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 2:41 Thu Jan 7
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito says he does not think Lionel Messi, 33, will extend his current deal, which ends in June 2021. (Goal)

Manchester City believe they are at the front of the queue to sign Messi if the Argentina striker leaves Barcelona this summer. (Telegraph - subscription required)

But Barcelona are considering buying a Major League Soccer franchise to help convince Messi to renew his deal after he said he wanted to play in the US at the end of his career. (AS)

Aston Villa plan to turn down bids for midfielder Jack Grealish during the January transfer window despite renewed interest from leading clubs in the 25-year-old England international.(Mail)

Everton are expecting to receive offers for Moise Kean, 20, from Paris St-Germain, where the Italy forward is currently on loan, but the Toffees are in no rush to decide on his future. (Liverpool Echo)

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil, 32, has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with Turkish side Fenerbahce. (DHA - in Turkish)

Ozil's future will be resolved soon, says his agent, but the World Cup winner's priority is to stay at Arsenal until his contract runs out in the summer. (ESPN)

Manchester United's Marcos Rojo, 30, has agreed a two-year deal with Boca Juniors in the January transfer window, but Boca want to sign him for free so the Argentine must persuade United to let him leave for nothing. (ESPN - in Spanish)

New contract talks between Liverpool and Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, 30, have reached a stalemate. (Sky Sports)

Tottenham are confident South Korea forward Son Heung-min, 28, will sign a contract extension that will keep him at the club past 2023, when his current deal ends. (Telegraph - subscription required)

West Brom are in advanced talks to sign Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass, 33, from West Ham. (Sky Sports)

West Ham's Ivorian striker Sebastien Haller, 26, who has failed to make an impact at the club, is close to sealing a move to Dutch side Ajax. (Goal)

Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori's hopes of a loan move in January look to have been scuppered by Andreas Christensen's knee injury, with the 23-year-old England international needed as cover at Stamford Bridge.(Sun)

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford, 23, is the most valuable player in world football, according to an independent research group, with an estimated transfer value of 165m euros (£150m). (CIES Football Observatory)

Wolves are considering recalling Italy striker Patrick Cutrone, 23, from his loan at Fiorentina as a short-term replacement for the injured Raul Jimenez. (Mail)

West Ham and Wolves are competing to sign 19-year-old Ajax and Burkina Faso forward Lassina Traore. (De Telegraaf, via Sun)

Middlesbrough, Stoke and Swansea are interested in a loan deal for Tottenham's 20-year-old winger Jack Clarke. (Sky Sports)

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has hinted he may not still be in charge next season after his side's shock Copa del Rey defeat by third-tier side Cornella. (Goal)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

Having done his best to wrench Mohamed Salah’s arm clean out of its socket during the 2018 Champions League final, Real Madrid central defender and red-card magnet Sergio Ramos could be about to renew acquaintances with his Egyptian chum. According to Spanish TV show El Chiringuito de Jugones, Ramos is ready to leave Madrid if they don’t improve their offer of a new two-year deal and with just six months left on his contract could move to Liverpool for £15m.

Ajax have identified an opening for a sullen, pouting, perennially resentful striker in their squad and have decided Sébastien Haller is the perfect candidate to fill the role. Despite paying £45m to bring the 26-year-old Ivory Coast international in from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2019, West Ham are ready to cut their losses and let him go for a little over half that amount.

Elsewhere in the West Ham departures lounge, Robert Snodgrass is on the verge of a move that could scarcely be more “Robert Snodgrass” if it grew a beard, spoke in a thick Scottish accent and said: “Hi, my name is Robert Snodgrass.” Surplus to requirements at the London Stadium and with his contract due to expire in the summer, the 33-year-old winger is in advanced talks with West Brom regarding a permanent deal.

Speculation over the next move of Arsenal outcast Mesut Özil rumbles on and on, with speculation linking him with a move to MLS franchise DC United being contradicted by reports from Turkey suggesting he has agreed to join Fenerbahce. His agent, meanwhile, claims his future remains completely up in the air. “There is a possibility in the next seven to 10 days, things will become far more clear,” said Dr Erkut Sögüt, in conversation with Sky Sports. “There has been no direct contact from any club regarding Özil.”

