WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

Alan 12:09 Fri Sep 11
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Chelsea have rejected an offer from Inter Milan for France World Cup-winning midfielder N'Golo Kante, 29, which included offering Croatia international Marcelo Brozovic, 27, in exchange. (Guardian)

Arsenal's Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 31, will sign a new three-year deal which will make him the highest paid player at the club. (Athletic - subscription required)

Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling, 30, has not been at training this week as he moves closer to a permanent move to Serie A side Roma, where he was on loan last season. (Telegraph - subscription required)

David Beckham's MLS side Inter Miami are on the verge of completing a huge transfer coup with Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, 32, set to join on a free after his Juventus contract is terminated. (Sun)

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, 29, has held positive talks with manager Jurgen Klopp over his future at the club. The Dutchman has just one year left on his contract at Anfield. (Sky Sports)

England and Tottenham defender Danny Rose, 30, is close to leaving the Premier League and moving to Serie A side Genoa. (PA, via Team Talk)

West Ham are in discussions with former England midfielder Jack Wilshere to cancel the 28-year-old's contract by mutual consent. (Mail)

Arsenal's Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, 28, has agreed a four-year deal with Aston Villa, worth about £60,000 per week, with the clubs set to agree a transfer fee of more than £15m. (Independent)

Manchester United and Brazil midfielder Fred, 27, has dismissed reports he could leave for Turkish side Galatasaray this summer. (Four Four Two)

West Brom are in talks to sign former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, 36, on a free transfer after the Russian left Zenit St Petersburg. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Tanzania striker Mbwana Samatta, 27, will be able to leave Aston Villa only eight months after joining the club. (Mail)

Former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison, 27, is in talks with Dutch clubs Vitesse Arnhem and Utrecht following his release by Sheffield United. (Mail)

Liverpool's Wales striker Ben Woodburn, 20, is set to join Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam on a season-long loan deal. (Standard)

Newcastle have had a £32m bid rejected by Lille for 21-year-old French midfielder Boubakary Soumare. (Fabrizio Romano)

Fulham are looking to sign Benfica's Portuguese midfielder Florentino Luis, 21, on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy for £27m. (Sun)

Porto have rejected a £22m bid from Wolves for winger Jesus Corona. The 27-year-old Mexico international has a £27m release clause in his contract. (Mail)

Paris St-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has ruled out a move for Arsenal's French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, 21. (Sun)

Real Madrid have competition to sign Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, with PSG also interested in the 17-year-old, who made his France debut on Tuesday. (Marca)

Barcelona could include Brazilian right-back Emerson, 21, who spent last season on loan with Real Betis, in a deal to sign Dutch forward Memphis Depay, 26, from Lyon. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Southampton are in talks with former Bordeaux owner Joseph DaGrosa over a £200m takeover. (Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Niall McVeigh

In the online disinformation age, churning out a vaguely credible daily transfer gossip column is a hard enough task without the likes of Thomas Tuchel ruining our fun. Only yesterday, we gave you the big news that Matteo Guendouzi might be off to PSG. With speculation mounting, Tuchel was grilled by reporters after his side’s surprise loss to Lens. Is the impish Arsenal outcast on his radar? “No.”

Er, OK. Well what about (checks notes) Roma utility man Alessandro Florenzi? “I’m confident in Florenzi signing. He’s not in Paris today but hopefully tomorrow.” This kind of transparency from an elite manager is refreshing, but it threatens the Mill’s very existence, so we’re thankful Tuchel wasn’t asked about Eduardo Camavinga. The teenage Rennes midfielder is reportedly in line for a move next summer, with PSG and Real Madrid in the frame.

Zinedine Zidane has something of a winger problem at the Bernabéu, with Gareth Bale still knocking about and Eden Hazard reportedly still some way off full match sharpness. If Real can offload Bale, rumour has it they want to replace him with Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez. That would leave Pep Guardiola’s stockpile of tricky attacking talent dangerously low, although City are ready to battle Liverpool for Anderlecht up-and-comer Jérémy Doku.

Arsenal have been given fresh hope of landing Houssem Aouar this summer, with L’Equipe reporting that the midfielder wants out of Lyon immediately. City, PSG and Juventus are all keen but Arsenal are the only club with an offer on the table. New manager Mikel Arteta could put the £15m Aston Villa will pay for Emiliano Martínez towards a move, or he could chuck the cash at Brentford for keeper David Raya. It’s up to him; he’s in charge now.

