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 2:05 Wed Jan 13
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is considering bringing former manager Avram Grant back to Stamford Bridge to assist boss Frank Lampard. (Sky Sports)

Real Madrid plan to sell six players this summer to raise funds for the signing of Paris St-Germain's France striker Kylian Mbappe, 22. Wales forward Gareth Bale, Brazil left-back Marcelo, Serbia striker Luka Jovic and Spanish trio Isco, Dani Ceballos and Brahim Diaz are the players earmarked. (AS - in Spanish)

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is wanted by Barcelona and Paris St-Germain. The Argentine, 32, would be available on a free transfer when his contract expires this summer. (Sun)

Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah, 23, is set to move to Bayer Leverkusen for £1.5m after turning down a contract extension at Old Trafford. (Manchester Evening News)

Wolves will not pursue Nuno Espirito Santo's interest in Chelsea's French striker Olivier Giroud, 34, and Liverpool and Belgium forward Divock Origi, 25, after telling their Portuguese coach he has no money to spend in January. (Mirror)

Bayern Munich are set to sign 22-year-old Reading defender Omar Richards to a pre-contract agreement. Everton and West Ham were also interested in the Englishman, whose contract expires at the end of this season. (Guardian)

Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, 35, could yet extend his stay with Manchester City as he is unsure whether to take up offers from Europe and South America when his contract ends in the summer. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Arsenal are monitoring Shakhtar Donetsk winger Manor Solomon, with a view to making an offer for the Israel international, 21, in the summer. (Guardian)

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly - heavily linked with Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United - would only be sold in the January transfer window if a team offered £100m for the 29-year-old Senegal international. (Talksport)

Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, 28, has the highest market value of all the current Real Madrid players, says a report by audit specialists KPMG. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo is set to stay at the Nou Camp during this transfer window despite interest in the 24-year-old Spaniard. (Marca)

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil's suggestion that he would rather retire than play for Tottenham. Spurs boss Mourinho said he would not want the 32-year-old German. (Sun)

AC Milan want to sign Chelsea's 23-year-old English centre-back Fikayo Tomori on loan for the rest of the season. (Guardian)

Manchester City are considering a summer move for Sassuolo's 23-year-old Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli. (Mail)

Leicester City and Algeria striker Islam Slimani, 32, is set to have a medical at French club Lyon on Wednesday. (Sky Sports)

Tottenham, Sheffield United, Rangers and Celtic are all interested in signing Wigan's 19-year-old Scotland youth striker Kyle Joseph. (Mirror)

West Ham will need to raise their £7m bid if they are to beat Marseille to the signing of 26-year-old Poland and Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik. (Radio Kiss Kiss via SportWitness)

Ipswich are interested in bringing in Preston's English midfielder Josh Harrop, 25, in January. (East Anglian Daily Times)

Premier League and English Football League referees will not be able to book players for close-contact celebrations or hugging opponents - both of which break Covid-19 protocols. Compliance officers will handle the issue instead. (Telegraph - subscription only)

Newcastle United's takeover dispute with the Premier League is to be resolved in a "timely manner" - according to the competition's chief executive Richard Masters. (Newcastle Chronicle)

Monaco's French right-back Djibril Sidibe, 28, will turn down interest from Newcastle and Crystal Palace to stay with his current club. (France Football via Sport Witness)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Gregg Bakowski

Having seen Luis Suárez propel Atlético Madrid to the top of La Liga with the best goals per game ratio in Spain, Barcelona have finally twigged that perhaps Lionel Messi was right and they did bundle the Uruguayan out of the Camp Nou prematurely. And maybe, just maybe, letting him join madcap master motivator Diego Simeone wasn’t the greatest decision, either. So how do you replace an ageing South American goal machine? With an ageing South American goal machine, of course. Yes, Sergio Agüero is top of Barça’s shopping list and with the Manchester City striker’s contract due to expire this summer, they might even be able to get him to scrawl his name on a pre-contract agreement to join for free on 1 July.

