WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done

Alan 2:09 Sat Jul 31
Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Real Madrid will open talks with Paris St-Germain in the coming weeks for a deal to sign France international striker Kylian Mbappe, 22, with his contract expiring next summer. (90min)

Aston Villa are to offer midfielder Jack Grealish, 25, a new contract worth £200,000 a week to try to keep him at the club and stop him moving to Manchester City, who have made a £100m bid for the England international. (Star)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, 28, who has been heavily linked with a move to Paris St-Germain, can see a long-term future at Old Trafford, but the Frenchman may not sign a contract extension with the Red Devils this summer. (Sky Sports)

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino says the club are "working away quietly" in the transfer market but would not be drawn on naming Pogba as a target for the club. (Le Parisien, via Metro)

Tottenham have offered Atalanta £43m for Argentina defender Cristian Romero, 23, and the Italian side are open to a deal if they can have more time to secure a replacement. (Sky Sports Italia, via Mail)

Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez says he is unsure whether he will be staying at Everton but the 30-year-old has ruled out a return to Real Madrid. (Mail)

Borussia Monchengladbach and Germany midfielder Florian Neuhaus, 24, remains a target for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, but the Reds will not be able to meet his price tag of around £34m. (Sport1 - in German)

Liverpool have joined Juventus and Arsenal in the race to sign Euro 2020-winning Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli, 23, from Sassuolo. (Gazzetta dello Sport, via Mail)

Southampton have turned down a £25m offer from Aston Villa for their England midfielder James Ward-Prowse, 26. (Athletic - subscription required)

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is set to be handed a new three-year deal. (Star)

Chelsea are prepared to lower their asking price of £40m for 23-year-old English striker Tammy Abraham, who has attracted interest from Arsenal, West Ham and Aston Villa. (Sun)

Everton remain undecided about PSV Eindhoven's 25-year-old Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries. (Liverpool Echo)

Senior sources at Liverpool are not dismissing links with West Ham's 24-year-old English forward Jarrod Bowen. (Star)

Arsenal are preparing to offer midfielder Granit Xhaka, 28, a new contract after the Swiss international was linked with a move to Roma. (Athletic - subscription required)

Leeds United are in early talks about signing Huddersfield Town's 22-year-old English midfielder Lewis O'Brien. (Football Insider)

Tottenham have considered making a move for 29-year-old Nigeria striker Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo, better known as Simy, who scored 20 Serie A goals for Crotone as they were relegated last season. (Telegraph, subscription required)

Crystal Palace, Brentford and Watford have been linked with New Zealand midfielder Matthew Garbett, 19, who plays for Swedish club Falkenbergs. (Sun)


West Ham move ahead of two Prem rivals in race for £18m Valencia star

West Ham are leading the race to sign Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby, according to reports, but face competition from two other Premier League sides.

Diakhaby is a former France youth international who is still in the earlier years of his career at the age of 24. He has played for Valencia since 2018, when they signed him from Lyon. In the three seasons since then, he has made just shy of 100 appearances in all competitions.

Two years remain on his contract at the Mestalla, but he does not want to sign a renewal. Therefore, this summer may be the optimum time for them to cash in, before his value decreases.

In the process, Diakhaby could end up in the Premier League. According to Mundo Deportivo (via Football Espana), he has admirers at West Ham, Leicester and Newcastle.

Of the trio, West Ham currently have the advantage and are further down the line in their pursuit. Signing a new defender would be useful for them ahead of a campaign that will involve European football, stretching David Moyes’ squad to the limit.

They have signed Craig Dawson on a permanent basis after his positive loan spell from Watford, but released fellow defender Fabian Balbuena. Therefore, they could do with one more centre-back.

Diakhaby could be their man, but they will have to fend off rival interest from Leicester and Newcastle.

Leicester also have Europa League football on offer, so they could be another attractive option. On the other hand, Newcastle may be able to offer him more regular playing time if they can stump up the cash required.

Newcastle are yet to make a signing for their first team this summer. Steve Bruce will be hoping for some reinforcements before the window closes.

Diakhaby is available for around £18m this summer and all three of his Premier League suitors are capable of paying it, as per the report.

West Ham in Zouma talks

Another defender West Ham are looking at is Kurt Zouma from London rivals Chelsea.

Zouma was recently proposed as a makeweight to Sevilla in Chelsea’s attempts to sign Jules Kounde. However, the La Liga club would prefer other options in return for the highly-rated centre-back.

In turn, Zouma will also have other suitors, including those that would allow him to stay in the Premier League.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham have opened talks with Chelsea over the possibility of signing the 26-year-old, who could cost more than £20m.

It remains to be seen if their plan is to sign two defenders or if Diakhaby will have to look elsewhere should Zouma make the move to the London Stadium.

There are also clubs who could take him back to his native France. Thus, the Valencia man will be weighing up all his options.


Arthur Masuaku returns and Armstrong Okoflex scores twice as West Ham United U23s draw with Aldershot Town

West Ham United U23s 2-2 Aldershot Town
Pre-season Fixture

Arthur Masuaku made his pre-season bow as West Ham United U23s drew 2-2 with National League side Aldershot Town on Friday evening.

The DR Congo international returned to action after missing the tail-end of last season with a knee problem and impressed during his 45 minutes on the pitch at Rush Green Stadium, defending strongly and providing an assist for Armstrong Okoflex’s opening goal.