Another manager taking control of his club’s transfer dealings is Ronald Koeman. The Barcelona boss has thrashed out personal terms with Lyon’s Memphis Depay, but needs to sort a transfer fee with Lyon. Koeman also wants to bring in Stefan de Vrij from Internazionale – but what about a big-money move for his clubmate, striker Lautaro Martínez? “For now, he is not going.” Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti, you’re joining Tommy Tuchel in our bad books.

Leicester City want to sign centre-back Wesley Fofana quick smart, so are hoping Saint-Étienne won’t drag out negotiations. Who’s their manager these days? Ah. It’s Claude Puel. If that move doesn’t work out, the Foxes have a Plan B in Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah. Fellow top-four chasers Wolves haven’t quite finished clearing out the Porto locker room, so are going back in to collect Mexican winger Jesús Corona.

The Juventus dressing room is about to get a whole lot more handsome, with Olivier Giroud set to complete his move from Chelsea imminently. Luis Suárez is set to follow him to Turin, which means there’s no room for Gonzalo Higuaín. The Argentinian is set to take his talents to South Beach and join David Beckham’s Inter Miami. And now, a final hit of gossip to kickstart your Friday!

Porto have offered full-back Alex Telles to Manchester United, who have said they’lll think about it. Newcastle could continue their spending spree with a move for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumaré; Tottenham fancy Salzburg forward Patson Daku, and will let Danny Rose leave for, er, Genoa. Also leaving London: Jack Wilshere. The injury-plagued midfielder’s West Ham contract is set to be cancelled a year early.


A wildly unpredictable basket case outfit from Lahndan’s east end

Barry Glendenning

Cup an ear in the direction of east London, listen carefully and you can almost hear the mental cogs turning. Taken aback by the frothing rage prompted by the sale of youth team graduate Grady Diangana to West Brom, the West Ham hierarchy realise their need to embark on an exercise in appeasement by adding an expensive new acquisition to a squad that could also find itself a Declan Rice light. In a perfect world, they’d sign an overpriced, occasionally mercurial but flaky, unreliable and injury prone big-name foreigner, but having already cornered that particular market they discover there aren’t any left.

Who to sign, then? Well, having told Big Paper during the summer that he wants “to get away from a West Ham team that is soft” in favour of making them “harder and tougher”, it’s no surprise that David Moyes has instructed his bosses, the [snip! – Fiver lawyers] Brothers to try to secure the scrawl of teak-tough Burnley central defender James Tarkowski. The 27-year-old is pushing for a move from Turf Moor to increase his chances of earning himself an England recall by playing for a more fashionable claret-and-blue club and may take his chances with a wildly unpredictable basket case outfit from Lahndan’s east end.

While the central defender’s thoughts on jellied eels, cockney rhyming slang and pearly kings and queens are undocumented, a move to West Ham would seem rather at odds for a 27-year-old who said last week: “I am coming into my prime years and wanting to progress, I want to go for the top level.”

A man who played every minute of every Premier League game for Burnley last season, helping to keep 15 clean sheets in the process, Tarkowski was overlooked by Gareth Southgate when he picked his England squad for recent games in Iceland and Denmark. His omission surprised some, not least because Harry Maguire was sidelined with Mykonos-knack.

“I do feel a little bit like I’ve been forgotten about,” he said around the time West Ham submitted their opening bid of £25m to the Burnley bean-counters, only to be greeted by the pithy response of “James who?”. With Leicester also reported to be interested in securing his scrawl, West Ham todayincreased their bid to £30m.

Earlier this week, Sean Dyche said he would not be sold “on the cheap” and hinted the Turf Moor outfit might hold out for a whopping £50m. Having only just paid off the debt owed to Eintracht Frankfurt for their current record signing Sébastien Haller, West Ham will be hoping that if Tarkowski comes, he will provide a better return on their investment than the brooding, goal-shy striker. The Frenchman started last season at the club saying “when they spend an amount like that you know they really want to use you” and ended it with a series of unproductive cameos off the bench.


Premier League preview No 19: West Ham United

The club are in crisis mode before a ball has been kicked as they continue to pay the price for poor transfer decisions

by Jacob Steinberg

Guardian writers’ predicted position: 14th (NB: this is not necessarily Jacob Steinberg’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)

Last season’s position: 16th

Odds to win the league (via Oddschecker): 500-1

When Mark Noble used Twitter to voice anger at the controversial sale of Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion, the midfielder laid bare the discontent eating away at West Ham’s soul and sent them lurching into crisis mode before a ball has been kicked.

