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 1:36 Thu Aug 26
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Paris St-Germain want 220m euros (£188m) from Real Madrid for 22-year-old France forward Kylian Mbappe. (Le Parisien - in French)

Manchester City have not ruled out signing Juventus and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, after England captain Harry Kane committed his immediate future to Tottenham. (ESPN)

Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes says he is keen to leave the Turin side, and has been looking for a club who are willing to pay a £25m transfer fee for the 36-year-old and take on his wages, which City are ready to do.(Sky Sports)

Meanwhile, Kane is upset Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy would not sanction his sale and the 28-year-old could sign a new contract with the club that includes a release clause. (Telegraph)

Chelsea were priced out of a move for Norway and Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer as his agent Mino Raiola demanded massive fees for himself as well as Premier League record wages for the 21-year-old in the £275m package.(Star)

Pep Guardiola will leave Manchester City when his deal runs out after the 2022-23 season and take a break from football before becoming a national team boss. (Globo, via Manchester Evening News)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is not in immediate danger of losing his job despite the Gunners' poor start to the Premier League season. Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been linked with replacing him. (Independent)

Liverpool are considering making a move for Sevilla winger Lucas Ocampos despite interest from Wolves for the Argentina star, 27.(Star)

Roma manager Jose Mourinho is planning a £13.5m bid for Chelsea's English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 25-year-old briefly worked with Mourinho during the Portuguese's second stint with the Blues. (Mail)

Manchester United will not be able to bid for either Rennes' French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, 18, or Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez, 26, unless they can sell players to raise funds. (ESPN)

Chelsea are thought to be in pole position to sign Niguez, with Atletico open to selling the Spain international. (Express)

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have both expressed an interest in signing Manchester City's Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva this summer. Both clubs are said to favour a loan deal for the 27-year-old. (90Min)

Sevilla say they have rejected an offer from Chelsea for 22-year-old French defender Jules Kounde and do not need to sell any players. (Goal)

Chelsea and RB Leipzig are possible destinations for Barcelona midfielder for Ilaix Moriba if the 18-year-old Guinean does not renew his contract with the La Liga side. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Arsenal and Brazil winger Willian, 33, is trying to secure a move to Corinthians. (Sun)

Barcelona and Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets has agreed to take a further pay cut and wage deferral to help the Spanish giants reduce their wage bill. (ESPN)

Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere, 29, says he is considering retiring after receiving no offers following his release by Championship side Bournemouth. (Athletic - subscription required)

Wolves want to join the race to sign Lille and Netherlands defender Sven Botman, 21, with the player being linked with the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool in the past. (HITC)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Will Unwin

Liverpool need more attackers, it would seem. The latest man to be linked with a move to Anfield is the Sevilla winger Lucas Ocampos, who has also caught the eye of Wolves. One man not leaving Andalucia is Jules Koundé after Sevilla shook their head at all of Chelsea’s offers for the defender.

Wolves might have better luck with Lille’s Sven Botman – previously linked with Liverpool. The 21-year-old centre-back helped Lille to win the Ligue 1 title last season and has been scouted by every man and his dog in recent years, so would be a coup for Bruno Lage if the club could snap him up.

West Ham are closing in on a deal for Kurt Zouma after a surprisingly drawn-out process of trying to sign the defender from Chelsea this summer. The Hammers are, supposedly, boosted by the news that Manchester United could finally relent and permit Jesse Lingard to return to east London.

The rest of the window will mainly involve back and forth between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as they try to work out what astronomical fee is suitable to allow Kylian Mbappé to move from the French to the Spanish capital. Madrid low-balled with their first offer of £137m, which was laughed off, despite the forward having only a year left on his contract. Supposedly, a fee in the region of £180m would secure Mbappé’s signature. At least it will be fun to see Madrid bemoan their poverty.

After years of neglecting Chelsea academy graduates, José Mourinho is finally taking an interest in signing them up. Following the arrival of Tammy Abraham for £34m at Roma, the Portuguese is hoping to reunite him with Ruben Loftus-Cheek. A fee of £13.5m is being mooted for the midfielder who spent last season helping Fulham to get relegated from the Premier League.

As Manchester City and Cristiano Ronaldo continue to be mentioned in the same sentence, the club might lose a Portuguese player, too. Bernardo Silva could be off to paupers Barcelona or the more financially stable Atlético Madrid, according to reports.

Barcelona could lose one of their emerging stars in Ilaix Moriba. The teenage midfielder has thus far rejected attempts from the club to get him to commit to a long-term deal at the Camp Nou. RB Leipzig and Chelsea are lurking in the background if the Guinean sticks to his guns and refuses to put pen to paper.

Harry Kane could sign a new deal at Tottenham after they refused to let him depart for Manchester City. The England striker’s potential new wage would be in the region of £400,000 a week if he does fancy sticking around.


