Wednesday, July 8

Daily WHUFC News -

Tomkins wants fast start in Andorra

James Tomkins wants West Ham United to make a faster start when they take on FC Lusitans in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League first qualifying round tie on Thursday. The Hammers defeated their Andorran opponents 3-0 at the Boleyn Ground, but had to wait until the 40th minute for Diafra Sakho to open the scoring. Tomkins, who skippered the hosts, was happy with the result but wants to dampen Lusitans' enthusiasm early on this time around. It's always important to get on the scoresheet early on against teams like this, as that makes them quiet straight away," he explained. "We could have got the goal earlier than we did. It felt like a long time coming, but when it came we got another one quickly and that killed them off.
"We could have got more out of it, but we took the positives. It was the first game back we're still trying to pick up our fitness. A win's a win and 3-0 was quite convincing in the end."

FC Lusitans v West Ham United – Travel Advice

Advice for fans making the trip to Andorra for our UEFA Europa League first qualifying round second leg tie


West Ham United would like to thank the Club's loyal supporters for following the team to Andorra for the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round second leg tie with FC Lusitans.

The Club is rightly proud of its fans and would ask that you uphold the Hammers' reputation by respecting local customs, amenities and cultures.
Fixture information

FC Lusitans v West Ham United

UEFA Europa League first qualifying round second leg, Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella, Thursday 9 July 2015, 7.30pm CET (6.30pm BST)
Stadium information

The Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella is situated on the main CG1 road, the Avinguda de Salou, 22, AD 500 – Andorra la Vella, west of the town centre.

The stadium has an all-seated capacity of around 1,100 fans, a grass pitch and has hosted a number of senior international matches in recent years, with Andorra hosting the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Slaven Bilic's Croatia.

The stadium is only accessible from one side – the Avinguda de Salou – and supporters should be aware that potentially fast-moving traffic will be passing. Police will control this traffic flow before the match and plan to close the road for a period after the final whistle.

On entering the stadium, fans will be ticket checked and be searched by security staff for any prohibited items before being allowed through a security gate granting access to the visiting supporters' seated area behind the goal.

Flags and banners are welcome, but not those on sticks, but may be checked prior to entry. Please bear in mind that flags of an overtly political, sectarian or religious nature will not be permitted and may be confiscated.

West Ham United stewards will be travelling to Andorra and will be present at the stadium to assist supporters.

Toilet and catering facilities will be available inside the stadium. However, UEFA regulations stipulate that alcohol will NOT be on sale inside the stadium.

Any fans without tickets will NOT be granted access and will be removed from the stadium area by police.

Getting to Andorra La Vella

The Club is not arranging any official travel to Andorra.

By plane…
Andorra is a remote principality perched high in the Pyrenean mountains and therefore it is not easy to get to. The easiest and 'quickest' way to reach Andorra is by flying to north eastern Spain (Barcelona via Easyjet or British Airways) or southern France (Toulouse via Easyjet, British Airways or Perpignan via Ryanair). From all three, it is about a three-hour drive by hire car. You do not need an international driving licence to drive in Andorra if you are visiting solely for the match.

Fans driving from Barcelona should take the B22, C32 and B20 to junction nine, where you join the E9/C16 road for 72 miles. The remaining part of the trip on single carriageway roads – N260, N145, CG1, CG3 A. Drivers taking this route have to pay four tolls totalling €21.

From Toulouse, you need to skirt the city's west edge, take the E80/A620 toll road before heading south down the E9. At L'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre, turn left onto the N22. You will travel through the Tunel d'Envalira into Andorra (a toll road) before joining the CG2 and CG1 to Andorra La Vella.

If you fly into Perpginan, you will be on the road for a little longer, as the D614, D117, D107, D222 and D613 are all slow roads until you pick up the N22 at L'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre, then follow the route as above.

If you do not want to hire your own vehicle, you can take an express bus service from the airports in Barcelona, Girona and Toulouse Airports, as well as the town of L'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre.

By train…
Even though Andorra itself has no railway station, travelling by train is possibly easier than flying and driving! You can take the train from London via Paris to L'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre – the gateway to Andorra. From there, it is a spectacular bus ride up through the mountains to Andorra la Vella. For more information, please visit

Andorra La Vella

Andorra La Vella (population 22,500) is the capital of the Principality of Andorra, and is located high in the east Pyrenean mountain range between France and Spain.

The town has many hotels, bars and restaurants, all within a fairly concentrated area.

Supporters should note that drinking alcohol on the streets is not permitted. The Andorran police have told the Club that West Ham United fans will be made very welcome in Andorra la Vella, but that anyone causing trouble can expect to be arrested and detained for 48 hours. Supporters should also note that UEFA rules ban the sale of alcoholic drinks within the ground.

Among the many local cultural attractions, are the Casa de la Vall – the parliament building, which was built in 1580 – and the 12th-century Sant Esteve Church with its fine carved woodwork.

With its tax-free status, Andorra is also popular with shoppers.

General information

The official language of Andorra is Catalan, while Spanish and French are also widely spoken.
The currency of Andorra is the Euro.
Andorra is on Central European Time (CET), one hour ahead of British Summer Time (BST).

