WHO Poll

Alan 11:51 Mon May 11
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Atletico Madrid want to swap their 26-year-old Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey - who is an Arsenal target - with Liverpool and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 26. (Sun)

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30, promised his grandfather before he died that he would play for Real Madrid. (Sun)

The Gunners have also been dealt a blow in their pursuit of RB Leipzig's 21-year-old French defender Dayot Upamecano after his agent said a big money move would be unlikely because of coronavirus. (Sport 1, via Metro)

Liverpool could sign Lyon's 21-year-old French midfielder Houssem Aouar, as his club have allowed him to move. (Star via L'Equipe - in French)

Shanghai Shenhua expect Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo, 30, to return from his loan spell at Manchester United in time for the start of the new Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in July. (Sky Sports)

Meanwhile, United have revived their interest in 22-year-old Inter Milan and Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez. (Sport, via Mail)

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal have had a boost in their pursuit of Brazilian midfielder Willian because the 31-year-old's contract extension talks with Chelsea are over. (football.london)

Chelsea will join the race to sign West Ham United and England midfielder Declan Rice, 21, this summer - if Real Madrid sign the Blues' France international N'Golo Kante, 29. (Mirror)

Borussia Dortmund want to sign Chelsea's English midfielder Charlie Webster, 16. (Sun)

Manchester City want to sign Paris St-Germain's 17-year-old French midfielder Edouard Michut. (Sky Sports)

The father of Brazilian midfielder Gerson has claimed Arsenal and Spurs are both keen on signing the 22-year-old from Flamengo. (ESPN - in Portuguese)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas admits it will be difficult for the club to keep hold of their star players this summer - amid reported interest from Chelsea in 23-year-old French striker Moussa Dembele. (Star)


The Premier League cannot find a fair way to restart games - so it must be voided

Liverpool, Leeds and co would suffer from a voided campaign in England, but finding a fair solution to restart games is becoming impossible meaning authorities could be backed into a corner

By Sam Quek

The return of Germany’s Bundesliga next Saturday, added to live football in Asian leagues, suggests the green shoots of recovery are beginning to emerge across the globe.

While it feels as though the rest of the world is getting on with it however, the Premier League are bogged down trying to unlock a solution to restart.

First and foremost, restarting the league must be safe, so I share concerns that fans would congregate around their club’s stadium even if games were behind closed doors. The proposal to play at empty, neutral grounds seems the only safe option.

The problem is, after safety, as a society we demand fairness, particularly in sport.

I could talk at length about the ways I feel football is unfair, from the lack of a salary cap to the away goals rule in extra-time, but the essence of football fairness is everyone knows and accepts the rules before the competition starts.

If a competition is run over 40 weeks, at the end of those 40 weeks all the micro advantages and disadvantages intertwined within it are levelled out. Changing rules during the season will undoubtedly mean unfair outcomes for some.

Brighton, for example, are set to play Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City in their next four home games. To win those and stave off the threat of relegation they will need, and be fully entitled to, every conceivable advantage a home game would give them.

So if neutral grounds are out because it is unfair, you’re back to square one – how do you make it safe and allow teams to play at home? It doesn’t seem possible.

Delaying the season’s conclusion until it can resume without any changes and the coronavirus threat has passed is also out because not only could that kill football’s economy, but we also have to accept football is a global game.

Britain has to be aligned with the rest of the world for a multitude of reasons, such as international tournaments, the Champions League, Europa League, transfer windows. This season must be concluded before August.

I have begun to accept that given the extraordinary circumstances we are in, safety, fairness and football’s survival cannot be mixed. There is no solution.

The only inevitable conclusion is to write off the season. This would be especially harsh to Liverpool, Leicester, Leeds, West Brom and Coventry fans.

As a Liverpool fan it pains me to say it, but I now believe what we would lose by an abandoned season, the dashed hopes and dreams and not getting the rewards we deserve, are outweighed by the country’s safety, sporting fairness going forward and football’s long-term future.


Majority of bottom-half clubs want relegation scrapped with neutral venue move likely

Clubs warned that not restarting at neutral venues could cost them more than relegation; at least 14 clubs need to back the proposals before games can restart

A majority of clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League want relegation to be scrapped if and when the season restarts.

All 20 clubs want to finish the season but most clubs in the bottom half of the table believe it will be unfair if any clubs are relegated when the final 92 games are likely to be played behind closed doors at neutral grounds.

Premier League clubs will be warned at a meeting on Monday that the season not restarting at neutral venues could cost them more than relegation and they must consider the long-term consequences of voting against the proposal.

At least six - Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich - have reservations about proposals to finish the season by playing at neutral grounds without fans.

Extra support could prove vital with at least 14 clubs needing to back the proposals before games can restart.

Those who want the threat of relegation removed think that games would be played in completely different circumstances to the rest of the season so it would be unfair to relegate three teams on that basis.

They argue playing games at neutral venues behind closed doors would compromise the integrity of the competition.

Not all teams have the same number of home and away games left to play and the group feel that is unfair.

There are also concerns some players may refuse to play for health and safety reasons, while others are out of contract at the end of June and may refuse to play beyond that date.

The Premier League will also discuss drastic potential rule changes, including the introduction of five substitutions and the scrapping of VAR, which could make the remaining games different from the rest of the season.

Scrapping relegation was brought up at the last Premier League shareholders' meeting two weeks ago but not discussed in depth.

The clubs who want relegation removed have been warned that scrapping it would make the competition less attractive to broadcasters and could affect the value of TV contracts.

EFL chairman Rick Parry has threatened legal action if relegation is scrapped and Championship clubs are prevented from being promoted to the Premier League.


Rice joining Real Madrid is not entirely out of the question

According to Sportsmail, West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice moving to Real Madrid this summer is not entirely out of the question after he was linked with the Spanish giants a year ago.

Ex-Chelsea and West Ham defender Scott Minto claimed that Madrid contacted Rice’s family as they looked to push through a deal last April, and while nothing came out of it in the end, it appears a move shouldn’t be completely ruled out going forward.

With Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane keen on reshaping his midfield, Sportsmail reckons Rice could still be on the club’s radar and turning them down will definitely prove very difficult should they come calling.

The 21-year-old is valued £70 million by the Hammers, and while his English suitors might be reluctant to meet the asking price, Madrid may not.

Rice has the quality to play for the La Liga powerhouse having already made himself a regular in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions starting XI, and it will be interesting to see what happens this summer.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with the West Ham star, and it remains to be seen if he will be at the London Stadium next season.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

wansteadman 10:38 Tue May 12
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
That’s the way of improving as a club, sell your best player. What’s the fucking point

Mex Martillo 6:32 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 1:41 Mon May 11

Texas Iron 3:19 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Voiding and starting again is the fairest and safest way...

ted fenton 1:41 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 11:52 Mon May 11

Sven Roeder 12:19 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Rice will go at some point and if so I’d much rather he went abroad (even to Real) than to the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Man U

Thanks Alan

blueeyed.handsomeman 12:09 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
THankYou Alan,THanks Alan,THanks Lee Trundler.

Lee Trundle 11:55 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I like Rice, and hope he stays (even though I don't think he will), but Real Madrid?!

Thanks Alan 11:52 Mon May 11
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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