West Ham and Crystal Palace offer different blueprints of similar Premier League ambition

The two clubs clash this weekend with one blazing a trail the other aspires to reach - but in a very different way

Karl Matchett

West Ham against Crystal Palace might not, in the ordinary course of events, be a match that many looked upon as being reflective of the possibility and the optimism being in the Premier League can generate. The fixture’s status as a 3pm kick-off on Saturday largely reflects that: two established sides, but not - in the course of recent top-flight history, let’s say - exciting, silverware-challenging, likely-to-upset-the-status-quo clubs, playing each other without a ‘big six’ outfit in sight.

Except, this year, both these clubs bear watching more than most. Both these clubs serve as blueprints for others, at different ends of a strategic spectrum and with different possibilities for each.

West Ham, of course, might not be considered among the ‘big six’, but can rightfully point to themselves being in the top six; a tremendous 2020/21 campaign brought them European football and plenty of plaudits, and their start to the new season has been just as positive.

A thumping of Leicester on Monday night leaves them top of the fledgeling table and with the fans dreaming of what might lie ahead this term. After several years of meandering around the lower reaches of the table with vague and unrecognised ambitions of becoming a competitive outfit again, West Ham have found a formula that works for them: an established manager, some terrific recruitment work and the odd homegrown star to round out the side.

Longevity is the big question the Hammers now face, both in the longer-term aspect of how to replace the likes of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen if they depart, but also in the shorter term, looking at coping with Europa League football, travel and ever-more international call-ups.

It has been a year and a bit of undeniable progress, exciting for supporters (especially now they get to witness it first hand) and full of speculative potential for just how far this team could go.

Sometimes, for no single specific reason other than solid coaching and a dressing room which clicks, everything falls into place. That, more than a long-term foundation of stylistic fundamentals and club-wide strategy, appears to be where West Ham’s on-pitch upward curve has stemmed from, having re-appointed the manager they let depart 19 months previously.

Crystal Palace are rather different. They faced a real summer of change and opportunity, as uncertain and risk-filled a moment as the Selhurst Park side has come up against since their promotion back into the top flight in 2013, and they have met it head-on with a plan which looks very much long-term, sustainable and, again, exciting for the fans - if it goes right on the pitch.

Younger players being recruited to replace those out of contract, a clear pathway for the Championship’s best players to get regular Premier League action and a bold appointment as head coach - Palace are making a niche for themselves in the transfer market as part of a wider approach to improve.

Consider: the early 20-somethings in the Championship, the very best ones, watching the likes of Marc Guehi and Michael Olise, plus Ebe Eze once back from injury, starting to star in the league they’re all trying to reach. Eventually, if one or two of them move on - profits for Palace, reinvested, the process continuing - the pathway is even more apparent and even more enticing. Join Crystal Palace, the recruitment spiel can include. Top-flight exposure, forward-thinking coaching, the possibility to step up to a bigger side when you’re ready.

It’s an obvious draw for those looking to progress their careers further, and exciting each time it happens for Palace fans to feel their own team can keep improving.

But it has to happen the first time, of course, for the rest to follow.

Patrick Vieira’s start to life at Selhurst Park has not been smooth or easy, but neither is there the feeling of an inevitable rush to fix over-ambitious mistakes made, akin to when Frank de Boer was appointed and quickly dismissed.

A clash this weekend then, of styles and strategies - but a mesh of ideals with the same ultimate ambition in mind, to climb the Premier League table and not just secure a long-term place among 20, but be capable of offering hope that more can follow than merely making up the numbers.

West Ham, with European football, can argue they have achieved that in the first instance, and this season’s rewards are another version of the same. Palace have designed a very different route to their own future, and will hope for the first positive steps down that journey at the London Stadium.

Sport Witness

Back on – Kurt Zouma currently undergoing medical to complete move from Chelsea to West Ham

The Kurt Zouma to West Ham deal has been a bit of a rollercoaster, with the negotiations between the Hammers and Chelsea encountering a few ups and downs.

Late on Wednesday, there was talk that the deal was off, before claims emerged that it was back on, with confirmation from TF1 journalist Julien Maynard on Thursday morning that the transfer could end up going through.

Chelsea are currently in talks to sign Jules Koundé, and the money from the sale of Zouma to West Ham would go a long way in helping them get the deal over the line.

Maynard took to Twitter to explain the ‘deal is finally OK between Chelsea and West Ham’, and the ‘medical is underway’.

That suggests everything is in the final stretch, and we can expect Zouma to become the latest recruit under David Moyes in the coming days, or even hours, helping forget all about the failed deal for Nikola Milenkovic.

