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Alan 12:58 Tue Feb 25
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal could be forced to sell Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if they fail to agree to terms over a new contract, with the 30-year-old's present deal expiring in 2021. (Star)

Former Everton boss Sam Allardyce says he attempted to sign Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund before the striker joined the Gunners. (Talksport)

England winger Jadon Sancho, 19, could remain with Dortmund beyond this season despite being linked with a summer move to Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester United. (Ruhr Nachrichten - in German)

RB Leipzig's Germany striker Timo Werner, 23, linked with Liverpool, has an exit clause of 30m euros (£25m) plus a guarantee of performance-related bonuses, rather than £50m as initially believed. (Sport1 - in German)

Leicester City are considering offering Christian Fuchs, 33, a new deal as the Austrian defender approaches the end of his contract. (Mail)

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, 31, is expected to leave when his contract ends this summer, with his agents already assessing options, but AC Milan are not interested due to the Serbian's wage demands. (Calciomercato)

Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, 27, says he feared he would never play for the club again after the rant at supporters that led to him losing the captaincy - and has reservations over whether he would take the job again. (Evening Standard)

Roma and Manchester United remain in talks about making 30-year-old English defender Chris Smalling's season-long loan move to the Italian capital a permanent one. (Star)

Smalling says he has "an interesting decision to make" - staying with Manchester United or moving to Roma permanently. (Sky Sports)

Manchester United are also interested in Juventus' 32-year-old defender Blaise Matuidi, with Arsenal joining the race for the Frenchman. (Calciomercato via Express)

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is interested in Brazil's Willian, 31, after working with the Chelsea winger when he was manager at Stamford Bridge. (Star)

Everton are targeting Lille's Brazilian defender Gabriel, 22, as they make a centre-half their priority summer signing. (Mirror)

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is yet to be totally convinced by Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho. The German club has the option of making the 27-year-old's loan move from Barcelona a permanent transfer at the end of the season. (Bild, via Mail)

The father of Chelsea's Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso, 29, has hinted that his son will return to Italy, having played for Fiorentina before moving to Stamford Bridge. (Calciomercato - in Italian)

Morocco midfielder Hakim Ziyech, 26, says Chelsea manager Frank Lampard played a big role in his decision to move to the Blues from Ajax. (Mail)

Leeds are eyeing four summer deals which could amount to £45m in transfer fees should they gain promotion to the Premier League. (Express)

Arsenal's England Under-21 striker Eddie Nketiah, 20, believes it was his intensity in training that convinced Mikel Arteta to recall him from a loan spell at Leeds and into the first-team squad. (Football.London)

Nketiah has hailed the influence of Alexandre Lacazette and says there are no issues with the 28-year-old France forward, who has been left out of the Arsenal team in recent weeks. (Goal.com)

Manchester United will offer trials to two Polish 16-year-old defenders, Mateusz Lipp, who is a part of the Akademia 'Ruch' Chorzow academy and has previously been on trial with Arsenal and Sampdoria - plus Radoslaw Sewerys, who plays in the Polish top flight for Korona Kielce. (Express)

Middlesbrough have upped the price for defender Dael Fry, 22, to £25m following interest from Burnley. (Sun via Teesside Gazette)

Paris St-Germain's out-of-favour Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani, 33, said January was a difficult month after being linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. (Football.London)

Hollywood actor George Clooney, 58, is in talks to buy Spanish second tier side Malaga FC. (AS)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Stuart Goodwin

The Mill was down for some long overdue maintenance overnight, offering an opportunity for its gnomic, light-deprived team to get the waders on and finally jab a Vileda Supermop at the knotweed and slime that’s accrued on its spokes. We’re delighted to report that some additional motion has been achieved, and a years-worth of Pogba fluff has been removed along with some extremely Eden Hazardous waste.

Happily, safely wrapped in a Lidl bag for life was a bit of tittle-tattle from 2016, which we’ve given an hour or two out on the line and can now re-present to you as if box-fresh: Blaise Matuidi to Manchester United. Juve’s deep-lying midfielder is now 32 but has been linked to a Premier League move since JLS’ Beat Again was top of the charts. Back in 2009, the player was uncapped for France but a target for Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal – now Mikel Arteta has designs on thwarting Ole Gunnar Solskjær in pursuit of the 84-cap veteran. The Gunners also have Atlético Madrid’s Thomas Partey on their radar.

Sadio Mané thoroughly enjoyed his Monday Night Football, sealing Liverpool’s comeback victory over West Ham eight minutes from time. He reportedly plans to celebrate by cancelling his membership of the L3 Costco, resigning from the book club he attends with Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren and jabbing a fork firmly into Jürgen Klopp’s back by taking either the Real Madrid or Barcelona coin.