Street crime is rare in Andorra, but you should take care of your personal belongings. Don't keep money and valuables all in one place.

Emergency contacts
You may telephone the Emergency Services on the following numbers:
112 – General Emergencies / Mountain Rescue
118 – Ambulance/Fire Brigade
110 – Police
116 – Medical Emergency Service

Passports or copies of your passport should be carried with you at all times for identification purposes if required by the authorities.

British Embassy Contact Details
British Consulate-General Edifico Torre de Barcelona, Avenida Diagonal 477 – 13, 08036 Barcelona
Email –
Telephone – 902 109 356 (if calling from within Spain)/+34 91 334 2194 (International/alternative number)
Fax – +34 933 666 221
For further FCO advice regarding a visit to Andorra, please click here.

Noble ready for biggest season in Club's history

West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble is relishing the chance to play in one of the biggest season's in the Club's history and knows the fans are going to make it an unforgettable final year at the Boleyn Ground. Noble will be full of emotions as the Club prepare to face their final ever home game against Swansea on May 8 as he made his debut at the Boleyn Ground and has so many special memories. With Slaven Bilic arriving as the new manager during the summer and several new additions including French superstar Dimitri Payet, Noble feels these are exciting times for West Ham United.

The Club are still working hard to bring in more new signings and Noble says the squad needs to be strong so they can cope with the busy schedule in both domestic and European competition. Noble said: "With European football hopefully we are going to have a lot of games and we need a big squad to deal with that. With the quality of players that are coming in it is only going to help us. "I have said this is a big season for us to stay in the Premier League and to go into the new Stadium on a high. This season is probably the biggest in the club's history and we need all the players that we can get. "I made my debut at Upton Park and have had some amazing times there. Hopefully we can go out on a bang and I'm sure the fans will be with us. "To sell out the ground for the first qualifying round of the Europa League is a credit to the fans and I'm sure we will sell out every week. "The new Stadium will be one of the best in Europe. The facilities are unbelievable and when we come to the end of the season it will be exciting to know that we are moving into a Stadium like that. Hopefully we can go into it playing European football.

Former Hammer Joe Cole to feature in Chigwell charity match

West Ham United legend Joe Cole will lead a star studded line up of former players and famous faces in a charity match held at Chigwell School on Wednesday 8 July.

Cole will take his place in Celebrity Headmasters XI featuring Mark Wright, Ben Shephard, Bradley Walsh, Joint-Chairman David Sullivan's son David and former Hammers first-team coach Ian Hendon. ‎The impressive collection of names will face a Sixth Form XI in the 4pm kick off, which will raise funds for the local charity Smiles with Grace.

Tickets cost just £5 and are available on the door with free car parking at Old Chigwellian's car park. Your support will be hugely appreciated for this worthwhile cause.

Jack Sullivan Column

Jack Sullivan is the youngest son of West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Sullivan and is a huge Hammers fan. Jack will be giving his exclusive views to the official website in a regular new column...

Hello everyone,

I cannot believe the new season is already underway, but what a fantastic way for us to get started coming away with a 3-0 win in our first game in the Europa League. The scoreline could have been a lot more but we are able to take with us a comfortable lead to Andorra and hopefully we can make it through to the second qualifying round. I thought Mauro Zarate played really well and it will be great if he can keep up this form and show Slaven Bilic that he is ready to fight for a place in the starting line-up.

It was also good to see Diafra Sakho get among the goals straight away. We all know the quality he has got in front of goal and if we can keep him fit this could be another big season for him at West Ham United. I was able to meet Slaven for the first time which I was really excited about. He was in a really good mood and looked very happy to be back at the Club. I listened to what James Tomkins had to say after the game and that you cannot hear a pin drop when the manager speaks in the dressing room. That shows the respect that all the players have towards him. There were so many positives to come out of the game and I think a lot of people would have gone away impressed with the performance of Reece Oxford. He started in midfield and then went back to a defensive role where I thought he looked very strong.

Lewis Page also looked very comfortable playing on that stage and it was exciting to see Josh Cullen come on and almost get on the scoresheet with a fantastic shot which struck the crossbar. I like watching Josh in action and whenever I have been to see the Under-21s in action he has already impressed me. The atmosphere at the Boleyn Ground was excellent and you can sense that the fans are really excited by the arrival of the new manager and the new signings.

We now look forward to making the trip to Andorra and I know a few people who are going to the game. I am sure we are going to get a great reception over there. The directors of FC Lusitans were really nice people and they brought us a plate for the first game which had a horse on it. We gave them a meal the night before the game and it was all good sportsmanship. I cannot wait to see the team play abroad and I will be going to the game with my dad. We are flying to Spain and will then drive over to the game and will not get back until the early hours of Friday morning. It promises to be an extremely long day with a lot of travelling involved but it is all part of the European experience. I know the other first-team players who are not involved in this stage of the Europa League are out working hard in Ireland at their fitness camp. It is nice for the players to bond with each other at this stage of pre-season and especially the new signings who have come into the squad.

We hope to bring even more new signings into the squad, but it is a slow process and there is no rush at the moment.

I love all the games that are taking place at the moment and will try to see as many of them as possible.

