Wednesday, August 12

Daily WHUFC News - 12th August 2015

Nolan smiling all the way with Noble

West Ham United midfielder Kevin Nolan could not resist copying Mark Noble's
infamous cheeky smile and says the players are brimming with confidence
following their 2-0 victory over Arsenal.
Noble could not resist letting out all his emotions on West Ham TV following
the memorable win at Emirates Stadium and the video has now been seen by
well over half a million people. Nolan has nothing but admiration for the
way Noble conducts himself both on and off the pitch and feels he would be
the ideal candidate to lead the side when he eventually hands over the
Nolan said: "I found it quite funny but that is Nobes for you. The lad wears
his heart on his sleeve and he is a fantastic boy. "You could see how much
it meant to him and everyone at the football club. We have got to follow
that up this week, otherwise it will be a waste. "I have really enjoyed my
time here with him and I hope he has learnt a bit from me as an older pro
and the way I am with the other players. "He tells me he has and I
definitely feel he will be the skipper of this Club and that is who I am
tipping to succeed me."

Reid - One of my best results for the Hammers

West Ham United defender Winston Reid is still celebrating one of the best
victories since his arrival at the Club and hopes it is the springboard for
a memorable final season at the Boleyn Ground. Reid has been part of many
famous victories following his transfer to east London back in 2010. But the
New Zealand international says he was proud to be part of the team which
came away with a thrilling 2-0 win over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. Reid
had nothing but praise for all his team-mates and feels all the hard work
they have put in during the pre-season campaign came to fruition on the
opening day of the season. Reid said: "It was probably one of my best
results in a West Ham shirt. We have not had the best of performances
against Arsenal, but we were compact as a unit and broke in numbers when we
had the opportunity. "It was a long day at the office but we got the victory
in the end which I thought the boys did well to hang onto at the end. "In
the second half we were obviously under pressure but I thought we controlled
the game and limited them to chances."

Slaven Bilic has been busy in the transfer market this summer and with
Angelo Ogbonna and Dimitri Payet making their Premier League debuts in north
London, Reid has nothing but praise for the way they have settled straight
into the team.

The experienced defender also singled out 16-year-old Reece Oxford for the
way he handled his Premier League debut and became the youngest player in
the Club's history. Reid added: "We have been emphasising working as a team
and being a solid unit coming into the new season and I thought the likes of
Reece Oxford at just 16 produced such a mature performance. "Angelo next to
me had a solid game and Dimitri has that extra bit of quality and spark that
maybe we didn't have last year and has brought something different to the
team. "There are other players who have arrived at the club that are
contributing in training and when they get the chance I'm sure they will be
keen to impress as well. "It was brilliant for us to score right on
half-time. We have been working on set-pieces and it was a great ball from
Dimitri. Cheikhou put his head in where it hurts and came up trumps with the
goal. "Every game is very different and it will not mean anything if we put
in a poor performance at home. "We will enjoy the Arsenal victory but when
we are back in training on Tuesday we will be working hard towards the
Leicester game. It was nice to get back out there and play in the Premier
League again."

Reid is relishing the chance to work under the new management structure and
believes Bilic got his tactics completely right against the FA Cup holders.
"Fair play to the manager and his staff. They have come in and encouraged
us. They have demanded a lot from us. "But I thought the tactics were
brilliant against Arsenal. We were clever and closed them down where they
were going to be good and limited the number of chances they had on goal."

Woods delighted with first day clean sheet

West Ham United goalkeeper coach Chris Woods says Sunday's game at Arsenal
could not have gone any better for his charge Adrian. The Spanish stopper
made saves from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez en route to a clean sheet
and a 2-0 victory - the perfect start both individually and for the team.
Woods was impressed with his performance and says that is just reward for
his hard work over the summer. He said: "As a goalkeeper coach you can't ask
for a better start than that. Obviously a clean sheet and one or two saves
to go with it. "Adrian has been different class to work with. He's full of
energy, eager to do well and ke knows what he wants out of the game. It's
been good getting to know him and hopefully we get to know how each other
works and form a good relationship. "Good goalkeeping is all about doing the
right things at the right times and then making those important saves when
you need to. He came and caught a couple of crosses too, which takes
pressure off the back four. "I'm so pleased for him that he kept a clean

