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Alan 2:00 Wed Mar 4
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
BBC

Birmingham City and England Under-17 midfielder Jude Bellingham, 16, is set to become Borussia Dortmund's record signing for a fee of 35m euros (£30.4m). (Bild - in German)

Tottenham will face a battle to hold on to talismanic striker Harry Kane, 26, in the summer if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League. (Telegraph)

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho says he is not planning to have a summer overhaul of his squad. (Evening Standard)

Barcelona have joined Liverpool and Real Madrid in the race for 20-year-old Valencia winger Ferran Torres. (El Mundo Deportivo via Daily Mail)

Real Madrid have asked former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino to keep them informed of his plans as they consider hiring him to replace Zinedine Zidane. (Independent)

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez, 31, will need to accept a significant drop in wages if he wants to complete a permanent switch to Inter Milan this summer. (Tuttosport via Daily Mail)

West Ham will firm up their interest in Brentford's 22-goal striker Ollie Watkins, 24, in the summer if the Bees are not promoted to the Premier League. (Sun)

Everton are interested in a number of midfield options including Espanyol 23-year-old Marc Roca. (Liverpool Echo)

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has ordered his new backroom team to improve their English as they adapt to life in the Premier League. (Guardian)

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has reportedly sold half his stake in MLS club Los Angeles FC - and plans to sell the other half. (LA Times)

Aston Villa are interested in Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson, 25, but know their chances of signing the former France Under-21 international hinge on their Premier League survival. (Birmingham Mail)

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says reports of a bust-up between him and 22-year-old French forward Allan Saint-Maximin, who has been linked with Wolves, are "total nonsense". (Newcastle Chronicle)

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster says a summer transfer to Tottenham is purely "paper talk". The former England international, 36, is out of contract in the summer. (Watford Observer)

Atletico Madrid are the front-runners to sign Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 31, with the Croatia international keen to stay in Spain. (Marca)

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says he will only leavethe club if he is sacked. (The Scotsman)

Premier League clubs have stepped up their scouting teams abroad as they take advantage of relaxed post-Brexit regulations on home grown players. (Mail)







Guardian Rumour Mill

Michael Butler

What will the transfer ‘market’ look like in a post-coronavirus-lockdown world? Will Paul Pogba ever make it out of south-west Manchester? Will José Mourinho manage to smuggle a striker into his dressing room via the laundry basket? And will Peter Odemwingie be OK in that car park? Windows up, Peter!

Luckily, we’re not quite there yet, and clubs are pressing ahead with their business as normal. First on the list is Jude Bellingham, who is the latest Englishman wanted by Borussia Dortmund, following the unqualified success of The Jadon Sancho Experiment. Bild say Bellingham, who at 16 is one of the brightest players in the Championship at Birmingham City, is set to join for a club-record €35m (£30.5m) fee, eclipsing the €31m they paid for Mats Hummels. Oof!

Real Madrid are top of La Liga and have just soundly beaten Barcelona in the clásico, so naturally the club’s hierarchy are looking into the possibility of firing one of their most successful managers, Zinedine Zidane, and replacing him with Mauricio Pochettino.

Ben Foster, currently football’s nicest man (see here and here), has dismissed gossip of moving from Watford to Spurs at the end of the season as “paper talk”. The 36-year-old is out of contract in the summer and would be available for free if Watford are silly enough to let him go.

Would you pay Alexis Sánchez £200,000 a week? Well that’s the figure Internazionale have settled on – half of the Chilean’s existing contract at Manchester United – if the forward makes a permanent switch from Old Trafford this summer. Sánchez has missed much of the season through injury and scored no goals since his return to the side in January, yet Antonio Conte and co remain keen.

Some actual transfer news: Victor Wanyama has left Spurs for Montreal Impact! The Kenyan joins up with Thierry Henry’s side on a free transfer and has signed a three-year contract. “When I spoke to Thierry and he told me he wanted me to join him in Montreal, I didn’t have to think twice,” said Wanyama.

After spending £45m on a striker that isn’t that good at running, West Ham have decided that they need one that can, so have settled on Brentford’s Ollie Watkins. The Torquay-born 24-year-old has been pulling up palm trees in the Championship this season, scoring 22 goals from 36 games, and would add mobility and quality to the Hammers attack.

Finally, Everton are looking to bolster their midfield options in the summer, with Carlo Ancelotti displeased by the lack of energy, aside from language issues. Espanyol’s Marc Roca and Toulouse’s Ibrahim Sangaré are two names that have been mentioned. Roca would be available for a lower fee should they be relegated this season, but Sangaré could cost upwards of €30m.







Sun

West Ham eyeing move for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins as scouts watch 22-goal hero

Exclusive by Duncan Wright

WEST HAM are watching Brentford's Ollie Watkins with the view to making a summer bid to bring the striker to the London Stadium.

Watkins has been one of the driving forces of Brentford's challenge for promotion from the Championship this season hitting 22 goals in 37 appearances.

The Hammers had considered trying to sign the 24-year-old former Exeter star last month but found the Bees unwilling to do business as they chase a place in the Premier League.

But West Ham are preparing to go back with a firm attempt to capture his signature over the close season should Brentford's promotion challenge fall short.

Boss David Moyes has plans to drastically change the make-up of his squad this summer should he prove successful in guiding the club to top flight safety.

One of the key areas he is looking at is targeting younger players from the Championship who have the potential to step up to flourish in the top level.

The £20million signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull was the first step in that process, and Watkins is another under consideration as Moyes plots an overhaul in East London.