Struggling in front of goal following the loss of Raúl Jiménez through injury, Wolves are considering the recall of striker Patrick Cutrone from his loan spell at Fiorentina. The 23-year-old has had a torrid time in Italy, failing to score in 13 appearances for a Serie A side who no longer want him. If Wolves decide he’s not the man to fill Jiménez’s big boots, they might ship him out to Marseille instead. “Patrick is 22 and wants to find space to continue his growth,” said Fiorentina director of sport Daniele Pradè to Corriere dello Sport. “We can’t guarantee it, therefore we need to be good at finding a solution together, Wolverhampton included.”

Having made just two appearances for Tottenham Hotspur this season, both in the Europa League, Jack Clarke could be sent out on loan to get some playing time under his belt. A raft of Championship sides including Coventry City, Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Swansea City are all reported to be interested in the 20-year-old winger who joined Spurs from Leeds United in the summer of 2019. Bombed out at Tottenham, Danny Rose is in dire need of a move and could be off to Trabzonspor, while third-choice goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga is also looking for alternative employment.

Meanwhile in Ecuador, Independiente del Valle have denied talk that they have been contacted by representatives from Manchester United, who want to sign midfielder Moisés Caicedo. The first player born this century to score a goal in the South American World Cup qualifiers, the 19-year-old from Santo Domingo is also believed to be the subject of interest from Chelsea and Everton, and has been described as “the real deal” by no less an expert than the BBC’s South American football correspondent Tim Vickery.

And finally, Everton are ready to duke it out with Serie A side Roma, in the battle for Lille’s Turkish right-back Zeki Çelik, while the Merseyside club’s 18-year-old centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite looks likely to head out on loan to Blackburn Rovers, Sheffeild Wednesday or Preston.


West Ham striker Sébastien Haller a £25m target for Ajax

Deal could depend on West Ham finding replacement
Haller has failed to live up to expectations after £45m move

Jacob Steinberg

Ajax want to strengthen their attack by signing Sébastien Haller, who has failed to live up to expectations since joining West Ham for a record £45m in 2019. The striker has struggled to adapt to the pace of English football and is prepared to make the switch to the Dutch club.

It is understood Ajax hope to pay about £25m for Haller, who became the most expensive player in West Ham’s history with his move from Eintracht Frankfurt 18 months ago. However, a deal could be dependent on David Moyes’s side being able to replace the 26-year-old. West Ham’s only other senior forward, Michail Antonio, has a history of hamstring injuries and has missed a significant portion of this season.

Haller, who has 10 goals in 48 Premier League appearances, had a chance to shine when Antonio sustained a hamstring injury after scoring in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City in October. But the Ivory Coast international has been disappointing despite an extended run up front, scoring twice in 11 games.

Moyes even expressed frustration with Haller after his stunning overhead kick in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace last month, with the manager saying he wanted him to be in position to score more tap-ins.

Although Haller has shown flashes of class, he has often looked unsuited to playing as a lone forward in the Premier League. The stronger and quicker Antonio, who has made two substitute appearances since returning to fitness, has been more effective and dangerous.

However, West Ham will not want to be overly reliant on Antonio given the 30-year-old’s injury record. Moyes could revive his interest in the Bournemouth striker Joshua King, who is out of contract in the summer. West Ham have also been linked with the Sparta Prague forward Adam Hlozek, but it is understood a reunion with Marko Arnautovic is unlikely because of the Shanghai SIPG forward’s £300,000-a-week wages.

West Ham could allow Robert Snodgrass to join West Brom. The midfielder has fallen out of favour this season.


Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has provided an update.

Romano has posted an update on Twitter. The Italian expert has gained Twitter fame for his knowledge on all-things transfers, coining his catchphrase “here we go” on Haller’s move. He states personal terms have been agreed.

Football 365

Snodgrass set to join West Brom in free transfer from West Ham

West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass is poised to complete a free transfer to West Brom.

The winger has agreed an 18-month deal to move to The Hawthorns, the PA news agency understands.

He will become Sam Allardyce’s first signing since he replaced Slaven Bilic last month.

Snodgrass joins with the promise of more first-team football, despite Albion struggling to avoid relegation having registered just one win this season.