Hammers grilled in Fans' Forum

Hundreds of Hammers fans attended a Fans' Forum with Slaven Bilic, Aaron
Cresswell, Carl Jenkinson and James Tomkins at the Boleyn Ground. During the
grilling, the new manager and three players were questioned on all things
West Ham related, from the win over Arsenal and the impact of the new
signings to their aims for the upcoming season. "I don't have a name for
the way I like my teams to play, sometimes you have to flexible. But you can
always have principles, some things that never change. "We will always work
hard, stick together as a team and look to play to our strengths. We want to
be exciting, we want to play good football."

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Bilic was the main focus of the questioning. His
tactical philosophy, reasons for returning to east London and his future
plans for the Hammers all came under heavy scrutiny yet he batted away the
inquisition with aplomb, and held the 200-strong crowd in rapt attention.
"Even the bad days at Chadwell Heath were enjoyable, it was like a family
there. That was one of the reasons why I came back. West Ham is my club. I
am connected, my son was born in London. "West Ham is a big club, but it can
still grow. It'll take time, not just one season, but after several years,
with the right decisions, who knows where we'll be."

On a more light-hearted note, he was quizzed on his appointment of former
teammate Julian Dicks. He responded emphatically, and to the delight of the
audience: "Julian is a former teammate, someone I know, someone I trust. He
says what he feels, and you need that honestly. Julian Dicks is a gift from

While the gaffer was certainly kept busy, the three defenders did not get
off lightly. First local boy James Tomkins was quizzed on his cameo at
right-back at the Emirates "I really enjoyed it, winning 2-0, it's
impossible not to really! I wasn't sure before the game whether it would
work out, but thankfully it did. Now I know how hard it is, I won't give as
much stick to Jenks and the other full backs."

Jenkinson, technically still an Arsenal player, was caught in the middle
following Sunday's triumph, however, the right-back emerged unscathed and
described his delight at being back at the Boleyn Ground for the final
season. "I was actually buzzing that the boys won, I'm a West Ham player and
I want us to do as well as possible. "Coming back to West Ham is dream come
true. I enjoyed every minute of it last season. After the Euros I sat down
with my agent and said 'I'd only leave Arsenal for West Ham' and thankfully
that's happened."

Last but by no means least, Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell was also put
to the test. First asked about his reported connection to a move away to
Chelsea or Manchester City, the left-back laughed: "You're the first person
who's told me! But seriously, I'm very happy at West Ham, they gave me my
opportunity in the Premier League and I am very grateful for that. "Last
season was great for me but I know I can improve. It's an exciting time and
I'm very happy to be part of it."

With the European Championships just around the corner, the former Tranmere
Rovers and Ipswich Town man carried on to state his ambition of one day
representing his country. "It's every player's dream to represent their
country. It's something I've not done, all I can do is work hard and see
what happens. I'm still relatively young so I've got time on my side."

Reece Oxford, Twitter & ignoring your own hype
By Matt Bloomfield
Wycombe Wanderers midfielder

There has been a lot of talk about 16-year-old Reece Oxford since he made
his full Premier League debut in West Ham's 2-0 victory over Arsenal on
Sunday. I watched the game and was astounded with the maturity in the
England Under-17s captain's play. He is a young lad with a huge amount of
potential and the spotlight will now truly be on him. The way he deals with
being in the spotlight will have a big bearing on his continued development
- he will need to call on all of that maturity. Every young person these
days is on social media, including Oxford. It's not like the current
generation of footballers where there is still a split between those who
embrace social media and those who prefer not to. A by-product of this is
that the young players can read everything that is being said about them.
You leave yourself open to both praise and derision, so you need to be
careful how you handle yourself on a worldwide platform.