Although it is legitimate to question whether West Ham’s captain stepped out of line and undermined David Moyes by going public less than half an hour after Diangana’s departure, the other side is that the midfielder is in tune with an increasingly furious fanbase. Noble bleeds claret and blue. He knows why supporters are livid after seeing one of their academy graduates join a rival and if civil war is about to break out again in east London, it will be a problem for Karren Brady, David Sullivan and David Gold if Noble is not on their side.

The 33-year-old’s voice matters and although he knew that his post would create problems for the unpopular trio in the boardroom at West Ham, he still clicked send. His was not an isolated view. Diangana, who did not want to leave after impressing on loan at West Brom last season, was popular in the dressing room and the 22-year-old winger’s transfer came as a shock to his teammates. It was not long before Declan Rice, West Ham’s most important player, had liked Noble’s post and there was further embarrassment when Jack Wilshere told Diangana on Instagram to “Go and do your thing in a club that respects you”.

For all the anger, though, this is a complicated story. West Ham’s owners were unimpressed with Noble and it must be bitter to see Wilshere questioning their wisdom. Indeed it is because of signings such as Wilshere – six league starts since joining on a three-year deal in 2018 – that West Ham felt compelled to sell Diangana.

How they finished in the past five seasons


West Ham, who have made no signings and need to sell to buy, are paying the price for poor decisions in the transfer market. Wilshere was handed that contract on the request of Manuel Pellegrini, who was hired on a deal worth £7m a year in 2018. In their eagerness to back Pellegrini, West Ham created problems down the line. They gave the Chilean a big budget and allowed him to pick his own director of football, Mario Husillos. Now, however, the clean-up operation is underway. Pellegrini and Husillos were sacked last December and West Ham, who spent last season fighting to stay up, are struggling to shift the duo’s expensive misfits.

Finding buyers for Albian Ajeti, Jordan Hugill and Roberto Jímenez was the easy part. But Moyes, who is desperate to strengthen his defence and bring balance and depth to a lopsided squad, has found it harder to move Felipe Anderson, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini. Short of other options, West Ham felt they had to accept when the offer came for Diangana.

Sullivan, the most powerful figure at the club, was warned that it would be a PR disaster. On the other hand one source points out that Moyes has accepted the need for pragmatism. Even though Diangana was looking good in pre-season, West Ham do not lack wingers. Where they are weak is in defence. Their full-backs are frail and, with Issa Diop struggling alongside Angelo Ogbonna in the centre, Moyes hopes to beef up his back four by signing the commanding Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski.

Last season’s results

Won 10
Lost 19
Drew 9

Tarkowski would improve a defence that conceded 62 goals last season. In the wider sense, though, there is little sign of a coherent strategy. Dysfunction breeds discontent and the mood became even more toxic when West Ham conceded five goals in a friendly defeat by Bournemouth last Saturday.

Not that it is all doom and gloom. West Ham finished last season well and Moyes has some talented players. Rice and Tomas Soucek have a strong partnership in midfield, Jarrod Bowen is sharp on the right and Michail Antonio has flourished as a striker.

All the same it is hard not to think back to Moyes talking about wanting to sign “young, hungry players” in January. That sounds a lot like Diangana and if the sale of one academy product is followed by Chelsea snatching Rice before the window shuts, Noble’s tweets may not make for pretty reading.

The manager

On the touchline Moyes barks orders from the touchline and is often contained, although he did receive a red card and a one-match ban after swearing at the fourth official when his Sunderland team lost to Southampton in the League Cup in 2016.

On Zoom Moyes was fined £30,000 by the Football Association after telling BBC reporter Vicki Sparks that she “might get a slap” after an interview in 2017. He apologised for the remark, however, and tends to give honest answers during press conferences.

The key

The first thing West Ham need from Rice is to forget about joining Chelsea. Rice was excellent in defensive midfield last season and Moyes, who sees the 21-year-old as a future West Ham captain, has warned Chelsea they will need “Bank of England” money to buy the England international.

The owners

Sullivan and Gold have not been popular with supporters since buying the club in 2010. They faced furious protests during a home game against Burnley in 2018 and there was more unrest earlier this year. Supporters believe that West Ham lost their identity after moving to Stratford and also feel that Sullivan and Gold have not invested enough.

Young blood

Diangana was the youngster to watch before his controversial exit. Instead supporters will hope that Moyes continues to give opportunities to Ben Johnson. The 20-year-old defender is comfortable on both flanks and impressed after breaking into the team at the end of last season.

New blood

Soucek made a huge impact after joining on loan from Slavia Prague in January, scoring three goals from midfield, and West Ham were delighted to land the 25-year-old on a permanent deal at the end of last season. The Czech Republic international has a solid partnership with Rice.

