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Alan 12:48 Tue Feb 18
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are interested in Manchester United's England defender Chris Smalling, 30, who is on loan at Roma. (Corriere dello Sport - in Italian)

England forward Raheem Sterling, 25, is committed to staying at Manchester City despite the club's ban from European football, says his agent. (Manchester Evening News)

Manchester City face paying millions in compensation to their players because they would miss out on receiving Champions League bonuses. (Mail)

City will not face reductions on their £65m-a-season kit deal with Puma even if their European competition ban is upheld. (Mail)

Barcelona are set to sign Danish former Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite, 28, from Leganes in an emergency deal. (Mundo Deportivo, via Teeside Gazette)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp remains a big admirer of Timo Werner, but the Reds have not engaged with RB Leipzig about a deal for the 23-year-old Germany forward. (Independent)

Lille manager Christophe Galtier says there is tension between the club and 20-year-old French midfielder Boubakary Soumare, a target for Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. (Express)

Chelsea's Mario Pasalic will make a permanent move to Atalanta in the summer after they agreed to take up the £12.5m option to buy the Croatian midfielder, 25. (Guardian)

French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, 20, is facing a fight to save his Arsenal career after he was left out of the squad for Sunday's match against Newcastle United. (Mirror)

Guendouzi was dropped following a heated row with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and members of his coaching staff during a mid-season training camp in Dubai. (Goal)

Manchester United told Bournemouth they had 15 minutes to accept a £25m deadline-day bid for Norwegian striker Joshua King, 28, or they would sign a player from China. (The Athletic - subscription required)

Brazilian club Botafogo are expected to complete the signing of Ivorian former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, 36, on Wednesday or Thursday. (Globo Esporte - in Portuguese)

Southampton and Burnley are among a number of Premier League clubs interested in Oxford United's English defender Rob Dickie, 23. (Football Insider)

Dutch side Ajax could face losing up to eight players in the summer transfer window. (The Athletic - subscription required)

Braga coach Ruben Amorim said racism is also a problem in Portuguese society, as he responded to the alleged racist abuse of Porto striker Moussa Marega. (A Bola - in Portuguese)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Michael Butler

In today’s Absurd Football News, Barcelona have been given permission to sign a replacement for Ousmane Dembélé, a man so knacked by hamstring-twang that Barça players even took to the pitch at the weekend in funereal fashion, every single member of the squad donning specially-prepared Dembélé shirts. He’s pulled his hamstring, lads!

The upshot of Dembélé’s injury is that Barcelona are a little short in attack. This, of course, is entirely their own fault. Dembélé picked up the problem well before the end of the January transfer window, yet despite their almost limitless financial resources, Barcelona chose not to loan or buy a replacement. Rather, they actually let one of their potential replacements, Carles Pérez, leave on transfer deadline day, joining Roma on loan. Bring out the violins! Listen close, and you can hear the Rumour Mill’s heart smashing into a million pieces.

Any normal club would be now be in a tricky spot. But Barcelona have arguably the most famous production line of talent in the world in their academy, La Masia. Maybe Ansu Fati could get a run of starts, or Riqui Puig could be added to the first-team squad? Perhaps there is another star of tomorrow that could be called upon to play the final 15 minutes of another routine La Liga win?

Nope, instead Barcelona are going shopping after being given 15 days to sign a player who is already playing in La Liga or is a free agent. Naturally, they have turned to former Middlesbrough flop Martin Braithwaite, who managed nine goals in two years for the Championship club but is currently playing at relegation-threatened Leganés. The Danish forward would cost €20m, and could well be the difference between them going up and down.

Leganés, by the way, will not be permitted to sign a replacement of their own, another bitter blow for a club in a league that is already massively financially skewed in favour of the bigger clubs. Braithwaite will likely play a handful of minutes and not make any meaningful contribution. His Mr 15%, Ali Dursun (who also looks after Frenkie de Jong) will get another payday. Leganés, second from bottom and two points from safety, could well go down. That’s football, folks!

The Paul Pogba machine has just clicked into gear, again. You can read about that here, if you have the stomach.