Fan Fever
Oxford's performances in three Europa League qualifiers convinced Hammers
boss Slaven Bilic he was ready for the Premier League There is nothing more
exciting to a football supporter than a young player breaking into the first
team who is going to go on to great things, and rightly so. We all like to
see our own doing well. The expectation levels put on these players goes
through the roof at the first sign they could be something a bit special.
Although these expectations can be hard for a young player to carry around
with them, I also believe that most of the time they don't think too much
about it. The really young players breaking through at 16, 17 or
18-years-old just want to get out there and play. They don't have any fears
or anxieties. Jordon Ibe, now at Liverpool, broke into the Wycombe first
team at 15 and didn't think or care about all the talk and speculation about
him. He loved his football and his ability and strength at such a young age
was scary to see. Sometimes, once a player gets past 20 or 21, they start to
know about the money side of the game and the riches that are out there.
Their heads can be turned and they can believe more of the hype. They know
more about life and how important a move could be to both their careers and
their lives outside of football.

Nurturing future stars

When I was at Ipswich and getting picked to play for the England youth teams
there was a lot of talk about a few players in our youth team who were
"destined for big things". It was before social media had taken off so there
was only the local papers and a website or two that would discuss our
futures, there wasn't nearly as much scrutiny on young players as there is
now. Myself, Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose broke into the reserve team at
16 and were regularly training with the first team. Our careers took
different paths from then on but we were all given the perfect grounding at
Ipswich. At no stage would we have been allowed to believe all the hype that
surrounded football. The work ethic that was instilled in us then I still
carry with me in my career today. From his post-match interview Oxford
sounds like a lad who is loving his new found first-team career. Long may it

David Gold admits West Ham are searching for a striker
By Brogan Kay-Jessop
Last Updated: 11/08/15 5:59pm

West Ham co-chairman David Gold admits his side are looking for a new
striker ahead of the transfer window closing on September 1. Gold expects
manager Slaven Bilic to move into the market after Enner Valencia was ruled
out for 12 weeks with a leg injury and Andy Carroll missing until next month
at least following knee surgery. Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, he said:
"We have been very unfortunate in losing Valencia before the season kicked
off. We already believed we needed a striker because of Andy Carroll not
rejoining the squad until September. "Now we really must find another centre
forward before the transfer window closes. Yes we would like two, but we
have to be realistic."

One West Ham player who has been making headlines this week is 16-year-old
Reece Oxford. The midfielder put in an assured display when becoming the
club's youngest Premier League player in their shock 2-0 win over Arsenal at
the Emirates on Sunday. "Although we knew Reece was going to be a player,
nobody believed he was going to play against Arsenal," added Gold. "He was
outstanding for a young man, what a great future he has. "We haven't seen
many young players come through our academy and emerge and at last a young
player emerges and plays a great game against the mighty Arsenal."

West Ham have been linked with a number of players including Manchester
United's Javier Hernandez and free agent Joey Barton, but Gold remained
tight-lipped when questioned on the latter.

Joey Barton set for further talks with West Ham boss Slaven Bilic
Last Updated: 11/08/15 2:46pm

Joey Barton will hold further talks with West Ham boss Slaven Bilic
following a medical on Tuesday as he seeks assurances over a proposed move
to Upton Park, according to Sky sources. The 32-year-old, who was one of six
players released by QPR following their relegation from the Premier League,
has been training and undergoing fitness tests with the Hammers. Bilic, who
succeeded Sam Allardyce this summer, is keen to add experience to the squad
which opened the season with a 2-0 victory at Arsenal on Sunday. Former
Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder Barton enjoyed a good season at
Loftus Road despite QPR finishing bottom of the table. He played 28 times,
scoring once in a 4-1 victory at West Bromwich. West Ham's pursuit of Barton
may come as a surprise, however, following their co-chairman David Gold's
previous statements on Twitter about his previously poor behavior. In 2012,
after Barton was sent off on the final day of the season at Manchester City,
West Ham were reported to be interested in signing him, but Gold tweeted:
"We couldn't sign J Barton even if we wanted to as he will probably be
banned for a long time after his disgraceful behaviour." On January 14 2013,
as West Ham were once again linked with the midfielder, Gold tweeted: "IMO
Barton has a problem and should seek help. dg." And Gold posted another
tweet on Barton the following day after being asked by a fan, 'What would
you do if Big Sam said he wanted to sign Barton?', which read: "Give Sam
some time off, get away for a few days. dg." Barton began his career at
Manchester City in 2002 before moving to St James' Park in 2007 for almost
£6m. In 2011 he joined QPR and a year later was loaned out to Marseille for
the 2012-13 season before returning to Loftus Road.