PSG are sniffing around too, mind, and if Messi decides once and for all to swap Catalonia for Paris, playing in a front three with Neymar and Messi wouldn’t be a bad way for Agüero to see out his career. The reason we didn’t mention Kylian Mbappé in that frontline is because, according to reports in Spain, Real Madrid are going to offer a “symbolic fee” of £200m in the hope of taking the striker to the Bernabéu. Mbappé will have only a year left on his contract this summer and PSG are expected to want what they paid for Neymar for the 22-year-old. To raise funds for the deal, Madrid will try to flog Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Luka Jovic, Isco, Dani Ceballos and Brahim Diaz to whoever will take them for a combined £150m. Pandemic! What pandemic?

Rumour Mill favourite Kalidou Koulibaly probably won’t be moving to Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United or anywhere else soon. Napoli have stuck a £100m price tag on the 29-year-old centre-back and have dared anyone to match it. In any case, Pep Guardiola’s mantra of “Why buy a defender when a midfielder will do?” will fuel a City bid of £30m for Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli. The rock-solid Italian is seen as the natural long-term heir to Fernandinho’s holding midfield throne, with the Brazilian weighing up offers in Europe and South America when his contract expires.

Islam Slimani is off for a medical at Lyon before a move from Leicester, where his career pretty much nosedived after joining in 2016. The burly 32-year-old striker will cost peanuts, given his contract expires this summer. Another forward who could be on the move is Mariano Díaz, who is fed up of warming the bench at Madrid, with David Moyes keen on bringing the speedy striker in on loan to fire West Ham towards the European places.

Inter Miami are sniffing around for a new goalkeeper and their nose has led them to Goodison Park. But don’t expect Jordan Pickford to be scissor-tackling players in MLS anytime soon, because it’s Jonas Lössl that David Beckham’s side wants. The Danish keeper is third choice at Everton and would likely jump at the chance to move Stateside.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah looks set to leave Manchester United and join Bayer Leverkusen for a cut-price £1.5m this month. Preston’s Josh Harrop is wanted in Ipswich and Avram Grant could be returning to Chelsea as an advisor to Frank Lampard. Can’t see that going wrong. Nope.

Sport Witness

West Ham attempt to sign Premier League player revealed – January effort for signing

Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac turned down the chance to join West Ham United to make an emotional return to Schalke.

That’s according to SportBILD, who cover the player’s return to his former club and the difference he is already having there today.

Kolasinac returned to his former club earlier this month, agreeing to forego a large part of his salary to aid their fight against relegation.

He’s made an instant impact at the club, with his first appearance of the season coming in the 4-0 rout of Hoffenheim over the weekend, a result which was Schalke’s first league win in a year.

Kolasinac was a key part of the victory but he’s also been quickly working to solve things off the pitch too, with it explained he is the ‘person of respect’ that the team have been missing for some time.

For example, Kolasinac has recently held several talks with star man Amine Harit about his behaviour and ‘appealed to his honour’ to turn the player’s season back around. He responded with a hat-trick of assists in the 4-0 win.

The move for the Arsenal man is quickly looking like an excellent piece of business, but SportBILD say it could have been very different.

They report that at least three English clubs, including West Ham, were all keen on his signature, while Napoli and Roma also showed interest.

Kolasinac, though, ‘decided to take the hard way’ and return to Schalke to aid their battle against the drop instead.

Indeed, the left-back can even imagine a long-term stay at the club in the future, although if he is available, it seems West Ham may among his suitors again.

Caught Offside

Krzysztof Piatek could join West Ham on loan

West Ham United are interested in Krzysztof Piatek with Hertha Berlin open to loaning the striker out this month, according to a report from The Sun.

The Hammers are looking to strengthen their options in attack after selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax last week.

The Sun suggests that Piatek is on their radar. The 25-year-old has scored four goals in the Bundesliga this season, featuring in 15 of Hertha Berlin’s league games, but only starting seven. It appears that Hertha are open to letting the Poland international leave before the deadline this month.

He has played for the likes of Genoa and AC Milan before so has renowned quality and could be a decent back up option for David Moyes. The striker hit double figures last term, whilst he scored 30 goals across the two spells with the two mentioned clubs.

It is unclear as to whether or not the deal would have a permanent option at the end of the season, but a loan may fill the void in the short term.


