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 1:43 Fri Oct 2
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham Hotspur have rejected a £1.5m loan offer from Paris St-Germain for England midfielder Dele Alli and the 24-year-old is set to stay at the north London club. (Guardian)

But the Ligue 1 club could be preparing a final loan bid for Alli. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Spurs have also made a loan bid for Chelsea and Germany defender Antonio Rudiger, 27, with talks ongoing. (Nicolo Schira, via Express)

Arsenal have agreed a deal for Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira, 24, to join Atletico Madrid on loan and that will allow them to sign 22-year-old midfielder Houssem Aouar from Lyon. (AS - in Spanish)

PSG could hamper the Gunners' pursuit of Aouar after also entering into negotiations over a deal for the Frenchman. (L'Equipe - in French)

Leicester City are open to offers for 24-year-old English winger Demarai Gray, who is in the final year of his contract with the club. (Mirror)

Meanwhile, the Foxes are set to offer winger Harvey Barnes a new contract following the 22-year-old earning his first call-up to the England squad. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Inter Milan are preparing a bid for Chelsea's 29-year-old Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso. (Sky Sports)

Bayern Munich are in talks with Chelsea over a loan deal for Callum Hudson-Odoi, having failed to sign the 19-year-old England winger on a permanent deal last year. (Bild - in German, subscription required)

Manchester United are trying to sign Atalanta and Ivory Coast winger Amad Traore, 18. (Manchester Evening News)

Roma are close to a permanent deal for Chris Smalling. Manchester United want about £20m for the 30-year-old England centre-back, who spent last season on loan at the Italian club. (The Athletic - subscription required)

Two clubs have contacted Liverpool about a possible deal for Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, 28. (Liverpool Echo)

Fulham are trying to bring in two centre-backs before the transfer window closes on 5 October, with the club monitoring PSV Eindhoven's German defender Timo Baumgartl, 24. (Telegraph - subscription required)

The Cottagers have also made a bid of about 15m euros (£13.7m) for Barcelona centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo, with the 20-year-old Frenchman now deciding whether to move. (ESPN Deportes - in Spanish)

Barcelona are hoping to use the money raised by selling Todibo on a move for Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia and the Catalan club have submitted another offer for the 19-year-old Spain international. (SER Catalunya, via AS)

Leeds United have pulled out of a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance after the 21-year-old failed his medical. (The Athletic - subscription required)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Scott Murray

José Mourinho’s bid to bundle Dele Alli out of the back door of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has hit a snag. Paris Saint-Germain are willing to take the unwanted star off his hands, but are only willing to stump up a £1.5m loan fee. Daniel Levy isn’t so green as he’s cabbage looking, and wants more coin. PSG might come back with an increased offer.

They also might not. The Parisians may instead concentrate their efforts on Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, which would irritate Arsenal greatly, on account of their long-standing serious interest. The Gunners are committed enough to the idea of Aouar to have already agreed to ship Lucas Torreira to Atlético Madrid.

Unfulfilled talents Demarai Gray and Xherdan Shaqiri are both strangely up for sale. Possible destinations are yet to be identified, but in lieu of solid news/interest, the Rumour Mill suggests Leicester City and Liverpool could do worse than talk to each other.

Bayern Munich are in again for Callum Hudson-Odoi. Chelsea may also offload Marcos Alonso to Internazionale and Antonio Rüdiger to Tottenham, Frank Lampard continuing to reshape that defence in his own inimitable style.

Fulham‘s bid for Championship football could take a blow with the purchase of two competent central defenders. Jean-Clair Todibo of Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven’s Timo Baumgartl are the men in question.

And with deadline day looming, Ed Woodward is quickly running out of time to placate Manchester United‘s aggravated transfer-starved fanbase. A deal for Atalanta winger Amad Traoré might do it, helped along by the £20m they’ll trouser from Roma for Chris Smalling.


'A great addition': West Ham sign £5m Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague

Czech Republic right-back joins on initial three-year deal
David Moyes also hoping to add a centre-back to his squad

Jacob Steinberg

West Ham have concluded their search for a right-back by signing Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague for just over £5m.