I look forward to speaking with you all again soon.


Defender snubs Blues bid in favour of West Ham
Filed: Tuesday, 7th July 2015
By: Staff Writer

Angelo Ogbonna is close to completing a move to West Ham after rejecting an offer from fellow Premier League outfit Everton, according to reports. Sources in Italy (Di Marzio) are reporting this afternoon (Tuesday) that the 27-year-old Italian international defender is on the verge of sealing a switch to West Ham from Juventus for a fee in the region of €12million (£8.5million). West Ham are understood to have beaten off a rival bid from Everton who are reported to have offered a similar amount for the Italian, who has been capped on ten occasions by his country. Ironically perhaps, co-owner David Gold inadvertently tweeted a picture of Ogbonna when West Ham announced the capture of Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria last month.

Payet jets in: more from Ireland
Filed: Tuesday, 7th July 2015
By: Staff Writer

Slaven Bilic was delighted to welcome latest signing Dimitri Payet to Cork this morning when his latest signing joined up with the rest of the first team squad. Payet, who cost West Ham a shade under £11million when moving from Marseille met up with his new team mates for the first time today in Ireland, where those players not travelling to Andorra later this week are currently based. As you can see from our exclusive pictures below, Bilic and his coaching staff were fully involved once again as they took their new squad through its paces - and as has been the case every day, the players were also happy to pose for pictures with fans.

The feeling of optimism has returned
Filed: Tuesday, 7th July 2015
By: Matt Bell

Wonderful summer time in London. Lunchtime beers, evening beers, barbecues and girls wearing very little. Simple pleasures but ones that keep me happy while I expose my tattooed pink body to the sun. Regardless of the above distractions I still check any and all West Ham gossip links repeatedly through the day. Most summers I fear the departures of our star players but one of our biggest "stars" is Andy Carroll and I wouldn't cry if he were sold (NB - I really don't have it in for Carroll, I like him but I prefer Sakho who plays and scores). This summer the bubbles really are flying high.

Discounting our win against Lusitanos and the early date the game was played it was great to see the Board reduce ticket costs so the ground was full and for Betway to screen it live for free. Ok, the cameraman had a drink or two before starting his swooping shots and Stuart Slater told us a few times he had sweaty legs and the Betway chap was excited about the 9/4 possibility of Reece Oxford scoring with a header - but all in all we won and Sakho played and scored, twice. (That's why i prefer him to Carroll.)

The feeling of optimism has returned. As I've previously written I respect what Sam did and we are on a solid footing now because of his tenure. I don't go in for the less-favourable names that some have called him and not going to go back on my thoughts that if wasn't for his stubbornness he may have earned an additional two years from the Davids.

The West Ham chairmen are fans and they listened and brought in Bilic (I'm ignoring Benitez, Emery, Klopp, Ancelotti et al) because the fact is, it wasn't David Moyes or Steve McClaren - both of whom would've been abused for courting favour if they brought in Dicks as coach.

Now we have Bilic as boss, Dicks as coaching assistant and rumours of John Hartson coming in as striker coach. All sits well with me and I don't believe anyone would wish to argue with those three anyway. Things look good, really good.

We have signed Dmitri Payet, Pedro Obiang and Darren Randolph. Carl Jenkinson could soon be on his way as may be Alex Song. Ogbonna from Juve is close by all accounts to add to our strong pool of defenders, following recent news we had bid approximately £14million for Abdennour of Monaco.

There still seems to be a chance fo signing Yohan Cabaye which really does get me excited. Our midfield is strong, so for me it's another winger and maybe a new big-signing striker.

Which then leaves the question of who is sold to offset some of the outlay. Of course we need a strong number of players but let's not get carried away with needing a big squad for Europe. 23 games to win it and even BT don't start their coverage until September (mugs).

I was up for selling Jarvis but he is settled and looked sharp last week, so why not give him a chance to shine? I like Downing and he showed last season that as the "10" he is creative and knits the play together, but at his age if we can turn a profit by selling I say we sell. Payet looks good on YouTube (but then so did Faubert) but I do think he will soon become a Hammers hero.

We have Mauro Zarate in the mix as well. He has a few flashy touches but generally he doesn't look ready for 90 minutes, let alone two games a week. I don't think we would get much for him anyway, so he may as well be given another crack.

Modibo Maiga didn't make the cut of the squad players named for Europa action. I was open to giving him another chance, but that's a blow he won't recover from. Plus I would like to see Elliott Lee get a fair crack.

We won't make anything on Kevin Nolan and will probably end up paying half his wages while he runs his final year down out on loan, but that's football. Like Sam he was needed at the time and served us well for the first two years, but has looked out of date since.

So.... what wingers are there that we can buy ?

I'm not a big fan of Victor Moses, would take Salah on an unlikely loan from Chelsea and due to Man Citys "homegrown" quota issues I'd even get on the phone to City offering a loan swap of Jesus Navas for Nolan! Neither will play and someone needs to talk to Richard Wright on the bus.

Wingers seem bad investments. Even Manchester United may lose money on Angel Di Maria and we can't waste big money on players that don't deliver, so a loan is a better move.

As for the big money man up front, I now can't see that one happening, I've said before how much I like Charlie Austin but £15million is a bit high and yes, he has had injury problems.

