WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done

Alan 12:42 Wed Aug 26
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Paris St-Germain and Manchester United are in position to sign Lionel Messi after the Argentine forward, 33, told Barcelona he wants to leave - and both would be willing to pay a fee. (Sport - in Spanish)

Messi decided to hand in a transfer request after he was told "your privileges in the squad are over" by new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman. (Diario Ole via Mail)

English striker Jamie Vardy, 33, will a new contract with Leicester. (Telegraph)

Thiago Silva, 35, is set to have a Chelsea medical on Thursday, despite a late attempt by Paris St-Germain to offer the Brazilian defender a new deal. (Sky Sports)

Philippe Coutinho would prefer to return to the Premier League than stay with Barcelona - with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea interested in the 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder. (Marca)

Arsenal are set to walk away from a deal to sign £45m-rated Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey, 27, from Atletico Madrid this summer. (Sport via Express)

Everton are in talks over a deal for Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, 29, with boss Zinedine Zidane keen for him to leave the club. (Talksport)

Chelsea could sign free agent and French former Nice defender Malang Sarr, 21, on a five-year contract. (Guardian)

Newcastle United are interested in bringing Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding, 24, in on loan and the Gunners are open to offers for the Englishman. (Mail)

AC Milan are pushing to sign Spanish midfielder Brahim Diaz, 21, on loan from Real Madrid. (Marca)

Crystal Palace have agreed a £14m fee for QPR midfielder Eberechi Eze, beating a late bid from West Brom for the English 22-year-old after Fulham pulled out. (Sun)

Fulham have entered the race to sign Brentford forward Ollie Watkins, 24, with several other Premier League clubs also interested in the Englishman. (Sky Sports)

Aston Villa are also chasing Watkins, as well as Leeds United and West Brom. (Birmingham Live)

Everton, Leicester City, Southampton and Leeds United all sent scouts to watch Dundee United's Scottish centre-back Lewis Neilson, 17. (Dundee Courier)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Daniel Harris

It’s finally happening: Lionel Messi is going to up sleeves and leave Barcelona. After years of quiet glowering and reserved control, captaining a succession of coaches undeserving of their proximity to his genius, he has had enough. So, though the mes que un mess still hope to change his mind, the oligarchs and autocrats are preparing their pitches for the privilege of paying him £1m a week.

There is a strong chance that Manchester United feign interest before briefing their moral high ground: it is irresponsible to spend money in such uncertain times (other than on dividends). Juventus are an option, but the city limits of Turin are not thought wide enough to contain both his and Cristiano Ronaldo’s ego, while Internazionale hope that watching Ashley Young feint outside before coming inside and hitting the first man – in person – might be enough to seal the deal. Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, are offering a master’s in agriculture along with all the usual inducements but, most likely, Messi’s aversion to winning the Champions League and love of ripped jeans will send him into the arms of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

Also in England, Jamie Vardy will put an end to all the nonexistent speculation by signing a new contract at Leicester, while Thiago Silva will soon undergo a medical and complete his move from PSG to Chelsea. This gives Frank Lampard yet another dodgy defender to blame when things don’t go as he has demanded they must – but Lampard is nothing if not relentless and will soon add Ben Chilwell into a fascinatingly unreliable mix.

Across London, Arsenal have had enough of not being able to buy Thomas Partey for a price of their choosing – Atlético Madrid are asking for £45m. As such, they will look elsewhere for a midfielder, while also trying to offload the legendary Mattéo Guendouzi, who once played a good pass in the group stages of Europa League.

Elsewhere in the capital, Crystal Palace and QPR have agreed a fee of £14m for Eberechi Eze, a move that will unite the Shamen, Lionel Richie and Faith No More factions of the Holmesdale Fanatics. West Brom were also interested, but failed with a late bid – it’s close, but Tasty Jerk just about beats the Vine – while Fulham pulled out of the race.

Fulham are, though, still keen on Ollie Watkins, the Brentford forward, but will have to compete for his signature with Palace, Aston Villa, West Brom and Leeds. Consequently, Scott E Parker retains an interest in Callum Wilson, who will probably find a way back into the Premier League following Bournemouth’s relegation.

Further north, Everton are in talks with Real Madrid – words not written since the halcyon days of Thomas Gravesen. This time, though, any movement will be in the opposite direction, with Carlo Ancelotti eager to add James Rodríguez to his coterie of midfield speedsters. The Gwladys End are poised for the joyous excitement of an early ripper in a 6-0 win, followed by years of expensive chugging and dashed hopes.