Kit story

The club wore blue in their original incarnation as Thames Ironworks and the story goes that they switched to claret and blue after winning a bet against Aston Villa. Whether the tale is true, though, is disputed by club historians. Still, it sounds good.

Notes from an empty stadium

The teams still walk out to I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, West Ham’s famous anthem, and the bubbles machines are still in operation. The stadium is also adorned with mosaics and flags to give it a West Ham feel.

Euros vision

Andriy Yarmolenko has struggled since an achilles injury in October 2018 and has barely featured under Moyes. The experienced Ukraine winger will be hoping to play more regularly before his country’s opening game against the Netherlands next summer.

Sky Sports

Andriy Yarmolenko: Shandong Luneng want to sign West Ham forward

West Ham forward Andriy Yarmolenko is a transfer target for Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng.

The Hammers need to sell players to generate funds for manager David Moyes to spend on new signings.

That could result in Yarmolenko ending his two-year stint with the Premier League club.

The Ukraine international joined West Ham in a £17.5m deal from Borussia Dortmund in July 2018 and has made 33 appearances, scoring seven goals.

Should Yarmolenko switch to Shandong he will link up with former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who joined the club in January 2019.


Everton and West Ham join Wolves in race for £18m Brazilian attacker

According CalcioMercato.it, Everton and West Ham United have joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in the race to sign Gremio’s Pepe.

The Brazilian under-23 international has been at Gremio for two years and has made a very good name for himself. Since the start of last season, Pepe has scored 12 goals and provided four assists in all competitions.

The 23-year-old can play on either wing or as a number 10 and is very good with the ball at his feet. Pepe is fairly quick, has good dribbling skills and is not shy about having a pop at goal from distance.

He is one of the most talked-about players at Gremio at the moment and it is no surprise that clubs are keeping an eye on him. The Porto Alegre club would like to keep him until the end of this year. But they are allegedly open to letting him leave for a fee between £18 million and £23 million.

The report claims that Wolves have already made an offer to Pepe’s agent. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are not the only ones interested, as Everton and West Ham United have also reportedly enquired about the possibility of signing the 23-year-old this summer.

Everton have a solid midfield thanks to the arrivals of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez. The Toffees could still do with a new winger as they get ready for the new season which starts this weekend.

Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Bernard have been inconsistent while Richarlison has moved up top next to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Anthony Gordon has looked sharp in the games he has played, but another versatile winger will do a lot of good for the Toffees.

West Ham would also love a new wide attacker. Manuel Lanzini looks nothing like the player he once was while Felipe Anderson, after his brilliant debut season, struggled for form last term.

Michail Antonio has looked much better up front than he did on the flanks while Andriy Yarmolenko, despite his exceptional quality on the ball, has been very inconsistent.

Pepe is by no means the finished product. The Brazilian is still raw and will need a lot of help to succeed in the Premier League. However, he wouldn’t be a bad shout for either club, especially if they are willing to give him the time he needs to settle in.


Leicester and West Ham want Dakonam Djene; will cost £10m

West Ham United and Leicester City are interested in Dakonam Djene, with the Daily Mail reporting that Getafe are ready to sell the centre-back for £10 million this summer.

The Hammers appear to be making a big push as they look to bolster their options at the back. The Guardian has reported that the club have made a £30 million bid for James Tarkowski.

But it appears that the Burnley man is not the only centre-back on their radar. The Daily Mail has suggested that the Irons also want Djene having previously looked at the 28-year-old last summer.

The Mail notes that his £36 million release clause put off the likes of West Ham and the Foxes a year ago. However, both Premier League clubs are back in for Djene with Getafe demanding significantly less.

The report adds that Djene is keen to move on during this window.

TBR View: Djene could be shrewd signing for West Ham

Djene could be a smart signing for his Premier League admirers this summer. He will reportedly not cost a considerable amount.

And he would arrive having made over 100 appearances in La Liga. He has also played over 50 times for Togo, captaining his country in recent times.

Djene is also versatile. He has been deployed at right-back on a number of occasions.

And having been put off by his asking price last summer, there is perhaps little reason for the likes of West Ham and Leicester to walk away from the chase this time around.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 7:00 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 1:58 Fri Sep 11

COOL HAND LUKE 5:26 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Leicester, Wolves and Everton looking at the same players as us...

bill green 1:58 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 1:10 Fri Sep 11

ted fenton 1:10 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
With Kind Regards 12:23 Fri Sep 11

With Kind Regards 12:23 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12.13

Troy McClure 12:17 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 12:13 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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