I wouldn't take Mario Balotelli on loan as he is a Newcastle player if ever there was one. Or more likely, he will score 20 goals in Turkey. But we don't need his joke value - plus he looks a lazy sod, with an ego.

As it stands, even with Europa League action and the knock-on effect that has on the Premier League fixtures I now think we are strong in all areas and if we had to start the season as we are, then I would still look to top 10.

Sign Cabaye, a winger on loan here and there or a big money striker and I am then dreaming of the ultimate glory.... which for me is winning ANY cup and finishing higher than Tottenham.

Ah the delirious effect of sunshine drinking. But maybe - just maybe - we can enjoy a really exciting final season at the Boleyn and then come the Olympic Stadium and the staggering TV money, our bubbles really will be flying high. (Beyond that? Well this is West Ham, so those fears of trauma can wait for a rainy day)

Feel free to reply with some suggestions, I'll still read your comments even if I get stick for refusing to hate Nolan...

The battle for the armband: Cheik-mate
Filed: Tuesday, 7th July 2015
By: Gursimran Hans

It seems likely that Kevin Nolan will be playing away from Upton Park next year or play a much smaller role than he has in recent seasons. With Nolan being the current West Ham United captain, obvious questions have been asked, just who will replace him as skipper?

It seems likely Nolan will be club captain with a new team captain appointed given that he seems to be behind the likes of Mark Noble, Stewart Downing, Cheikou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Morgan Amalfitano in the pecking order. It also will not be surprising to see him behind Mauro Zarate and with rumours of more midfielders coming in, it seems as though it is unlikely that Nolan will remain a regular.

Slaven Bilic will have a big decision to make in replacing one of the best captains this club has ever had, who has been pivotal to the club's successes over the past four years. For many, the obvious choice seems to be the incumbent vice-captain Mark Noble. Noble is of course, a one club man (what do you mean he had loan spells at Hull City and Ipswich Town?), and has made more Premier League appearances for the club than any other player.

He seems full of passion whenever he plays, although this can get the better of him; back in February he was very close to getting himself sent-off against Spurs and was taken off due to fears he would. This caused the team to lose their shape and eventually let a 2-0 lead slip to a 2-2 draw.

Yes, the midfielder has captained England at various youth levels, but in the FA Cup 3rd Round replay against Everton he was involved in an on-field spat with teammate James Tomkins and had to be dragged away by Kevin Nolan. This suggests he can sometimes be caught in the occasion, something that definitely is not a quality befitting of a captain.

Noble was also badly out of form towards the end of the season and with the signings of Pedro Obiang and Dimitri Payet and rumours of more reinforcements he, like Nolan, could have a reduced role next year.

Not including Nolan, some of West Ham's greatest captains have been defenders - notably the likes of Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Julian Dicks and Lucas Neil. Two obvious candidates for captaincy from the current defence are New Zealand captain Winston Reid and James Collins.

Whilst both defenders are always 100 per cent committed and capable of helping out their less experienced partners, it is questionable if either are captain material - minly because of the amount of games they miss, as both are prone to injury. Reid missed three months of the 2013/14 season and both he and Collins have suffered niggling injuries during the past year.

The presence of James Tomkins and rumours that another central defender may be coming in makes it even less certain they will play as regularly as they would like. Having said that, they could both do a job if they do indeed play regularly.

A goalkeeping solution?

Some fans will say the captain should be the man who is currently our last line of defence, goalkeeper Adrian. Nobody could argue that Adrian does not loves West Ham, however he can be a little eccentric - illustrated most notably during the home game against Liverpool when he received a yellow card for a scuffle with Mario Balotelli, when it briefly looked like he was going to try and smash the Italian forward's face in.

That same day Adrian nearly got a second yellow and gave away a penalty for a foul on Fabio Borini. Whilst he escaped without punishment, his challenge was unnecessary and we could have gone down to ten men and Liverpool could have equalised with the resultant penalty.

He also received a red card against Southampton, which was later rescinded, but the fact of the matter remains - he should have cleared the ball first time rather than try to skill Sadio Mane; then it would not have been a problem.

West Ham then wasted a substitution which meant Andy Carroll had to stay on the field, despite the fact he could barely walk and never featured again after that. On both of those occasions Adrian caused a problem for the team, when it could've easily have been avoided.

A stick often used to beat Kevin Nolan with is his dismissals against Millwall, Liverpool and Fulham. So surely Adrian should have his sending off/near sending offs count against him? Make no doubt about it, he is another in a long line of excellent West Ham goalkeepers but that could count against him. He's a goalkeeper and many would argue that the captain should be a player who can be in the thick of the action.

The club seem to have an abundance of high quality midfielders. As mentioned before, Mark Noble is a well-supported candidate. Another potential candidate is Stewart Downing, but as his only previous experience as skipper was the 5-0 thrashing at Nottingham Forest and he seems to try and avoid tackles and tackling at all costs. Excellent player definitely, captain material? Certainly not.