Donny van de Beek heads a list of names that are being invited on to Ajax’s gilded merchant ship, Do Een, as the Dutch club look to cash in on the stars that guided them to the Champions League semi-final last season. Goalkeeper André Onana, left back Nicolas Tagliafico and winger David Neres are the others being touted for big-money moves, with Real Madrid linked with Van de Beek. He said last month: “Nothing is official [with Madrid]. There is no contract. That is the situation. That has not changed throughout the season. I don’t want to choose. Both are great clubs, but as I said before, Ajax is also a great club.”

Yaya Touré is back, baby! The big Ivorian could well pop up at Brazilian club Botafogo, who also signed Keisuke Honda in January, if personal terms can be agreed. Touré has most recently been playing in China with Qingdao Huanghai.

Finally, Tottenham and Everton are reportedly keen on Chris Smalling, who has recently earned the nickname ‘Smalldini’ for his form at Roma. Manchester United have a contract with the defender until June 2022, with the option to extend for a further year, and so could still command a hefty fee for the 30-year-old.

Evening Standard

Jarrod Bowen has settled 'very quickly' but David Moyes is reluctant to throw him in

Jack Rosser

David Moyes says he cannot put too much pressure on January signing Jarrod Bowen despite West Ham's perilous position.

The Hammers are a point from safety and travel to Manchester City on Wednesday before visiting Liverpool on Monday.

Bowen made a £22million deadline-day move to east London and Moyes is hopeful he can add the pace and goal threat they have so desperately lacked, but is wary of throwing him in at the deep end.

"I have been pleased with what I have seen from Jarrod at the moment," said Moyes. "He’s come in and settled in very quickly, he’s looked very sharp in training.

"He’s obviously had loads of games, it’s not as if he’s short of match practice or match fitness in any way so I have been pleased. But I am also wary of putting the boys in too quickly. I have had lots of boys from the Championship in the past and I think it’s important that you put them in at the right time, the right moments, at the right time and we will just take our time and see when it’s right for Jarrod.

"Obviously he is a talent. We need goals, he can do that. I am also very aware that we don’t need to put pressure on him too quickly."


Dmitri Halajko: West Ham United U23s must come to clinch games

West Ham United U23s Lead Coach Dmitri Halajko was in ambivalent mood after his side’s 2-2 draw against Stoke U23s on Monday evening.

The Hammers twice went ahead either side of half-time through well-taken goals by Xande Silva and Sean Adarkwa, but were pegged back on both occasions as the visitors capitalised on defensive errors and a 90th-minute penalty kick.

Xande Silva scored West Ham United U23s' opening goal at London Stadium

That late equaliser scored from the spot by Stoke’s Ryan Corrigan undid much of the good work the West Ham development squad had produced in a hard-fought first Premier League 2 Division 2 game of the season at London Stadium.

Citing other occasions that his team have conceded late goals during the 2019/20 campaign, therefore, Halajko observed that, while the table-toppers have much to be proud of, they also have plenty to work on.

“There were two sides to it really,” he reasoned. “On the one side of it, we look at it and think we’re still unbeaten. To still be unbeaten in February is a really good achievement, to still be top of the league, but the disappointing fact is we’ve let the game slip again from a winning position.

“That’s three or four times now we’ve been in a winning position in the last 15 minutes and let the other team back in it to get a draw, so that’s a disappointment.

“It could be a concentration thing. I don’t think it’s a physical thing, but it could be. We just haven’t managed to always hold out when it becomes crucial. That needs to be a time when we sharpen our minds, not the time we slack off.

“We need to smell that victory is coming, and hold out and clinch our games, rather than step off for the last 15 minutes and let teams back in.”

Seeking to stretch their advantage at the top of the table to five points, Halajko fielded a strong eleven for the visit of Stoke, who themselves were fourth prior to the game.

At the point of the attack was a dynamic front four – Oladapo Afolayan, Amadou Diallo, Xande Silva and Adarkwa – three of whom netted in their previous league fixture at Sunderland.

Supported by holding midfielders Bernardo Rosa and Alfie Lewis, the attackers produced no shortage of dangerous moments on Monday evening, but ultimately struggled to capitalise on them before that late equaliser – an area identified by Halajko for improvement.

“We had enough chances to kill the game off, both at 1-0 and when we were 2-1 up,” Halajko noted. “We certainly had the openings where our final pass or our final touch or our shot wasn’t at the level needed really, and if they were, we would have won the game comfortably.”

First-team manager David Moyes was in attendance at London Stadium on Monday evening to watch Halajko’s side, along with more than 650 West Ham United supporters, and the Lead Coach was delighted his young charges had such an excellent platform on which to showcase their talents.