Watkins was also linked with a move to Champions League chasing Sheffield United.

But the Blades cooled their interest by the time the winter window opened.

The Hammers broke their club record to sign Sebastian Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for £45million this summer.

But the Frenchman has only managed seven goals in his 27 appearances so far this season.





C&H

Hammers kill Holland rumours

West Ham see under 23 Nathan Holland as very much part of the club’s future despite regular rumours that he could be on his way from the club.

The latest speculation is that Sheffield Wednesday – currently 12th in the Championship – see him as a possible target in the summer.

Nathan is enjoying a successful loan spell at Oxford united and has helped lift them into seventh place in League One just outside the play off zone. He has made nine League appearances and scored three times.

The Hammers believe he is getting exactly the experience he requires with the club which knocked them out of the EFL Cup and continue to see his future at the London Stadium.

However, it may be reasonable to assume that with a number of wingers available to the Hammers there could come a position where a bid might be acceptable.

A Hammers insider told us by e mail: We seem him part of our first team long term, I can’t see Sheff Wed bidding anywhere near our valuation anyway.”




Football London

Soucek, Fredericks - latest West Ham injury news and potential return dates ahead of Arsenal

The Hammers have no new injury concerns after their victory on Saturday at London Stadium

By Sam Inkersole

West Ham came through their important victory over Southampton at the weekend with no new injury concerns ahead of the trip to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.

That means there is still just the four players currently sidelined and all four are expected to be out of the visit to the Emirates this coming weekend as David Moyes has the majority of his players to choose from.

On-loan midfielder Tomas Soucek suffered his injury at the end of the first half of the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool last Monday, injuring his hip flexor when over-stretching for the ball. He emerged for the second half but didn't make it past the 48th minute as he was forced off and replaced by Pablo Fornals.

Right back Ryan Fredericks, who damaged shoulder ligaments in defeat to Manchester City five days previously, is also out this weekend. It was confirmed last week that the right back has undergone surgery and is out of action until mid-April.

Andriy Yarmolenko is still sidelined with a thigh injury and has now missed the last 13 games as a result. He is back in light training and was rumoured to have played in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Rush Green training ground last week to get some minutes under his belt.

Jack Wilshere however is very much on the treatment table once again having undergone a hernia operation last month.

Players who have been lacking in match practice in 2020 also turned out for the under-23s on Monday night, Carlos Sanchez and Fabian Balbuena both played in their 4-0 win over Norwich City's youngsters.

Here is the latest injury news from the Hammers, what the club has said on their injuries and when they could return to action.

Tomas Soucek

Type of injury: Hip flexor

Date of injury: February 24

Potential return date March 20 vs Spurs

Comments: "Tomas over-extended his hip flexor muscle but the scan was positive and revealed only a low grade issue. We hope to have him back before the international break in March."

Ryan Fredericks

Type of injury: Shoulder ligament

Date of injury: February 19

Potential return date: April 20 vs Spurs

Comments (February 26): "Ryan’s surgery went exactly as planned and he will begin his rehabilitation and recovery immediately, with the plan being for him to be available again in early to mid-April."

Andriy Yarmolenko

Type of injury: Thigh

Date of injury: Week of December 16

Potential return date: March 15

Comments (February 28): "Andriy played in a practice match and he is getting closer but he is not ready to return just yet."

Jack Wilshere

Type of injury: Hernia operation

Date of injury: October 2019

Potential return date: Unknown

Comments: "Some people do hernias and they might have a bit of a quicker recovery time. I understand this is a quicker one."







Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Russ of the BML 11:55 Thu Mar 5
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"West Ham will firm up their interest in Brentford's 22-goal striker Ollie Watkins, 24, in the summer if the Bees are not promoted to the Premier League"

We should firm up our interest in him even if they are promoted.

eusebiovic 11:21 Thu Mar 5
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sven

Daniel Sturridge will be next...Sully likes a punt

Sven Roeder 7:19 Thu Mar 5
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Surely Wilshere has to retire at the end of the season?
Our record in paying millions to cripples is utterly laughable
When we are scouting players we seem to have a ludicrous faith that medical science will make corpses rise from the dead.

Jasnik 10:20 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Comments: "Some people do hernias and they might have a bit of a quicker recovery time. I understand this is a quicker one." But this is Wilshere ... so forget it .

Side of Ham 9:53 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
JACK WILSHERE, look up Mauricio Taricco's West Ham contract and do the right thing like he did......

Mex Martillo 5:53 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
chiff 5:40 Wed Mar 4
I hope you had a nice day off Alan

chiff 5:40 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Texas Iron 4:45 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers...

Club should stop updating Wilshere injury status...

He’s always injured...with no real return...

Stupid sod Sullivan...

Texas Iron 4:45 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers...

Club should stop updating Wilshere injury status...

He’s always injured...with no real return...

Stupid sod Sullivan...

eusebiovic 4:13 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Jack Wilshere - The Man Who Wasn't There

the exile 3:48 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Some people do hernias and they might have a bit of a quicker recovery time. I understand this is a quicker one."

Yes, this comment is apparently about Jack Wilshere. But there's something about it that doesn't quite compute. Can't work out what it is....

blueeyed.handsomeman 2:35 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
THanks ALAN,

Alan 2:16 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
crystal falace 2:01 Wed Mar 4

Well, we do need the extra points.

Lee Trundle 2:15 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Pretty chuffed we're being linked to Watkins. He seems decent.

FANKS ALAN.

crystal falace 2:01 Wed Mar 4
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan.


So according to those injury return dates we play Spurs on March and April 20th?





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