David Moyes was on the hunt for a right-back after losing Ryan Fredericks to a hamstring injury and has been tracking Coufal for a while. The Czech Republic international is well known to Tomas Soucek, who joined West Ham from Slavia in January, and Moyes believes the 28-year-old, who has signed a three-year deal with a two-year option, is equipped to adapt to English football.

West Ham, who are adamant Declan Rice will not join Chelsea before the transfer window shuts on Monday, have been under pressure following the controversial £18m sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom last month. They promised the money for the winger would allow Moyes to strengthen his defence but have found it difficult to complete signings.

Moyes wants a commanding centre-back and has failed with bids for Burnley’s James Tarkowski, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Wesley Fofana, who is set to join Leicester from St-Étienne. Milenkovic is valued by his club at £35m, pricing West Ham out of a move.

Coufal’s arrival should lift the mood at the London Stadium. The defender won two Czech titles since joining Slavia in 2018, has played in the Champions League and was in the Czech Republic team that beat England last year.

“He is a player we have been tracking for some time now and all of our reports have been very impressive,” Moyes said. “He has a lot of attributes and qualities that we believe will enable him to adapt quickly to the demands of the Premier League

“We need to give Vladimir some time to settle in but having Tomas Soucek here will help him in that sense, and we are confident that he will make a positive impact and prove to be a great addition to the squad.”

. In central defence West Ham have also looked at Napoli’s Nikola Maksimovic, who is out of contract next year, and Swansea’s Joe Rodon. Arsenal’s Calum Chambers could be an option on loan. Moyes has also considered strengthening in other areas and had a bid for the Club Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken rejected this week.


Vladimir Coufal shares what Soucek told him about West Ham

West Ham’s search for a right back is over with the signing of Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague.

Ryan Fredericks’ injury intensified the need for reinforcements there and the Guardian report the Hammers have paid £5 million for their new man.

They quote David Moyes saying of his new recruit: “He is a player we have been tracking for some time now and all of our reports have been very impressive.

“He has a lot of attributes and qualities that we believe will enable him to adapt quickly to the demands of the Premier League.”

Moyes also mentioned the importance of Czech compatriot Tomas Soucek in helping Coufal settle.

And Coufal told West Ham’s official website what Soucek had said to him about life at the club.

“Tomáš told me on the best things, that it’s a good stadium with good fans and perfect teammates and staff.

“Tomáš is my very good friend and I hope he will help me here.”

Soucek has been one of the successes of the – most recent – Moyes era at West Ham.

If Coufal can enjoy the same success, he should prove to be a very solid addition to Moyes’ backline.

It will help that he has a friend at the club because it’s not easy to settle without having a proper pre-season.

Coufal may well need to hit the ground running given Fredericks’ injury, and Moyes will be looking to him to do just that.


Academy stars Ajibola Alese and Jamal Baptiste receive England call-ups

Academy of Football defenders Ajibola Alese and Jamal Baptiste have earned their first call-ups to the England U20 and England U18 development squads respectively.

Alese, who recently made his West Ham United debut with an impressive showing in the 5-1 Carabao Cup win over Hull City, progresses from making his U19s debut for the Young Lions last season.

The 19-year-old will now hope to make his first appearance for Lee Carsley’s U20s side when they take on Wales in a behind-closed-doors friendly at St George’s Park during the forthcoming international break.

Baptiste, meanwhile, who made his England U17s bow in 2019/20, has continued his upward trajectory with a call-up for a Young Lions U18s training camp, led by head coach Kevin Betsy.

Having put pen-to-paper on a Scholarship deal over the summer, the 16-year-old centre-back also recently made his maiden first-team appearance for West Ham United, playing the full 90 minutes of the pre-season win over Wycombe Wanderers.

The duo’s call-ups further the impressive recognition that West Ham’s Academy received on the international stage last season, with just under 20 players between the ages of 16 and 20-years-old going on to represent their country during 2019/20.


West Ham want to bring Liverpool player’s brother to Premier League

According to Mundo Deportivo, West Ham United are interested in signing Rafinha Alcantara from Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

It has been reported that the Premier League club have asked about the brother of Liverpool central midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

Italian club Torino are also interested in the midfielder and have asked about the 27-year-old midfielder, who is open to moving to England where his brother Thiago is playing at the moment, according to the report in the Spanish news outlet.

Liverpool recently signed Spain international central midfielder Thiago from German and European giants Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window.