Alex Song, who was pictured at the Boleyn Ground last Thursday night captained the club a few times during his season-long loan from Barcelona. However the main problem many have with Song is his loss of form during the latter part of the season. Whilst during the final few games he looked a lot better, he experienced what was surely the greatest dip on form that is known to man. In a matter of games he went from Trevor Brooking to Adam Nowland.

Consistency is key for a captain. When the heads begin to drop a captain has to be able to give his all and drive a team on. Whilst Song can be more than capable of that, he needs to prove he can do it consistently, which he didn't do last season. To sum it up, he hasn't shown enough to be captain material.

All these possible candidates have got great qualities, but it is another midfielder who seems to tick all the boxes required to be an excellent captain. That man in Cheikhou Kouyate.

Captain elect?

Kouyate is an absolute beast of a player, he is as good as Mo Diame thinks he is. The Senegalese midfielder has been played out of position and not thrown a strop about it. He was still able to put in magnificent performances, out of position, as a central defender against Manchester United (he played there with Collins and Reid injured).

Downing has not been able to perform out wide and Song suffered when pushed back to protecting the back four. Kouyate has been a consistent performer and brings good performances when it matters, scoring goals in big games against Arsenal, Spurs and Man Utd. He is also a great ambassador for the club, having worked hard to get to the position where he is, and is keen to spend time with his fans.

Whilst he isn't immune to injuries, Kouyate seems to be able to take a lot more knocks than most players and is able to recover a lot quicker, something which means strikers Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are not realistic candidates. (You thought I was going to miss out strikers, didn't you?)

He also seems to be the only player that was almost guaranteed to play our matches last year (bar perhaps Adrian, Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell). So barring an extraordinarily-influential signing, it seems difficult to look further than Cheikou Kouyate as the next captain of West Ham United.

By Iain Dale 7 Jul 2015 at 18:10
West Ham Till I Die

If Carl Jenkinson signs a new contract with Arsenal as the Mirror suggests HERE? should that alter our view that we should have him back at Upton Park for a second season? I'd love us to sign him permanently, but if he signs a new Arsenal contract he's going to cost us a lot more in wages and his heart clearly still lies at the Emirates. I'm not saying he wouldn't be fully committed to us, but maybe we should take this as a sign that we should look elsewhere. Wouldn't it be great to find another Aaron Cresswell in the Championship, for instance. Who would you suggest? Or do you think we should welcome Glen Johnson back to the club?

West Ham closing in on £8million deal for Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna
17:36, 7 JULY 2015
Slaven Bilic is also eyeing a loan deal for Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini as he looks to build a squad capable of competing in Europe
The Mirror

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is close to pulling off an £8million deal for Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna. Italy centre half Ogbonna has been given permission to travel to London for a medical and to discuss personal terms on a four year deal with West Ham. The Hammers have beaten off competition from Everton to get their man after Juventus accepted an offer and will allow him to leave Turin. West Ham also hope to finalise the loan capture of playmaker Manuel Lanzini this week. Mirror Sport exclusively revealed last week that the Irons had moved for the 22-year-old Argentine on a season-long loan basis with an option for a permanent deal. He is understood to have an Italian passport which means he will not need a work permit to play for the Hammers. Hopes are high at Upton Park that he will develop into an important player as boss Slaven Bilic seeks to impose a more free-flowing style of play at Upton Park.

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson set to sign Gunners contract extension despite possible West Ham loan
17:13, 7 JULY 2015
The 23-year-old right-back, currently on £35,000-a-week, is poised to extend his Gunners contract which currently runs until 2018
The Mirror

Carl Jenkinson is set for a new deal at Arsenal despite being lined up for another loan move to West Ham. The 23-year-old right-back, currently on £35,000-a-week, is poised to extend his Gunners contract which currently runs until 2018. Jenkinson impressed at Upton Park last season. The Irons had sought to keep him on a permanent basis but Arsenal were unwilling to sell. West Ham are confident, however, of being able to announce his return for another year-long spell within the next week. He played in 32 of the Hammers' 38 Premier League games last term, starting 29 of them.

Dimitri Payet to start training
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham coach Julian Dicks has revealed new signing Dimitri Payet will commence full training with the Hammers for the first time this morning. The player flew out to Cork, Ireland on Sunday to meet up with his fellow team mates but the actual hard work begins today.

Yesterday Slaven Bilic told the club's official website:

"He is a great player and did really well at a big club like Marseille. He was fantastic last year and I really wanted him. The Club did a great job to get a player who had so many offers. We are expecting big things from him and we will help him to adjust. Everyone who is connected to West Ham will enjoy seeing him. The French League is one of the big five and we have seen so many good players who have come over from France and done well in the Premier League.He is a great player and was my number one target. I am delighted that he has joined us."