“We spoke about it before the game: what an opportunity,” he said. “The first-team manager was here and all of his coaching staff. Playing at a stadium like this is a massive stage for our lads, and there’ve been some bits where they’ve done well and they’ll be happy with, and some bits where we can certainly improve.

“This kind of environment in which to play football is brilliant for their development.”

Gonçalo Cardoso admitted his dejection following the final whistle, but also spoke of the determination within the U23s’ ranks to right the evening’s wrongs moving forward.

“We talked in the dressing room afterwards,” the defender said. “It was a draw but it felt like a loss for us.

“We had the game in our hands, but we have to be honest and admit that the last 15 or 20 minutes we didn’t play like we did in the rest of the game. We can do better and we need to improve that.

“We had opportunities to finish the game and score a second or third, but that’s football; when you don’t score, you can always concede, and we need to see what we have to improve."

The U23s return to action on Monday 2 March, when Norwich City are the visitors to Dagenham & Redbridge's Chigwell Construction Stadium for a 7pm Premier League 2 Division 2 kick-off.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Passerby66 12:47 Wed Feb 19
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
It's pretty obvious why he does not want to throw Bowen in against City or Liverpool away and that is because we barely have a cat in hell's chance of winning either game.

If Bowen plays and we get humped, it knocks his confidence, the fans will get on his back and call him shit (don't deny it, we all know its true) and he will be accused of begin out of his depth at this level. Then when it comes to the games when we need him (Sotuhampton onwards) his confidence will already be shot and he will not perform the way we need him to.

Much better to bring him in against the teams we have a chance of beating and have him perform and score girls and we have a player on the crest of a wave who is confident he can deliver at this level.

I would far rather the existing players take the confidence knock from the likely tonkings we will get in the next two games than the new boy.

whu4eva 3:00 Wed Feb 19
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Threw Soucek in as a midfielder but won't through Bowen on...

It can't be any worse than some of the shit lanzini and co are serving up...

Whether we are survival or mid table mediocrity, you throw the kid in as that's why you fucking signed him you twat!

Russ of the BML 6:43 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"it’s important that you put them in at the right time, the right moments, at the right time and we will just take our time and see when it’s right for Jarrod. Obviously he is a talent. We need goals, he can do that. I am also very aware that we don’t need to put pressure on him too quickly."


I am afraid, Dave, that is the way properly managed football clubs do things. This is West Ham being run by Laurel & Hardy and managed by you.

13 games left you fucking plum. If Moyes has not yet realised that our PL survival relies on Bowen hitting the ground running then we are well and truly fucked.

geoffpikey 4:15 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Yep, one obviously hopes it's a bluff.

Moyes is good at bluffing. "That's what I do. I win" was a good one.

CanningTownWA 3:57 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Surely Moyes must be trying to not let on that Bowen is playing tomorrow? If he doesn’t start him and brings him if we are a few goals down Moyes deserves all the stick he will get

geoffpikey 3:29 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
At this rate Moyes will announce a week after relegation: our season starts here! It will. Just in the wrong bastard division.

Thank you Alan.

Side of Ham 3:21 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Anyone will look sharp compared to our slow lazy fuckers, how long before he's in their rut?

boleyn8420 2:33 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I've read that twat Moyes comments a few times now and the only conclusion is that he is really doing his best to get us relegated out of spite because we got rid of him for Pellegrini.

I've just read it again and alongside his comments on selling the best players should mean he should be sacked immediately. No clue, no inspiration, no tactics, no mark. get rid now.

Texas Iron 2:19 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Play Jarrod...FFS

Texas Iron 2:19 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Play Jarrod...FFS

Mex Martillo 2:16 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 1:27 Tue Feb 18

FruityBoots. 2:03 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
“Obviously he is a talent. We need goals, he can do that. I am also very aware that we don’t need to put pressure on him too quickly."

Nah Dave, only the 13 games left to save our season plus we’ve only spunked £20 odd million on him what’s the rush 🤯

bill green 1:27 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 1:26 Tue Feb 18

ted fenton 1:26 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Queens Fish Bar 1:18 Tue Feb 18

Queens Fish Bar 1:18 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:51 Tue Feb 18

Thanks Alan 12:51 Tue Feb 18
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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