Rafinha spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Celta de Vigo from Barcelona.

According to WhoScored, the 27-year-old made 25 starts and four substitute appearances in the league for Celta, scoring four goals and providing one assist in the process.

Moving to West Ham United

Rafinha has failed to establish himself as a key figure at Barcelona, and a move to a big club such as West Ham would make sense for the 27-year-old, who has a lot to offer.


THE SECRET SCOUT: Conor Coventry is powerful in the challenge while he is not frightened to surge forward... if Declan Rice leaves or Mark Noble struggles to maintain his pace, he may enjoy a breakthrough at West Ham

West Ham's Conor Coventry is forceful in the tackle with a good range of passing
Coventry's team-mates trust the 20-year-old to keep the play flowing
He could play ahead of captain Mark Noble if he struggles to maintain his pace

By The Secret Scout

Our scout is a top football expert who attends matches each week searching for the next star. He'll bring you his verdict in Sportsmail.

This week they bring you the lowdown and verdict on West Ham United midfielder Conor Coventry.

The West Ham midfielder looks like a leader and he could make a breakthrough at the club


A crunching early tackle immediately drew my eyes to this young Irish player for West Ham.

He has a lovely build, broad shoulders and is powerful in the challenge. I soon saw how much he influences his team.

A forceful holding player not frightened to surge forward when the opportunity arises, he is right-footed and saw plenty of the ball — good players attract the ball and his colleagues trusted him to keep the play flowing.

He showed good anticipation, sidestepping in front of his opponent to pinch the ball.

Once, having intercepted, he played a pass and went for the return which he received goalside of his marker, creating space for a counter.

Then, when receiving a square pass infield, he swept the ball round the corner to his front man.

I can imagine Coventry playing in a side with two strikers, where he’d have more opportunity to play his accurate passes. Pinging the ball around was not a problem for him and he certainly has a good range.


I was looking for a downside. He competed well but faded towards the 90-minute mark after his side conceded two goals.

By then there was a collective lethargy in his colleagues, despite his promptings. But he never gave in. He runs strongly but maybe needs to react better in his recovery runs.

Overall he gave a more than competent display and he looks a leader. Not surprisingly he received a booking for an overly-strong challenge that a different referee might have ignored.

It was a bad result for his team but he made a good impression and suggested he could make a breakthrough.

If Declan Rice leaves or Mark Noble struggles to maintain his place, it will be fascinating to see whether his manager looks towards this young man.


Age: 20

Club: West Ham United

Position: Midfield

Value: £1m


West Ham ready to press ahead for Ruben Loftus-Cheek

West Ham United are ready to press ahead for Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, according to The Daily Mail.

It has been reported that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is ready to let Loftus-Cheek leave on loan in the summer transfer window.

Southampton and Fulham are interested in the England international midfielder, and so are Premier League rivals West Ham, according to the report.

It has been further claimed that West Ham are ‘ready to press ahead’ for the England international despite his wages potentially providing a stumbling block.

According to Spotrac, the 24-year-old midfielder earns £60,000 per week as salary at Chelsea.

Would Ruben Loftus-Cheek make West Ham United better?

Loftus-Cheek knows the Premier League inside out, and he has recovered from his injury problems and is now fully fit and available.

West Ham could do with a dynamic player in the middle of the park who can drive the team forward and also help out in defence.

Loftus-Cheek will be hungry for playing time and will be determined to do well this season, and he will be very motivated to succeed at West Ham, if he joins the London club before the summer transfer window closes this month.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 5:43 Fri Oct 2
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 4:34 Fri Oct 2

bill green 4:34 Fri Oct 2
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 4:30 Fri Oct 2

Thanks Alan 4:30 Fri Oct 2
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 1:49 Fri Oct 2

Texas Iron 4:27 Fri Oct 2
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

geoffpikey 3:25 Fri Oct 2
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Daily Mail's "Secret Scout" (who? What?) has a profile of Connor Coventry today.

THE SECRET SCOUT: Coventry could enjoy a breakthrough at West Ham https://mol.im/a/8795705 via http://dailym.ai/android

Value: £1m! If someone bids 2m, Sullivan will probably cash in...

(Sorry. Can't c&p from the shite Daily Mail)

ted fenton 1:49 Fri Oct 2
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

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