Irons favourites as Toffees enter Ogbonna race
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

Everton are this morning being linked with West Ham central defensive target Angel Ogbonna as a replacement for Sylvain Distin. The north western club have been monitoring the progress in talks between ourselves and Juventus and according to some reports will make a firm offer over the next few days. However, according to the Liverpool Echo, Ogbonna is on his way to London for talks with the Irons as manager Slaven Bilic aims to conclude his third signing since taking over as boss. The Hammers interest first became known via a case of mistaken identity when co chairman David Gold bizarrely welcomed Pedro Obiang, to the club. Gold tweeted: "I am delighted to announce the signing of 23 year old midfield Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria. Pedro, welcome. dg." but included a picture of Ogbonna rather than Obiang – before quickly deleting the message. According to one morning report, however, Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is willing to "spend big" in his bid to snatch Ogbonna away to Goodison. But West Ham insiders remain confident they are in the driving seat to conclude a deal with Juventus reported as wanting €10m plus a potential further €2m in bonus payments for Ogbonna

£15m Townsend/Irons link
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

Andros Townsend is a regular arrival in the West Ham silly season transfer news. He is again raised as a possible arrival in some morning newspapers although the stories look like a near repeat of those we were seeing in October 2014. Back then he was seen as a replacement for Matt Jarvis who – it was claimed – is edging towards the exit door . In fact he wasn"t THEN and he isn't NOW as ClaretandHugh reported yesterday. Indeed as we explained, the club have had no offers for either either a permanent or loan deal offered in the case of the former Wolves winger who cost us a cool £10 million. Today, however, despite the arrival of Dimitri Payet at £10 million and with talks going on for Carl Jenkinson, Angel Ogbonna and Alex Song, we are apparently ready to talk around a £15 million deal for the Spurs wide man. Given that Payet can play either on the left or right side it seems unlikely the position is currently a priority and it's a central striker the club is looking for anyway. With £20 million spent on Payet and a minimum £10 million set aside for a central defender only around £5m or £6 million will be left in the kitty – some way short of the reported £15 million Spurs valuation for Townsend. This one looks unlikely to put it kindly.

TV Stream for Europa League 2nd leg possible
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham media officer Rob Pritchard has confirmed that FC Lusitans has the rights to sell broadcast rights for Thursday night's 2nd Leg Europa league first qualifying round match but he admits if they don't exercise that right West Ham could ask them permission to stream it themselves.

However he does add on his personal twitter account "Obviously it also depends on the internet connection at the stadium, which we plan to investigate on arrival tomorrow"

The Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella is situated in the mountains and has a seated capacity of around 1,100 fans.

West Ham own coverage via last Thursday was beset with technical problems with many fans unable to watch the match on the club's own website although it was possible to watch the stream live on West Ham's youtube channel.

Twin Reids born
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

Winston Reid's wife Yana has given birth to twins the club have announced this evening. The twins have been named Arianna and Damien.
Claret and Hugh wishes Mr and Mrs Reid all the best for their new life adventure.

Payet 'nicked ' on speeding rap
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet is tonight reported as having received a driving ban and been summoned to appear in court in September after being caught by police driving at 170km an hour (105 mph). West Ham's new playmaker is reported in L'Equipe as having recorded the speed after travelling back to his birthplace, Reunion, for a short break ahead of pre-season training. He was allegedly 'nicked' while driving in a zone where there is a 110km limit. L'Equipe explain that speeding is a big problem on the island and causes an increasing numbers of deaths. That court appearance would be on Reunion, off Madagascar, not exactly a short hop from Chawell Heath and it's not clear whether he can send a legal representative to avoid any headaches for the Irons.

Ogbonna medical imminent
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

According to, defender Angelo Ogbonna has rejected a move to Everton in favor of West Ham. They claim the centre back will sign a 4 year deal with the Hammers earning more than €2 million (£1.4m) net a season around £26,000 per week after tax.

The report suggests Juventus will receive €12 million (£8.5m) plus performance related bonuses. Once the last few details are settled with Juve they say he will travel to London to take his medical which they claim could be as early Wednesday or Thursday.

Report: Ogbonna agrees Hammers terms
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 7, 2015 in News, Whispers

Multiple media sources are currently reporting that Angelo Ogbonna has agreed to join West Ham ahead of Everton in an £8million deal.

It is understood that he held talks with the club today and has agreed a four year contract with us.

The left-sided was reported this morning to be a target for Everton but it seems from the unanimous coverage that he is now set to become the first choice partner to Winston Reid.

Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna has agreed to join West Ham ahead of Everton in an £8million deal
Ogbonna was apparently attracted to London living and has opted to sign up for Slaven Bilic and will have his medical later this week.
The player was an unused substitute for Juventus when they were beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League final in May, and he has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs this summer.

Report: Paul-Georges Ntep rejects West Ham offer, Tottenham also linked
Olly Dawes

Rennes forward Paul-Georges Ntep has reportedly snubbed a move to West Ham. According to the Daily Mail, West Ham have failed in a bid to sign Rennes winger Paul-Georges Ntep, who would prefer a move to a Champions League club. Ntep, 22, joined Rennes in January 2014 having impressed with Auxerre, and has now established himself as one of the top young players in French football. With 14 goals in 45 games for Rennes, Ntep has proven his quality with Philippe Montanier, and even earned his first cap for the French national team last month - despite being born in Cameroon. Ntep is bound to attract interest in the transfer market as a result of his fine performances for Rennes, and the Daily Mail believe that West Ham have failed in a bid to land him. The report states that Ntep has rejected the Hammers' advances as he wants to play for a club pushing for the Champions League if he is to leave Rennes. Intriguingly, it's also noted that Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are also interested in signing Ntep, and offers from those clubs may be more appealing to the player having snubbed West Ham.