West Ham WON'T sign Joey Barton after fans revolt against any move for
controversial free agent
20:59, 11 AUGUST 2015
A Hammers insider said they would have made deal for the midfielder "based
on football decisions ... but in the interests of team spirit we haven't"
The Mirror

West Ham have pulled out of signing Joey Barton after the storm of protest
from the club's fans. Mirror Sport understands the Hammers had been close to
a deal for 32-year-old midfielder Barton, as they felt he had been Queens
Park Rangers' best player last season when they fought unsuccessfully
against relegation back to the Championship. However, they decided to listen
to their supporters — the majority of whom were firmly against taking on the
controversial free agent. A club insider said on Tuesday night: "We've
pulled out in the last hour because of the strength of feeling from the
fans. "He's a good player and based on football decisions we'd have signed
him, but in the interests of team spirit we haven't."

The Hammers' hierarchy were - and continue to be - concerned about the lack
of numbers in midfield. They had targeted Barton as they fear injuries could
leave them short during the season ahead. West Ham have not given up on a
deal for Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, who played for them on loan last
season, once the 27-year-old recovers from injury. Former Hammers boss Harry
Redknapp, who managed Barton at QPR, said he supported any move for the
former Manchester City, Newcastle and Marseille man. Barton is currently
working as a media pundit after being released by the Hoops at the end of
last season. But Redknapp said: "I heard him on the radio coming back from
Old Trafford on Saturday and thought, 'What's he doing on the radio, doing
commentary? He should still be playing.'"

Speaking on talkSPORT, Redknapp added: "I had a couple of managers ring me
last week from good Championship clubs and I told them I'd take him. "You're
going to have days when he's very opinionated and he's got strong opinions
about the game and doesn't hold back with them. "But he's a good player and
a good trainer. He gets people at it, he wants to win." West Ham co-chairman
David Gold slammed Barton on Twitter in 2013, suggesting he 'has a problem
and should seek help'. It is the second time in as many years that the
Hammers have staged a u-turn over a player after listening to their fans.
They had intended to sign Ilombe Mboyo, the Belgian forward, but scrapped
their interest when supporters expressed their anger over the fact the
then-Gent player spent time in prison for his part in the gang rape of a
14-year-old girl.

ExWHUemployee Column: Hammers forward search takes a new twist, Barton,
Oxford & more
by on August 10th, 2015

?I seem to have a different theme for the last two columns I have written,
last weeks was written in an internet café in sunny Europe and now I am
writing this half cut on my phone.
?What an amazing day that was yesterday. I thought there were so many stand
out performances from the match and some real positives. You cannot look
further than Reece Oxford on where to start with this summary. 16 years of
age and he looked like had been playing the game for years! I saw many funny
tweets on my way to the match about things that people were doing in their
life at 16 (many can't be repeated here) and it really does put his
performance into perspective. He was making his Premier League debut away at
supposedly the title challengers against multi-million pound superstars and
he out shone them. It is now very apparent why the club did everything they
could to persuade him to stay with us when many big clubs were circulating.
Unfortunately I stopped growing when I was 10 but most people go to about
17-18 so if this is the case with Reece he will continue to grow in stature
and with experience. We have a very talented player on our hands.

?I thought Ogbonna was immense too. He looked solid, great in the air and
quick and he has the bonus of being left footed too. I also thought Payet's
skill and ability to set chances up were very evident, what a gem the board
seem to have pulled off there. I also thought Sakho put in a brilliant shift
up top, he chased everything and worked so hard for lost causes. I think
James Tomkins also deserves some praise. He played out of position and I
felt apart from a shaky first 10 minutes looked very composed by the end of
it. Once again Adrian made some crucial saves too. He is surely staking a
claim to be one of the best keepers in the league, especially when you judge
Cech and Cortois' performances this weekend. Mauro Zarate looks a completely
different player under Bilic too.