West Ham, Milik is not the right profile: 25 million for Daka, Moyes wants a quick tip

Arkadiusz Milik would not be the right profile for West Ham. Despite the rumors spread yesterday, denials arrive from England on a real interest of the English club for the Polish striker of Naples. David Moyes, in fact, according to sources close to the Premier League club, would prefer to include a faster and younger player than the former Ajax striker. Due in June, Milik could represent a good solution for several teams, but he would not be among the names at the top of the Scottish coach's list, although intermediaries are working on several fronts in the hope of a transfer across the Channel as early as January.

The choice of Moyes, we said, would instead fall of Patson Daka, a talent of 22 years owned by Red Bull Salzburg. To try to get their hands on the promising class of 1998, the management of the Hummers would be ready to put 25 million on the plate, but there is a fair amount of competition to beat. Milik would be a decidedly less expensive investment in terms of price tag, but due to claims of engagement and technical characteristics now, at most, a possible second choice.

Sport Witness

West Ham player told he can seek transfer – ‘Isn’t lacking suitors’, talks with one club already ongoing

Loaned out to Porto for the current season as he struggled to get into David Moyes’ plans, Felipe Anderson hasn’t managed to kick things off in Portugal.

Only managing two league appearances so far, both from the bench, the winger is struggling, which is why he’s been given the opportunity to find himself somewhere else where he might feature more often.

This is according to Foot Mercato in France, who make it clear the Hammers loanee ‘isn’t lacking suitors’.

According to their information, Al-Ain FC in the United Arab Emirates are currently looking for a skilful winger, great in 1-on-1s, and would like to bring in the forward on a ‘free loan without a buying option’.

Down their end, West Ham would rather have a ‘paid loan’, and the negotiations between the two parties ‘are continuing’.

Bought for £34m, Felipe Anderson enjoyed some good spells at London Stadium following his move from Lazio and scored 12 goals and assisted another 12 in 72 appearances.

Sport Witness

West Ham set to present first offer for player – Hammers going in €5m below asking price

Following the sale of Sébastien Haller to Ajax, West Ham have been linked with many options in the transfer market. Even before selling the striker, the Hammers were thought to be looking for an addition, so the rumours have taken on a new strength since then.

One of the options linked has been Boulaye Dia, who is currently playing for Reims in Ligue 1.

The 24-year-old striker has played 17 matches for Reims in Ligue 1 so far this season, and found the back of the net 10 times.

Earlier this month, 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, reports doubted whether Ligue 1 clubs would be able to compete on either transfer fee or wages.

Last week, the player’s agent Frédéric Guerra confirmed talks had been held with West Ham, but he didn’t sound especially keen on his client joining the Hammers this month.

Now there are fresh claims from France regarding interest from the Premier League club. Simone Rovera, a journalist for Telefoot Chaine, reports West Ham are set to make their first offer to Reims.

That bid is expected to be €10m, which is €5m short of Reims’ €15m asking price.


Five strikers who could replace Sébastien Haller at West Ham

Patson Daka would be the ideal signing for David Moyes but Josh King may be a more realistic option

By Ben McAleer

West Ham have a dire record when it comes to signing strikers. In the summer of 2019, the Hammers acquired Sébastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for a club record fee that could have risen to £45m. He was viewed as the long-term solution to their striking woes. It has not worked out that way. Just 18 months later, West Ham have cut their losses on the Ivorian, selling him to Ajax for just £20m.

While Haller was never a hit at West Ham, his departure leaves the club short of attacking options. Michail Antonio is first choice under David Moyes when he is fit but, given his injury history, the club should not pin all of their hopes on the 30-year-old to make it to the end of the season without a spell on the sidelines. Moyes is likely to bring in another striker this month.

Here are five players who could strengthen the team in the final third.

Josh King, Bournemouth

Josh King was heavily linked with a Premier League return before the season and looks set to leave promotion-chasing Bournemouth this month. His contract is up at the end of the season and Bournemouth would prefer to secure a fee for the frontman rather than lose him on a free later in the year.