Zinedine Zidane is apparently less than impressed with what his forward line looks like when Eden Hazard fractures his fibula, and would very much like the in-form Senegalese forward thank you very much. Barça, meanwhile, may be prepared to pay as much as £225m, a fee which includes some extortionate premium sneakily inserted when contracts were exchanged for Philippe Coutinho.

In needless pressure corner, the “new Dani Alves’” could be on his way to Manchester City. That’s 17-year-old Brazilian Yan Couto, a former futsal star who (cue fistpumps from the football editors) was picked out as one of the Guardian’s potential Next Generation stars last October. Currently playing for Coritiba, £5m to the club may be enough to secure his services, with a nod, a wink and £5m on the end of a fishing rod to the player if he manages to jump through assorted performance-related hoopers.

Amiens’ Serhou Guirassy is the forward on Graham Potter’s mind, with Brighton hoping to fend off West Ham for the Frenchman’s signature. £20m is the kind of figure the Ligue 1 club have in mind.

Finally, depending on where you read, Timo Werner is either being all “come hither, Mr Klopp”, standoffish and respectful of his RB Leipzig contract, or getting his agent to project his alleged £30m release on to the Shankly Gates. Regardless, it’s safe to say this may not be the last we hear of links with a move to Anfield.


Sadio Mané brings title closer for Liverpool after West Ham scare

Andy Hunter at Anfield

History was made at Anfield as Liverpool established a Premier League record of 21 consecutive home wins and equalled Manchester City’s run of 18 successive top-flight victories. The landmark was created with great difficulty and greater belief. West Ham surpassed expectations in making Jürgen Klopp’s leaders look vulnerable but, like every other domestic visitor this season, they departed Anfield in the knowledge their best was not enough.

Liverpool moved to within 12 points of the slice of history that matters most – their first league title for 30 years – thanks to many of the characteristics that have come to define their remarkable campaign.

Trent Alexander-Arnold made the breakthrough for Georginio Wijnaldum and the late winner for Sadio Mané as he moved to 12 assists for the second season running. Andy Robertson continued the theme of Liverpool’s devastating full-backs by setting up Mohamed Salah for the second, converted thanks to a dreadful mistake by West Ham’s goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

At that point the visitors led through the substitute Pablo Fornals and Liverpool, sluggish for long spells, were in trouble. But they were never subdued. Klopp’s players rarely are these days. Roared on by an equally convinced Anfield crowd Liverpool found a way once more.

David Moyes has never won in 16 visits to Anfield and, even after Fornals had swept West Ham into a merited lead early in the second half, he refused to get carried away with the celebrations of his staff on the bench. Experience has taught him not to, and so have West Ham’s problems in goal this season.

Fabianski made several fine stops but was at fault for the first and the crucial second goal, letting Salah’s low shot squirm between his legs and over the line, as West Ham remained ensconced in the relegation zone without a win in seven league games.

Their problems are not restricted to the field of play either, with kick-off the signal for a mass protest towards the club’s board by the travelling supporters.

The black balloons that formed part of the West Ham protest were still being popped when Liverpool took the lead.

When Roberto Firmino saw a shot blocked inside the West Ham area the threat to Fabianski’s goal appeared over. Or so the visitors thought. The ball spun towards the corner flag where Alexander-Arnold whipped over a trademark peach of a cross for Wijnaldum to head beyond Fabianski.

Robert Snodgrass and Issa Diop reacted too late to the cross and the midfielder’s darting run but the Poland keeper was also culpable. Wijnaldum’s header was hardly bullet-like but found its target via Fabianski’s weak forearm.

It was the worst possible start to what had always threatened to be a long night for Moyes’s team but West Ham’s response could not be faulted. They were level within three minutes through the first of several dangerous set pieces, a fine header from Diop on the end of a Snodgrass corner with Alisson being caught by surprise at his near post. It was the first Premier League goal Liverpool had conceded on home soil since 4 December and prompted an outbreak of “We’re gonna win the league” from the visiting fans. Laughter emerged from the rest of the stadium.

Fabianski produced a fine save to deny Salah, Virgil van Dijk struck the crossbar with a header from an Alexander-Arnold corner and the right-back went close with a low drive from Firmino’s lay-off. Despite the chances Liverpool struggled to find their rhythm and Jordan Henderson’s absence was sorely felt in central midfield.

The departure of Tomas Soucek early in the second half through injury was significant, as the January recruit had been highly effective in the West Ham midfield, but his replacement made a greater impression.

Fornals had been on the pitch eight minutes when he stunned Anfield by sweeping the visitors ahead. Declan Rice delivered a low cross from the right, Joe Gomez was slow to react and the Spanish midfielder steered a first-time shot wide of Alisson’s despairing dive, into the Brazilian’s bottom right-hand corner.

As always, Klopp’s players refused to be derailed by a deficit or a jaded display. Alexander-Arnold stung Fabianski’s fingers with a soaring drive before Liverpool levelled courtesy of a shocking error from the West Ham keeper.

