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 12:30 Fri Jan 8
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Fenerbahce boss Erol Bulut says the situation over the club's potential signing of Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil, 32, will become clearer "in the coming days". (Mirror)

Lionel Messi, 33, has told Neymar he is planning to leave Barcelona in the summer and join Paris St-Germain, with the Argentina striker also a target for Manchester City. (Star)

Manchester City are close to signing 'mini Messi' Dario Sarmiento. The 17-year-old Argentine winger currently plays for the country's Primera Division side Estudiantes. (Talksport)

Manager Steve Bruce is keen for Newcastle to sign an English trio of Manchester United players on loan this month and has spoken at length with his former club over left-back Brandon Williams, 20, defender Phil Jones, 28, and midfielder Jesse Lingard, 28. (90min)

The Magpies have also contacted Monaco about French full-back Djibril Sidibe, 28. (Foot Mercato - in French)

Tottenham are in a strong position to land RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, 26, but it is unlikely to happen this month. (Express)

Former England Under-20 midfielder Marcus Edwards, 22, has ended West Ham's hopes of signing him in January by renewing his contract at Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes with a £45m release clause. (Mail)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has called for fast-tracked coronavirus vaccinations in football, with the money saved on testing being diverted to the NHS. (Guardian)

Leeds have identified three signings in the January transfer window and have the funds available to bring in new players, but their clubs are reluctant to sell. (Express)

Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek should be banging on the door of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to the club's former striker Dimitar Berbatov. The 23-year-old has started just two league games this season, having signed for £35m in September. (Betfair via Sun)

United's Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero, 33, is expected to return to the club next week as discussions over his future continue. (Sky Sports)

Shrewsbury Town face having to forfeit their place in the FA Cup after their third-round match against Southampton was postponed following a number of positive coronavirus tests. (Guardian)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has donated Stamford Bridge's hotel rooms to NHS staff again. (Independent)

Egyptian side Al Ahly have ruled out a move for Aston Villa full-back Ahmed Elmohamady, 33. (Birmingham Live)

Watford boss Xisco Munoz has told his players to "fight like animals" during Saturday's FA Cup clash with Manchester United. (Evening Standard)

Juventus have been dealt a blow in their search for a new striker with Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella, 37, ruling out a return to his former side. (Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Gregg Bakowski

The Mill was amazed to find out that Steve Bruce still has contacts at Manchester United, and that he intends to lean on them heavily to bolster his paper-thin Newcastle squad with a trio of loan deals. With his Magpies scoring, on average, a goal every leap year he’s decided to target his, erm, defence.

The young left-back Brandon Williams’ rampaging runs up and down the flank for United in the Carabao Cup have got Bruce hot and bothered, so he’d like to slot him into his defence with a steady presence at centre-back beside him to coach him through games. The kind of cool-headed, controlled leader of men who could ensure Newcastle get the clean sheets they need to pick up the points required to spend another season treading water in the Premier League. So, why he thinks Phil Jones is the man to do that we don’t know. But there you go. He’ll also try to bring in Jesse Lingard, presumably to choreograph the celebrations on those rare occasions when they do score.

In news not involving Manchester United fringe players, it says here that Lionel Messi has Whatsapped Neymar and told him to save him a seat in the PSG dressing room because he will be arriving in Paris this summer. Mauricio Pochettino may want to take a refresher course in ego-management if this is true. Manchester City haven’t given up on signing Messi but news that Kyle Walker has received a text from Messi is yet to arrive with us. And in any case, Pep Guardiola is more interested in signing “mini Messi” Dario Sarmiento from Estudiantes. Apparently, Juan Sebastián Verón has helped broker a deal for the 17-year-old, who will not be able to join until the summer, when he turns 18.

Tottenham have sprinted ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign crafty Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. José Mourinho has made the Austria international a key target, but the summer window is a more likely time to sign the £30m playmaker whose ability to pick a pass is almost as impressive as his man bun.

Fabio Quagliarella has turned his nose up at the chance to re-sign for Juventus as a back-up striker with a rousing, if rather confusing, declaration of his love for current club Sampdoria. “If you have given so much and received even more, if every time you feel the emotion beating in your chest, it means that the bonds are stronger than anything else, which go beyond flattering courtships, that put aside current reports and respect history,” he roared. “I think, live and play like this. Forza Samp.”