The Norwegian has made just three starts in the Championship this season, so his exit would not be a huge blow to Bournemouth’s aim of finishing in the top two, but the 28-year-old at least gave a timely reminder of his goalscoring quality with a brace and an assist in their recent 4-1 win over Oldham in the FA Cup. He is a versatile forward who can play up front or behind the striker and, having had a direct hand in 62 goals across his five Premier League seasons, he has invaluable experience in the top flight.

Boulaye Dia, Reims

After two run-of-the-mill seasons with Reims, Boulaye Dia has really come into his own in 2020-21. With 12 goals to his name, he is the joint top scorer in Ligue 1 this season. He has already scored more goals this season than he managed in his previous two league campaigns combined (10). The 24-year-old’s stock has risen accordingly and he is rumoured to be Moyes’ preferred target this month.

There is a risk that comes with signing a forward who has enjoyed an exceptional half season. However, the fact that nine of Dia’s 12 league goals coming on the road suggests the lack of home comforts is not an issue for the French forward. That said, West Ham’s striking captures from France in recent seasons – Modibo Maïga and Diafra Sakho – have struggled. If the Hammers do pursue Dia, they will be hoping third time’s the charm.

Adam Armstrong, Blackburn Rovers

Adam Armstrong is one of two forwards Newcastle may have sold too soon. Armstrong and Ivan Toney lead the goalscoring charts in the Championship, with 16 goals apiece this term. Armstrong was never given a real chance to impress in the Premier League and, while his overall record in the Championship in uneven – 36.4% of his 44 goals in the division have come this season – he has shouldered the Blackburn goalscoring burden for Blackburn brilliantly this season in the absence of Bradley Dack.

The 23-year-old lacks top-level experience, which suggests West Ham could be better off looking elsewhere, but Jarrod Bowen’s step up from Championship to Premier League shows it can be worth gambling on a player from the second tier.

M’Bala Nzola, Spezia

Spezia should retain the services of their top scorer M’Bala Nzola to give themselves the best possible chance of staying in Serie A. He has taken to top-flight football with ease, scoring nine of Spezia’s 23 league goals this season. Those goals have earned the Aquilotti an additional six points and attracted interest not only from West Ham, but Napoli and Newcastle too.

However, three of those nine goals came from the penalty spot and, while Nzola has been ruthless in the opposition box, the same could be said for Krzysztof Piatek, who was a goalscoring machine in his first six months in Italy with Genoa following his arrival from Cracovia in 2019. Since then, the Pole has struggled for form with both Milan and Hertha Berlin, so caution must be applied for clubs interested in signing Nzola.

Patson Daka, RB Salzburg

Tottenham were heavily linked with a move for Patson Daka over the summer before they eventually signed Carlos Vinicius from Benfica. Daka was reportedly keen to stay in Salzburg and develop rather than moving to a bigger club and staying on the bench. The 22-year-old has been exceptional for the Austrian side, scoring 25 times since the start of last season, and his fine performances have not gone unnoticed.

West Ham are said to have lodged a £25m bid for Daka, who remains on the radar of Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool. If West Ham could get a deal over the line, it would be a coup. Daka is represented by former Spurs and West Ham striker Fredi Kanouté, which could work in the club’s favour, and while it would be difficult to fend off fierce competition for the highly rated Zambian, as a Haller replacement, the youngster would be a statement signing for the east London side.


The dream signing would be Patson Daka. Although, with three other Premier League clubs apparently interested in the Zambian, West Ham may be better off turning their attention elsewhere. The Hammers are not the only side in the market for Josh King, with Midlands pair Wolves and West Brom said to be monitoring the Norway international, but his Premier League experience and versatility perhaps render him the most viable option for Moyes and West Ham.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Percy Dalton 4:57 Wed Jan 13
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Up the Hummers.
Thanks Alan.

Tomshardware 2:13 Wed Jan 13
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 2:10 Wed Jan 13

Coffee 2:12 Wed Jan 13
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Is Alan arranging the move?

mallard 2:10 Wed Jan 13
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Avram to Chelsea ..... Ag Ag Ag!

Thank Alan

Thanks Alan 2:10 Wed Jan 13
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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