The Scotland international has made six appearances, scoring twice, for the Hammers this season but has played just four minutes in the Premier League.

His deal at the London Stadium is due to expire in the summer and the 33-year-old is not part of David Moyes’ long-term plans.

Making the deal permanent means Albion keep a domestic loan spot available, with Allardyce working on a tight budget.

He has been open about his hunt for reinforcements and has said he needed to add quality to his new squad.

They have conceded 12 goals in Allardyce’s first three home matches, without scoring, to sit second bottom of the Premier League and six points from the safety line.

The Baggies have also been linked with Bournemouth striker Josh King as they try to beat the drop.

Snodgrass will end a four-year stay with the Hammers and he made 86 appearances, scoring 11 times, having also spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, PAOK are struggling to reach an agreement with Benfica for Filip Krovinovic, who has struggled for game time during his second loan at the Baggies.

Sport Witness

West Ham have new ‘hot track’ to replace Sébastien Haller – Hammers again looking towards the French market

The French media appeared with a big story on Wednesday evening as it was claimed Sébastien Haller was set to leave West Ham and join Ajax in a deal worth €25m.

Those claims have continued, however, Dutch reports don’t see the deal as all agreed yet. It’s been stated Ajax are in the process of signing Haller, have agreed personal terms with the player, but still haven’t agreed a deal with West Ham.

Ajax want to structure a transfer fee which would see them either pay over a long period of time, or take the player on loan with a obligatory redemption clause for the summer window. In the Netherlands, a potential transfer fee has been put at €20m.

West Ham will need to bring a replacement in, and Le10 Sport report Boulaye Dia could be that man. The 24-year-old striker has played 16 matches for Reims in Ligue 1 so far this season, and found the back of the net 10 times.

Reims are awaiting offers, with there also being interest in France, yet it’s stated Dia is now a ‘hot track’ for West Ham. Ligue 1 clubs would find it difficult to compete with the Hammers.

Sempre Milan

Milan and West Ham remain interested as Schalke cut asking price of star to €15m

AC Milan remain interested in a move for Schalke defender Ozan Kabak as the Bundesliga side have slashed their asking price, it is claimed.

It seems at the moment as though Mohamed Simakan is the main target for the centre-back department and we told you earlier in the week that the deal could be done at any moment, while in his latest update Pietro Balzano Prota told us that contacts are expected during the day.

However, a name that seemingly refuses to go away is that of Ozan Kabak, a player Milan tried for in the summer window but could not get a deal over the line.

According to Patrick Berger of Sport1 in Germany (via Twitter), Kabak – who West Ham United and Milan, among others, are interested in – could be allowed to leave this month for a cut-price fee.

A sale of the Turkey international was considered impossible not that long ago, but now Schalke are ready to let him go for €15million given their current economic crisis.


£9m Richarlison-like prodigy linked to West Ham, Arsenal and Bielsa now up for sale

According to Globo Esporte, Fluminense are now rushing to sell Marcos Paulo after giving up hope of the wonderkid signing a new contract.

The Brazilian outfit had hoped to tie their starlet down to fresh terms, with just six months remaining on his current deal.

However, Fluminense have now given up, and are in a rush to sell the forward before he leaves for nothing in the summer.

Among those interested in Paulo, according to TEAMtalk, are Arsenal, West Ham and Leeds.

It’s no wonder the Premier League trio are eyeing the 19-year-old.

In a detailed analysis of the prodigy from Forbes, he is compared to Everton forward Richarlison, if you were keen to know what type of player the teenager is.

Additionally, Paulo has scored a respectable 11 goals already in his short career, while also registering ten assists.

Globo Esporte state that Fluminense valued their young prospect at €10 million (£9 million) during the summer.

They will presumably still hope to get that sum this month, although their weak negotiating stance due to Paulo’s contract should be taken into account.

Wherever the Portugal Under-19 international ends up, there’s no denying he’s a huge talent.

Fluminense clearly feel he has massive potential, having slapped a £40 million release clause on the attacker when he was just 17, as TEAMtalk state.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 3:51 Thu Jan 7
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

ted fenton 2:45 Thu Jan 7
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

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