Julien maynard @JulienMaynard

Deal finally OK between Chelsea and West Ham for the transfer of Kurt Zouma.
Medical examination in progress. ⌛️ #Mercato @ telefoot_TF1

Football London

Chelsea's Marina Granovskaia set to make Kurt Zouma offer to ensure West Ham transfer goes ahead

West Ham remain in talks with Kurt Zouma over his proposed transfer from Chelsea to the Hammers

By Tom Clark

Chelsea are understood to be considering offering Kurt Zouma compensation in order to ensure his proposed move to West Ham does not collapse.

football.london understands that the deal for Zouma hinges on the involvement of 'multiple agents' in the transfer and that discussions between the parties continue in order to keep the move alive.

The two clubs have come to an agreement in principle over the transfer, with a fee of £25.7million agreed between the sides.

However, there was a sticking point on personal terms between Zouma and West Ham as well as the issue with the agents involved in the deal.

According to Reach PLC's Transfer Window podcast, Ian McGarry said that Chelsea are willing to pay Zouma 'compensation' in order for the deal to go through and free up space for their own transfer move for Sevilla's Jules Kounde.

McGarry said: "Proving herself to be a very canny operator in the market, Marina Granovskaia has decided that, if Zouma needs to extend the money he is getting paid at West Ham, Chelsea can facilitate part of his demands by paying him some compensation on his current contract in forms of a pay-off.

"One installment would come five days after he signs for West Ham United and then another one next summer at exactly the same date, in order to assure the smooth transition of Zouma's move to West Ham, and of course, in turn, receiving the fee from West Ham."

football.london understands that talks remain ongoing with Zouma and the club hope to reach an agreement that suits all parties shortly.

The defender is set for his medical on Thursday afternoon in Paris before returning to the UK to link up with the Hammers.

If Zouma has received both doses of the covid-19 vaccine the defender will not need to quarantine on his arrival in England, however, if he has not received two jabs then he would face a ten-day quarantine before being able to train with his new teammates.

Zouma's involvement in Saturday's clash against Crystal Palace at the London Stadium will depend on his vaccine status and the club registering the deal by noon on Friday, August 27.

Mercato West Ham: Zouma passes his medical examination

Another turnaround in the Kurt Zouma file (26 years old, 1 game in all competitions this season)! While the transfer of the central defender from Chelsea to West Ham had taken a lead in the wing in recent hours due to a disagreement between the Blues and the Hammers on the structure of this deal RMC Sport us learns that the French international will indeed join the 6th in the Premier League.


Sometimes they come back. Juve, Witsel on pole for after McKennie "

While contacts intensify for the sale of Weston McKennie in the Premier League (there are Everton, West Ham, Aston Villa), the Bianconeri are thinking of the replacement. Difficult to get to Sissoko or Tchouameni, Juve moved to the old obsession Axel Witsel. The Juventus club took precautions by starting contacts with Borussia Dortmund and finding fertile ground. The Belgian midfielder has only one year on his contract. Before sinking, however, the sale of McKennie is necessary.


Mipo Odubeko keen to leave West Ham for first team football

Exclusive - West Ham striker Mipo Odubeko could leave the club before the end of the transfer window in search of first team football.

The 18-year-old joined the Hammers on a three-year deal in October 2019, shortly after turning down a contract extension with Manchester United.

Signed with the intention of developing into a West Ham regular in the years to come, Odubeko has excelled at Under-18 and Premier League 2 level - bagging 10 goals in just nine appearances at the latter level last season.

He's started 2021/22 in fine form too, scoring twice in his first two Premier League 2 level outings.

But 90min can reveal that Odubeko is not content with his role at West Ham and is keen to push on and play regular first team football as soon as possible.

Ideally, the Hammers would like to extend Odubeko's contract at the London Stadium - which expires next summer - before agreeing to a loan move away, but 90min has learned that he would rather leave on a permanent basis.

Odubeko will not be short of options should his expected departure come to fruition, with four clubs in Italy - two in Serie A and two in Serie B - already considering making an offer. Championship outfit Huddersfield Town are also keen.

A permanent exit from West Ham may come as a surprise to many, given Odubeko was expected to break through into the first team setup within 12 months of his arrival.

However, despite his obvious goalscoring pedigree - and the sale of Sebastien Haller to Ajax in January 2021, leaving Michail Antonio as West Ham's only recognised striker - the teenager has been unable to force his way into David Moyes' plans; the Scot has instead deployed Jarrod Bowen or Andriy Yarmolenko as makeshift strikers when necessary.

Known for his electrifying pace and clinical finishing, Odubeko had been on the radar of many top European clubs prior to joining West Ham in late 2019.

Indeed, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and ​Bayern Munich were among his many suitors, and there was also interest from Feyenoord, Genoa, Burnley and ​​Newcastle - stemming from a final season in Manchester United's academy that yielded 35 goals.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Irish Hammer 2:59 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks very much Alan.

bill green 2:58 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:46 1.46 1.46 Thu Aug 26

Texas Iron 2:56 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Thanks Irish 2:01 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Irish 2:01 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Irish 2:00 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 1:46 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 1:46 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 1:46 Thu Aug 26
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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