to bounce between half-baked ideas is very much the club's modern way. Supporters are often accused of guarding their team’s identity too zealously, but at West Ham there's definitely the sense of something having been squandered.

In fact, fans' loyalty to those ethereal definitions should never be mocked. True, many of them view their club in a hopelessly idealised way – see Liverpool’s self-determination as a plucky underdog, for instance – but that doesn’t mean that those qualities are entirely illusory or that they shouldn't be defended.

In West Ham’s case, there are definitely footballing virtues that suit the club’s culture. Admittedly, they’re different from those established in the 1960s and 1970s, but even as recently as the 1990s there existed a quintessentially West Ham performance. Describing that is difficult, but most would know it if they saw it. Tough in the tackle, horrible to play against, but still imbued with flecks of flair; maybe that was an impression formed by the physical confines of Upton Park. Whatever the cause, it perpetuated something which looked and felt right. Something, ultimately, which has been replaced by a general vacuity.

It’s important to be historically accurate. The current owners did not begin this process. Terry Brown was still chairman until 2006 and the appointments of Glenn Roeder and Alan Pardew don’t bear much scrutiny. In each instance, for different reasons, the effect was to dilute West Ham’s personality.

But since 2010, that watering down has continued. Structurally, by the move away from Upton Park, but for many years before that too, with appointments destined to challenge the subliminal qualities which supporters identified with.

It’s not that West Ham should always just be a cluster of East End cliches, but – equally – they obviously didn’t suit the machine-breaking of Sam Allardyce either. Or whatever it was that Avram Grant represented. Or Manuel Pellegrini, another separate circle on any Venn Diagram.

Or David Moyes now. Or the dozens of players who have bounced in and out of the club during those respective cycles.

These are not fashionable arguments to make. Football is a game of money now and of dispassionate analysis, so implying the relevance of any sort of soul seems out of touch. But while it may be an outmoded concept, it's to West Ham's obvious detriment that they have never represented less than they do right now. And, quite clearly, the cause of that recession is the disrespect that has continuously been shown to their culture.

What is West Ham? What is the club as a concept? It's very difficult to answer that, but very few decisions over the last decade seem to have been made with that question in mind. And that's the problem: the lack of such consideration.

Perhaps that’s also this ownership’s greatest mistake? Viewing their tenure as a whole, you could be forgiven for thinking that they never really wanted to own West Ham at all. They wanted a football club and to see it rise smoothly up the Premier League, they were even willing to spend a huge amount of money towards achieving that aim. But they were targeting an unbranded sort of success, something which was washed clean of all the old associations.

The stadium had to go, to be replaced by a venue with all the gravity of a Meccano set. Big, vacant and detached. It’s hard to think of a more unlikely place for West Ham to play, or somewhere less capable of hothousing Upton Park's precious intangibles.

What of the head coaches, too? Bilic aside, where have the synergies been? Where is the understanding that philosophical alignment bonds every great partnership in the game and that clubs and coaches either have to share personalities, ambitions or - ideally - both.

The same accusation stands for those dozens and dozens of transient players, too. The archetype of the West Ham footballer used to be so different, as did the personality of those teams. It would be a Joe Cole here, a Michael Hughes there, and an unlikely gang of Di Canios, Lomases, and the occasional Carrick or Ferdinand somewhere in between. It was a strange little jigsaw, but it worked - some of the pieces needed to be banged down, but it was deferential to its public and somehow, in that mysterious way that fans embolden teams, stronger as a result.

Now, it's a side built out of arranged marriages. They're footballers who don't look quite right in the shirt. They sound good in theory and are worth their investment in a literal sense, but they don’t logically belong at the club and, as a result, can’t be expected to steward its reputation.

Call this what it is, then: a tax on being superficial. It's the consequence of being in thrall to the best player, the biggest name, and the most financially opulent scenario, and never considering that a football club might draw its energy from something more subtle.

And there are very few instances where this has proven to be a successful strategy. When new owners are wealthy enough to knock a club down and build an entirely different one in its place, they're able to make the game’s history seem like a quaint irrelevance. But in more ordinary situations, it matters. It's hard to say why but it does and football tends to punish those who think they know better or who are so fixated on where they want to go, that they lose sight of who they are.