Next priority for West Ham?

West Ham have so far strengthen their midfield with the signing of Pedro Obiang, added a creative force in Dimitri Payet and snapped up cover for goalkeeper Adrian by signing Darren Randolph. Now, with Bilic having a history of playing with wingers at Besiktas, the new Hammers boss could turn his attention to landing a true, natural winger this summer. They may have failed to land Ntep, but it seems clear that Bilic and West Ham are now prioritising the signing of a natural winger, given that they are short of options in that area right now.

West Ham in talks with Roma over Seydou Doumbia loan deal as Valencia are told Victor Valdes is staying at Man United
PUBLISHED: 14:23, 7 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:23, 7 July 2015

West Ham have held discussions with Roma about a loan deal for Seydou Doumbia but have been rebuffed in an attempt to sign Paul-Georges Ntep from Rennes. West Ham manager Slaven Bilic wants a striker and a wide player with Stewart Downing interested in a return to the North East. Roma are confident the 29-year-old Dzeko wants to join but have yet to agree a fee with City who want around £20million for the Bosnian. Doumbia is interested in leaving but would prefer a permanent move. Watford have shown an interest but that deal is unlikely to move forward though West Ham is more appealing. West Ham have been talking to Roma about the possibility of signing another striker, Mattia Destro. The 24-year-old has been in discussions with Monaco and is waiting for interest from Fiorentina. Ntep, a £12m-rated France international winger, has been linked with Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham and would prefer to play for a club challenging for Champions League places. West Ham are having a go in this window though. They are pushing for a decision from Angelo Ogbonna of Juventus amid a strong challenge from Everton, have outlined a deal with Manuel Lanzini from Al Jazira and have agreements in place with Carl Jenkinson of Arsenal and Alex Song of Barcelona.

Arsenal ready to offer Carl Jenkinson new contract
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is ready to offer Carl Jenkinson an improved deal but still expects the defender to leave on loan, reports The Mail. The 23-year-old spent the whole of last season on loan to West Ham and quickly established himself as an important player under Sam Allardyce. But while he was lighting up east London, a Spanish teenager called Hector Bellerin was busy establishing himself as the best young right-back on Arsenal's books. Bellerin's emergence coupled with the continued presence of Mathieu Debuchy left Jenkinson with little or no future at the Emirates with reports tipping him to leave on a permanent basis. West Ham were keen to sign him and were ready to pay upwards of £7m while other reports suggested Arsenal were looking for close to £10m. It now seems as if Jenkinson's fine form has convinced Wenger that he may well have a future at the club and is ready to give him a pay rise on his current £35,000-a-week. However, the one-time England international is still expected to leave on loan with West Ham still interested in another temporary deal after failing to agree a permanent one. They will have to compete with Southampton though, who are are looking to replace their recently departed defender Nathaniel Clyne Sunderland have also showed an interest and had offered Arsenal a £2m loan fee, an offer that was accepted. However, Jenkinson, obviously a London lad through and through, rejected the chance to move to Wearside.


Arsenal's decision to give Jenkinson a new contract is nothing out of the ordinary for a player about to leave on loan. In fact, it is actually club policy for players to extend their contracts before leaving on temporary deals. Joel Campbell was essentially forced to extend his contract before leaving for Villarreal despite the fact he was never likely to play for Arsenal again. He is still at the club but is up for transfer this summer. Arsenal's decision to extend Jenkinson's contract may just be a safeguard should they decide to sell next summer, but it indicates that Wenger sees him as a future first-team star, potentially after Debuchy's contract expires in 2018. As a homegrown player, Jenkinson's presence in the squad will always be of added value to Arsenal, hence why they are likely to keep him on the books, if not the squad.

Carl Jenkinson in line for improved contract at Arsenal but will still be sent out on loan with West Ham leading race for defender
PUBLISHED: 11:29, 7 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:16, 7 July 2015

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson is in line for an improved contract, despite heading out on loan this summer. The Gunners will offer the defender a new contract, which will include an increase on his current £35,000-per-week wages. His existing deal expires in 2018, but he is now set to extend that period. That is despite the fact the right-back will move on loan to a Barclays Premier League rival this summer. West Ham are leading the race to take the former Charlton man on a second consecutive season-long loan spell ahead of next season. But Southampton and Sunderland have also shown an interest in the 23-year-old. Even though Arsene Wenger is prepared to let Jenkinson leave this summer, the Arsenal manager isn't ready to sell him on a permanent basis. Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy are both ahead of Jenkinson in the right-back pecking order for next season. But another impressive loan spell away could force Wenger into a rethink ahead of the 2016/17

West Ham want £15million Andros Townsend but fear Tottenham won't deal with them
22:30, 6 JULY 2015

Bad blood between the clubs stems from their rival bids to move into the Olympic Stadium and a loan move for Emmanuel Adebayor which collapsed West Ham are keen on England winger Andros Townsend - but fear a deal is unlikely with Spurs because of their poor relationship. Aston Villa, Swansea, Newcastle and Sunderland are already interested in the 23-year-old wide man. Tottenham want around £15million for him. Townsend, who has three years left on his contract, wants to fight for his place at Spurs but is aware that he needs to be playing regularly with the European Championship next summer. Tottenham have already shown an interest in Monaco wide man Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. The bad blood with West Ham - who beat Spurs to the Olympic Stadium - hit a fresh low back in January when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy blocked the Hammers' loan move for striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Levy refused to pay part of the Togo front man's £100,000-a-week wages at Upton Park even though he was willing to do so if Adebayor played elsewhere. West Brom, Stoke and Crystal Palace were among the other clubs that had come in for the player but he preferred a move to the Boleyn.