It followed a fine move, started by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s crossfield ball to Robertson and his darting run inside Snodgrass to set up Salah.

The forward’s shot was low and straight at Fabianski but squeezed through the keeper’s hands and trickled over the line. Cue despair for West Ham and greater relief for the champions-elect.

Liverpool pressed on for the record-breaking win and, somewhat inevitably, it arrived late in the day.

Alexander-Arnold was quickest to react when Gomez’s shot deflected off Noble and sailed into the West Ham area. As Fabianski advanced the full-back had the presence of mind to lift the ball over his head and there was Mané, unmarked, to tap home the winner.

There was still time for another West Ham substitute, Jarrod Bowen, to race through on Liverpool’s goal – he tried to chip the advancing goalkeeper – but Alisson made a vital, telling save to secure another three points. Only 12 more, at the very most, to go.


'Sold a dream, delivered a nightmare': West Ham fans stage protest against owners David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady in defeat at Anfield as they release black balloons and unveil banners

West Ham fans unveiled flags and banners protesting against the club's owners
Many want David Gold, David Sullivan, and Karren Brady to leave the club
A fan group has organised a protest march on February 29 around east London

By Matt Porter

West Ham fans unveiled banners protesting against the club's owners during their 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Monday night.

The London club haven't won a game since January 1, and now face a real threat of relegation, as they sit 18th with a number of tough games ahead.

Fans want owners David Sullivan and David Gold out of the club, as well as vice-chairman Karren Brady.

West Ham United fans unveiled flags and banners protesting against the club's owners

Fans also released dozens of black, biodegradable balloons as part of their protest

Many want owners David Sullivan and David Gold, and vice-chairman Karren Brady to leave

The protests, which also included the release of black biodegradable balloons, have been planned for a while, and there was suspicion when West Ham's away allocation was reduced down to 1,800 from 3,000.

Club insiders insisted that the reduction was down to demand than any ulterior motive surrounding the protests.

Fans have grown frustrated about the lack of form, and many have been less than pleased with the team's move from Upton Park to their new home of the London Stadium.

A fan group has organised a protest walk on February 29 around areas of east London

West Ham performed well at times against Liverpool, but ended up losing the game 3-2

'Sold a dream, delivered a nightmare,' was the message on one of the flags that fans unfurled on Monday night.

'GSB [Gold, Sullivan, Brady] out. Sold us lies, lies, lies,' read one of the banners, while another simply said 'Karren Brady, you're fired!'

Another flag bearing the West Ham logo said the entire board should be sacked, calling them 'lying thieving frauds.'

West Ham are in a dangerous relegation battle, currently sitting 18th after a run of bad form

There were also fliers detailing the 'Greenway Stroll' which is due to take place on February 29 in east London.

It is going to be a peaceful protest by the West Ham fans as they walk around Plaistow, West Ham, Stratford High Street, Abbey Road, and Pudding Mill Lane that afternoon.

West Ham performed beyond expectations in the match against Liverpool, scoring twice and at times looking like ruining Liverpool's amazing run of form.

However, goals from Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane gave the Reds the win, as they steam towards the Premier League title.

Meanwhile, West Ham are in the relegation zone, one point adrift from Aston Villa.


Gloomy injury update

Tomas Soucek heads for a scan today after leaving the action at Anfield last night but he’s certain to miss the game against Southampton on Saturday.

The on-loan Czech midfielder is believed to be suffering from a groin or adductor injury, probably from overstretching, and manager David Moyes confirmed after the game he wasn’t taken off as a precaution and that he faced further medical checks today.

That will include a scan but already a Hammers insider has revealed that he could be out for up to a month.

It’s a real blow for Moyes with the player making a real impression since his arrival in the team on loan during the winter window.

Pablo Fornals scored on his Anfield entry for Soucek and looks set to get a start against Saints at the weekend.

Thankfully, Declan Rice left it until the post-December cut off date before picking up his fifth yellow card and thus has five more to collect before facing a suspension.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Balto 12:55 Wed Feb 26
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
To those who went yesterday, and especially those who demonstrated my sincerest thanks. Keep up the pressure and from California my spirit will be with you on the next demonstration.

How ironic that the "next level" that we were all promised means new owners and a new board.

Russ of the BML 5:29 Tue Feb 25
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Gloomy injury update on Soucek"

Great word. Gloomy. I simply cannot remember a more gloomy season at West Ham.

It's like the never ending nightmare.

Texas Iron 5:07 Tue Feb 25
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

ted fenton 1:50 Tue Feb 25
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
147man 1:02 Tue Feb 25

bill green 1:40 Tue Feb 25
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
blueeyed.handsomeman 1:02 Tue Feb 25

blueeyed.handsomeman 1:02 Tue Feb 25
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
THanks Alan

147man 1:02 Tue Feb 25
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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