And Leeds transfer guru Victor Orta has decided it might be good idea to sign a defensive midfielder to stop Marcelo Bielsa’s side getting torn apart on the counter-attack. The man they want is Fiorentina’s Erick Pulgar and they have had “concrete contact” about signing him. Diego Costa has been linked with a move to Elland Road, too, though can anyone in their right mind see the big man signing up for double January training sessions at Thorp Arch?


West Ham complete sale of Sébastien Haller to Ajax at £25m loss

Striker cost West Ham a club record £45m in 2019
Money from sale to be reinvested in David Moyes’s squad

Sébastien Haller has completed his move to Ajax from West Ham, who have accepted £20m for a striker who cost them a record £45m in 2019.

The funds from the 26-year-old’s sale will be made available to strengthen David Moyes’s squad. The manager wants a new striker, with Bournemouth’s Joshua King a long-term target.

Haller failed to live up to expectations at West Ham, who bought him from Eintracht Frankfurt. He scored 10 goals in 48 Premier League appearances and has welcomed a move to the Netherlands, where he had a successful period with Utrecht from 2015-2017.

Ajax said the fee was €22.5m (£20.2m) and that Haller’s contract runs to 2025. West Ham said: “West Ham United would like to thank Sébastien for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for his future career.”

Sport Witness

Striker’s agent reveals talks with West Ham – Hints Hammers want player in January

With Sébastien Haller now officially an Ajax player, all West Ham eyes will be turning to who will replace the striker for the rest of the season.

The Hammers have been linked with multiple options, and some of those claims will have far more behind them than others. On Thursday, we covered claims from Le10 Sport that the Premier League club have a new ‘hot track’ as an option.

That man is Boulaye Dia. 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 were presented as waiting for offers, so it doesn’t sound like they’d be totally against a sale. Whilst there’s also interest in France, the report doubted whether Ligue 1 clubs would be able to compete on either transfer fee or wages.

Well, it seems Le10 Sport had something of a scoop. Since their claims, Dia’s agent has spoken to Telefoot and confirmed talks with West Ham, although it’s not all good news.

Le10 Sport quote Frédéric Guerra as saying: “We talked a lot last month with West Ham. However, we have not moved forward. He is a player that interests them. After that, the question this winter is whether by choosing West Ham or another club, we do not exclude many other clubs this summer.

“With the Covid situation, offers are rare during the winter transfer window. We are among these questions. If it is better to leave now or this summer (…) Of course it is a security to accept West Ham this winter but it would also close the doors for this summer. Italian clubs are interested, in Spain, in Germany. To choose is to give up, so if we choose West Ham, we give up on others.”

That doesn’t exactly sound like an agent bursting with excitement to get his client to David Moyes’ side.

Caught Offside

West Ham set to rival Juventus and Dortmund for £20M-rated striker

According to an exclusive report by 90min, West Ham are set to rival Juventus and Borussia Dortmund for the signature of Sparta Prague forward Adam Hlozek.

The Hammers have cash at their disposal following the departure of Sebastien Haller to Ajax, and with Michail Antonio now being the only option David Moyes has at the spearhead of his attack, it seems likely that a new striker will be recruited before the month’s end.

90min suggest that Adam Hlozek, an 18-year-old currently playing his football in the Czech Republic, could be the solution. The report notes that Sparta Prague are demanding £20M in exchange for the teen, with both Juventus and Dortmund also keen.

Though such a hefty price-tag for a youngster and interest from two of Europe’s biggest clubs threaten to complicate this deal for the Hammers, they couldn’t put a price on resolving their problems in attack long-term. For too long they have struggled to sign a suitable, recognised striker.

Could Hlozek be the answer?

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 4:41 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

brabrook 4:36 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 2:50 Fri Jan 8

Mex Martillo 4:08 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
The interest in these kids is to say that our U23s are not going to make the 1st team?
Oladapo Afolayan 22
Xander Silva 23
Time they were given a chance or were shipped out?

Thanks Alan

bill green 2:50 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 1:26 Fri Jan 8

ted fenton 1:26 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:43 Fri Jan 8

the exile 1:09 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan.

JayeMPee 1:03 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
What do Soucek and Coufal think of the youngster, if they rate him then that is surely the route to go?

Thanks Alan 12:43 Fri Jan 8
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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