West Ham close to loan deal for Argentine Manuel Lanzini from UAE club Al Jazira
PUBLISHED: 23:12, 6 July 2015 | UPDATED: 04:48, 7 July 2015

West Ham have agreed a deal in principle to sign Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini on loan from UAE-based club Al Jazira. The 22-year-old, who has an Italian passport, was considered by West Ham while at River Plate last summer but he moved to the Middle East instead for £5.25million. Known as 'La Joya' or 'The Jewel', Lanzini also has interest from Sharjah. He scored eight goals in 24 appearances to help Jazira to a second-place finish in the Arabian Gulf League last season. West Ham are continuing discussions over a proposed loan deal for Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal and are awaiting Alex Song's injury to clear up before proceeding with his proposed move from Barcelona. Meanwhile, Sunderland and Middlesbrough will continue their pursuit of Hammers winger Stewart Downing this week. West Ham have been surprised at the bidding particularly with Middlesbrough's efforts to take the 30-year-old England international back to the Riverside. Downing turns 31 later this month but Boro are willing to offer a four-year deal worth in excess of £55,000 a week and offer £6million plus add-ons to West Ham.

Angelo Ogbonna 'agrees transfer deal to sign for West Ham'
Jamie Sanderson for
Tuesday 7 Jul 2015 12:16 am

West Ham have agreed a deal to sign Juventus star Angelo Ogbonna after weeks of talks, according to reports. The Hammers have been locked in negotiations to bring powerful centre back Ogbonna to England after he was made a top target by new boss Slaven Bilic. And now ESPN says an agreement has been reached for Ogbonna to move to Upton Park, with personal terms believed to have been sorted. No fee has been agreed but Juve are happy to sell the 27-year-old, who is also a target for Everton.

Lanzini set to join West Ham on loan
West Ham United are closing in on a deal to sign Al Jazira midfielder Manuel Lanzini on a season-long loan.
Tuesday 07th July 2015

Al Jazira paid River Plate nearly £10 million for the Argentine last year, but it appears that his spell with the club will be brief. After spending just one season with the Abu Dhabi-based club, where he scored eight goals in 22 appearances, the 22-year-old is set to get his first taste of the Premier League. Lanzini possesses an Italian passport and therefore he will not require a work permit to play for West Ham, who are pushing for a deal to be finalised this week. "Everything is agreed, the player is now sorting things out but if everything goes according to plan he will be flying to England for a medical at some point this week," a source in the Middle East told Goal.

Everton set to challenge West Ham over the signing of £8million-rated Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna
PUBLISHED: 00:37, 7 July 2015 | UPDATED: 00:37, 7 July 2015

Everton are challenging West Ham to sign Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna. The Italian club and the 27-year-old are poised to make a decision on Tuesday, with West Ham having the slight edge. Ogbonna's agent has spoken to both clubs and Juventus want £8m for the former Torino defender. Last month, West Ham co-chairman David Gold accidentally tweeted a picture of Ogbonna when welcoming new signing Pedro Obiang to the club. He wrote: 'I am delighted to announce the signing of 23 year old midfield Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria. Pedro, welcome. dg.', but accidentally used a picture of Ogbonna alongside the text. Ogbonna was an unused substitute for Juventus when they were beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League final in May, and he has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs this summer. Elsewhere, West Ham have agreed a deal in principle to sign Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini on loan from UAE-based club Al Jazira. The 22-year-old, who has an Italian passport, was considered by West Ham while at River Plate last summer but he moved to the Middle East instead for £5.25million.
Known as 'La Joya' or 'The Jewel', Lanzini also has interest from Sharjah. He scored eight goals in 24 appearances to help Jazira to a second-place finish in the Arabian Gulf League last season.

Angelo Ogbonna, West Ham agree a deal, according to sources

Angelo Ogbonna failed to secure a starting spot at Juventus since moving from Torino in 2013. West Ham United have agreed a deal with Juventus for defender Angelo Ogbonna, sources have told ESPN FC. ESPN FC revealed earlier on Monday that West Ham were battling Premier League rivals Everton for the 27-year-old's signature, but now West Ham have moved into pole position to land the Italian international. Juventus are willing to cash-in on Ogbonna as he has been unable to hold down a regular place in the side since his arrival from Torino on 2013.
West Ham have been tracking Ogbonna for some time and they have been locked in talks with Juventus for the past few weeks as they look to bring the defender to Upton Park New West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has made a commanding central defender one of his top targets since taking charge at Upton Park this summer and Ogbonna fits the bill. West Ham have been busy so far in this summer's transfer window bringing in the likes of Pedro Obiang, Dimitri Payet, Darren Randolph and Martin Samuelsen.


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