Evening Standard

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan eyes double transfer swoop to lift the gloom

The Hammers want to sign at least two players before Friday’s transfer deadline.


West Ham co-owner David Sullivan was today attempting to relieve the pressure on his ailing team by signing at least two players before Friday’s transfer deadline.

The club, who have been heavily criticised for their recruitment strategy, spent almost £80million last summer in an effort to move to the next level but now find themselves in a relegation fight and — after their 1-0 home defeat by West Brom — also out of the FA Cup.

Sullivan may have favoured a quiet January following his summer spending but must now be active in the transfer market if he is to deflect some of the growing discontent among fans.

Top of manager David Moyes’s priority list is a full-back and a midfielder to ease the burden on both veteran Pablo Zabaleta and captain Mark Noble, who admitted he had been looking forward to an afternoon off against West Brom but was brought on as one of three half-time substitutes by Moyes.

West Ham have enquired about Nottingham Forest’s 22-year-old full-back Matty Cash, but Moyes has denied the club have had a £12m offer rejected.

The club have also been linked with a move for 24-year-old Slavia Prague midfielder Tomas Soucek, who has 23 caps for the Czech Republic.


West Ham close on Slavia Prague's €20m-rated midfielder Tomas Soucek

Club inquire about taking Spurs’ Kyle Walker-Peters on loan
Czech international Soucek has scored 10 goals this season

Jacob Steinberg

West Ham have asked about the possibility of a loan deal for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker-Peters and are in advanced talks with Slavia Prague over a deal for the Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Soucek.

David Moyes knows that West Ham’s Premier League status is likely to depend on how many players arrive before the transfer window shuts on Friday and he wants a right-back, a central midfielder and a forward. The club are scouring the market for reinforcements and have inquired about signing Walker-Peters on loan.

The 22-year-old, who has been targeted by Crystal Palace and Southampton, could fill in for Ryan Fredericks, who is not expected to return from a hamstring injury until the end of February. The 35-year-old Pablo Zabaleta has deputised for Fredericks in recent weeks while West Ham failed with a £12m offer for Nottingham Forest’s right-back Matty Cash.

West Ham’s problems increased when they lost to a shadow West Bromwich Albion side in the FA Cup last Saturday. Only goal difference is keeping them out of the bottom three before they host Liverpool on Wednesday and Brighton on Saturday. The pressure is increasing on the club’s owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, and West Ham’s dismal performance against West Brom exposed glaring weaknesses within their squad.

Carlos Sánchez toiled after being handed a rare start in central midfield and West Ham are hopeful of clinching a deal to sign Soucek. Moyes wants greater presence in midfield and Soucek, who has scored 10 goals this season, appears to fit the bill. The 24-year-old would be capable of slotting in alongside Declan Rice and West Ham are poised to raise their initial bid of €15m (£12.7m) for the Czech international, who is valued at €20m by his club.

West Ham have also targeted Ronaldo Vieira but feel the Sampdoria midfielder is too expensive, and their interest in the CSKA Moscow forward Fyodor Chalov has cooled. Meanwhile West Ham aim to find a buyer in Spain for Sánchez, who was substituted at half-time against West Brom.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Queens Fish Bar 12:46 Tue Jan 28
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mex Martillo 4:09 Mon Jan 27

Mickey Rat 9:43 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, great analysis from Fourfourtwo absolutely spot on

Peckham 9:17 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Evening Standard Final has the headlines Sub Standard Hammers , page 53.
More from Ken Dyer and positive reporting of Hammers United and finally an article publishing the more accurate attendance of the protest from 1000 to 2000.

charleyfarley 6:58 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al

Mex Martillo 4:09 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 2:27 Mon Jan 27

andyd12345 3:08 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Sullivan may have favoured a quiet January following his summer spending"

You can mark the Evening Standard down as another paper that Sullivan has got in his pocket. £25m net is what West Ham spent in the summer. Of course this article reports it as £80m, conveniently forgetting the £55m we received in transfer funds.

ted fenton 2:27 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:46 Mon Jan 27

blueeyed.handsomeman 2:08 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
THanks Alan

Alan 1:54 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Evening Standard story added.

Thanks Alan 1:46 Mon Jan 27
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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