Evening Standard

West Ham score NINE as Wycombe and Ipswich are thrashed in pre-season friendly double-header


West Ham began pre-season with a bang by beating both Wycombe Wanderers and Ipswich Town on Tuesday, scoring nine goals in the process.

It was a novel approach to pre-season from the Hammers as David Moyes split his squad in two as they took part in two friendlies at the same time.

Moyes made the decision due to the shortened pre-season schedule, with the coronavirus pandemic causing havoc on the sporting calendar meaning there is just four weeks rather than the usual seven between Premier League seasons.

So, the West Ham manager headed to Portman Road as Stuart Pearce and Alan Irvine took charge 100 miles away at Adams Park.

It was the two assistants who saw more action in the first half as the Hammers hit four, with Arthur Masuaku opening the scoring after four minutes with a superb chip from the edge of the area.

A remarkable own goal soon followed when Wycombe keeper David Stockdale let Darius Charles' weak back pass go under his foot.

Alex Samuel hit back almost immediately only for Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen to put West Ham into a commanding position at the break.

Over in Ipswich, Sebastien Haller scored the only goal of an otherwise frustrating first half.

Bowen got his second of the game during a slower-paced second half in Wycombe, while Haller completed his hat-trick in Ipswich after Tomas Soucek headed home. Freddie Sears scored a consolation for Ipswich.


Former Fulham and Brighton keeper David Stockdale has moment to forget in Wycombe Wanderers' pre-season friendly against West Ham as he concedes shocking own goal after failing to control the ball

Championship side Wycombe fell to a 5-1 pre-season defeat against West Ham
Goalkeeper David Stockdale had a howler for the Hammers' second goal
The veteran goalkeeper let the ball roll underneath his feet from a back-pass

By Kieran Lynch

Wycombe Wanderers' goalkeeper David Stockdale had a moment he will quickly like to forget during his team's 5-1 defeat to West Ham.

The newly promoted Championship side were handily beaten by a strong Hammers side in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Adams Park on Tuesday afternoon.

David Moyes' side took an early lead through a 25-yard Arthur Masuaku strike, but it was their second goal which left the former Fulham and Brighton goalkeeper red-faced.

It was a remarkable own goal as Stockdale let Darius Charles' weak backpass go under his feet.

The ball rolled slowly towards the 34-year-old's feet but he was unable to control the ball or react quickly enough when it rolled underneath him.

It was an embarrassing moment for the experienced goalkeeper who held his head in his hands after his mistake doubled the Hammers' lead.

To Wycombe's credit they halved the deficit almost immediately when Alex Samuel tucked the ball away past David Martin.

However goals from Manuel Lanzini and a brace from Jarred Bowen gave the Hammers a comfortable victory.

West Ham took the unusual approach of splitting their team in two and sending another squad out to play Ipswich where they won 4-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Sebastian Haller and another goal by Tomas Soucek.

Stockdale rejoined Wycombe on loan for a second spell in January this year making two League One appearances.

Now in the Championship, the club have signed Stockdale who departs Birmingham City.

After Eze is on his way to Palace,we get the predictable:-


Lanzini: “He’s been outstanding in training”

Those of us who chose to watch the Hammers play Wycombe Wanderers yesterday afternoon would have been more than pleasantly surprised at the form of Manu Lanzini.

After suffering months of him performing so poorly given his enormous ability he showed us that he still may have much to offer.

I get fed up with saying and hearing “it was only Wycombe” because if you are out of form you are out of form and, whatever the opposition, in those circumstances players tend to struggle.

We play Brentford on Saturday afternoon who will provide a stern test but no Championship team can be written off as reasonable opposition at this stage of the season.

And I for one was immensely encouraged to see the Argentinian play maker tricking his way past defenders in tight situations and scoring a decent goal.

However, his form came as no surprise to several insiders i spoke to after the game – all of whom claimed he had been brilliant in training since the squad returned to Rush Green.

One said: “He has been outstanding in training and everybody has their fingers crossed we are about to see the return of the real Manu Lanzini.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

jimbo2. 10:10 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Two good friendly results yesterday, thanks Al!

Mex Martillo 3:17 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Completely agree Zeb, Lanzini back on form would be better than a new midfielder.
Hope he comes good.

ted fenton 1:25 Wed Aug 26

zebthecat 1:47 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
He has been outstanding in training and everybody has their fingers crossed we are about to see the return of the real Manu Lanzini.

That would be a pleasing turn of events.

Thanks Alan

gph 1:29 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan

bill green 1:27 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Thanks Alan 12:56 Wed Aug 26

ted fenton 1:25 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:56 Wed Aug 26

Thanks Alan 12:56 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Mr. Burns 12:49 Wed Aug 26
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Nice one Al

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