Masuaku was powerless to stop Aldershot equalising when Pierre Ekwah’s pass was intercepted by Toby Edser and the No8 powered a left-foot shot high past David Martin, and he had been replaced by the time Kevin Lokko headed Lewis Kinsella’s cross in at the near post early in the second half.

However, the Hammers stuck to their task and were rewarded 19 minutes from time when Okoflex pounced on a loose ball and smashed high into the net from around 12 yards to level.

The Irons controlled the game for long periods in front of watching first-team manager David Moyes and coaches Kevin Nolan, Billy McKinlay and Stuart Pearce, and it was summer signing Okoflex who provided the cutting edge to score his third and fourth pre-season goals.

With Martin and Masuaku joined in the starting XI by a number of youngsters who have featured for Moyes in pre-season, including defender Jamal Baptiste, midfielders Pierre Ekwah and Keenan Forson and attacker Okoflex, West Ham played the more attractive football, but found a Shots side managed by former Academy of Football coach Danny Searle resolute, determined and effective opponents.

Indeed, with captain Kinsella providing superb left-foot deliveries from set pieces, Martin had to be alert to claw away a looping header from Edser early on.

West Ham then settled down after a nervy start, which included an unmarked Dan Chesters blazing over from close-range, and went ahead on 22 minutes in some style.

Masuaku was the creator, starting a move from deep that saw Mesaque Dju run onto Bernardo Rosa’s pass before cutting the ball back for the left-back. He released Okoflex with a perfectly-weighted ball with the outside of his foot and the No11 kept his composure to finish low across goalkeeper Mitch Walker.

Having gone ahead, Dmitri Halajko would have wanted his team to push on, but instead they allowed Aldershot back into the game.

It was from a loose piece of play that the equaliser arrived on 31 minutes through former Nottingham Forest youngster Edser, who collected an errant pass, burst past Will Greenidge and fired high past Martin.

And the hosts would have been behind at half-time had it not been for a superb double-save from the lifelong West Ham fan, who first blocked Lokko’s close-range shot, then showed outstanding reflexes to divert Giles Phillips’ volley over the crossbar from Kinsella’s resulting corner.

Four minutes into the second half and Martin could do nothing to prevent Searle’s side taking the lead as another dangerous in-swinging delivery from Kinsella was headed in at the near post by centre-back Lokko.

To their credit, the young Hammers regrouped and piled pressure on the Aldershot defence, with right-back Harrison Ashby repeatedly getting in behind with strong forward runs.

It was from an Ashby switch of play that the equaliser finally arrived as a left-wing cross was not properly cleared and Okoflex fired unerringly into the net.

West Ham continued to push for a late winner, with substitute Levi Laing heading over six minutes from time, but ultimately Halajko and his players had to settle for a hard-fought draw.

West Ham United U23s: Martin (Trialist 77), Ashby ©, Greenidge, Baptiste (Laing 60), Masuaku (Longelo 46), Ekwah, Chesters (Diallo 46), Forson (Ashley 46), Okoflex, Rosa, Dju (Swyer 71)
Subs not used: Woods, Forbes

Goals: Okoflex 22, 71

Aldershot Town: Walker, Trialist (Saunders 64), Lokko (Trialist 60), Lyons-Foster, Kinsella ©, Phillips, Edser, Whittingham, Bettamer (Willard 78), Trialist (Watts 67), Andrews (Trialist 46)
Sub not used: Keogh (GK)

Goals: Edser 31, Lokko 49

Referee: Lloyd Wood

Football London

Arsenal, West Ham, Leicester City and Everton locked in transfer tussle for EFL talent

Preston youngster Lewis Leigh is being monitored by Premier League sides including Arsenal, Leicester, Everton and West Ham, football.london understands.

Preston midfielder Lewis Leigh has been linked with a number of top Premier League sides (Image: Preston North End FC)

The 17-year-old is a central midfielder who was released by Liverpool prior to signing for the Lilywhites at under-14 level.

Leigh is expected to sign a new contract at Preston with only one year left on his scholarship deal, but the interest from top flight sides will have come as no surprise after impressing at youth level for the Lancashire side.

When Preston hosted Lincoln City in the FA Youth Cup last season, the teenager was one player who stood out to our sister site LancsLive.

The assessment of Leigh's performance that afternoon read as follows:

'Clearly a fearless midfield player who plays with his heart on his sleeve.

'When the tide of the game swung the way of Lincoln, Leigh stood up to the fight, maintained a high-level of energy in his play and got stuck in.

'Not an overly imposing figure physically, he makes up for that with his aggression and hunger on the pitch. Not afraid of a tackle, to try the ambitious pass or take the shot on.

'Leigh showed a few times that he has the ability to burst forward from midfield, into forward areas and hit the box - which almost led to him opening the scoring in the first half.

'He gets about the pitch well and looked the kind of player you want to see in the middle of the park, not lacking endeavour, spirit or determination.'

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 6:51 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)

chim chim cha boo 4:04 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan. I don't like the sound of another Preston player being bought by Moyes as Hughill has been the only proper ricket he's made in his time with us and you can't help thinking it's because he started his management career there.

With Kind Regards 3:08 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mex Martillo 2:20 Sat Jul 31

Mex Martillo 2:20 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 2:13 Sat Jul 31

Mex Martillo 2:20 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 2:13 Sat Jul 31

Thanks Alan 2:13 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 2:13 Sat Jul 31
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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