?I feel I should personally say that I am glad Bilic left me with egg on my
face after questioning his decision to rest most of our players for the
European fixture for the Arsenal game which I felt we would lose anyway. I
was well and truly proven wrong and I am delighted by that. I still believe
we should have given Europe more of a crack and of course you cannot say for
certain whether we couldn't have played more first teamers on Thursday and
still won but either way I am glad Slaven has made me and many others look
wrong for questioning him. What I still maintain from our exit from Europe
is that I was surprised that some supporters were now saying we could
concentrate on staying up? I know it is a transitional period but a new
manager was brought in to move us forward, simply staying up would not be
doing that. Yes you could argue he will have to change the style of football
as well and rebuild the team but had Sam stayed in the job and he said in
the press his objective is to stay up this year we would have slaughtered
him. I see no reason why we shouldn't be targeting a top half finish and I
am sure Slaven and Julian also share this ambition and target.

?The emergence of Mauro Zarate has meant the board have not rushed into
signing a forward. They do still want another forward but they believe
Zarate will still play a major role up top as well. Carroll should return in
4-5 games as well to bring further competition. We want to sign at least two
more players. A winger and a forward. The search for a forward has been very
frustrating. Hernandez was/is the top target but it appears Manchester
United do not want to sell unless they bring in at least two more forwards
and we will not be able to get him before the window closes at this rate.
Jimenez appears to be off now as well after Benfica have purchased some of
his contract, meaning he is now likely to join them.

?It is the board's faith and trust in Zarate which has meant they haven't
panicked into signing a new forward and will only buy if they think there is
a solid investment. The domestic market is once ?again proving tricky with
its over-inflated prices and the lack of desire to sell British based
players now due to the rulings. We are semi interested in Austin. If the
price/value goes down then we would be but the factor putting us, and other
clubs off from paying the big bucks is his knee. He has already failed a
medical in the past and it is felt that his knee could go at any point. We
are trying to learn from our experiences with Andy Carroll (and further back
Kieron Dyer etc.) and not sign players who show to be dodgy on medicals. The
same can also be said for Loic Remy, although he isn't for sale anyway. It
has meant that our searches have turned abroad again and we are looking for
players with potential and a good proven track record.

As you have probably seen reported elsewhere, Joey Barton looks likely to
join the club, and is set to undergo a medical.

?There are a number of young forwards/wingers who have been identified with
Champion's League experience and international experience (some at under 21
level) on the continent. A couple of the players who I know we are after
(although I have been told not to put their names out yet, because we don't
want to alert other clubs) are of massive potential and I was very impressed
to hear about them. A couple are under 21 and have already proven themselves
at a high level, although not in England. The budget we have is around
7m-10m on the two players because if you include wages we have spent a large
sum. Whilst we sold Downing, we have signed Payet, Ogbonna, Jenkinson (on
loan), Randolph, Hendrie, Obiang, Samuelsen, Lanzini (on loan) so this does
leave only that figure realistically available if no further players are
sold. Both the forward and winger at the moment look like they will come
from abroad and Mr Sullivan is doing all he can to bring in the very best
available players. He has been described as a man obsessed to me when it
comes to deals and I think it is so nice to know that our chairmen are as
big a fans as most of us are.

?I have managed to speak to a couple of well-placed people on the playing
and backroom staff this week and they have all informed me how much more of
a positive vibe there is around the club at the moment. There has been a
shift in mentality where everything is seen as a positive and that the focus
in training and our team talks is around what we can do to the opposition
rather than what the opposition can do to us. This is meant to have made the
players feel much more valued now.

?Another positive I have heard is that Slaven, Julian and the other first
team coaches have spoken to all the youth players and informed them that if
they are good enough then they will play. This has obviously been shown by
Oxford's appearances but it also thought that the likes of Poyet, Cullen,
Samuelsen, Page (when he has recovered from injury), Pike, Burke and Powell
(to name a few) will also be given chances if they prove themselves in youth
and development squad matches.

?The club will continue to search for new players and if the right deal
becomes available they will make their move. We have made a number of moves
for players this week but nothing has really gone anywhere but this does not
mean the transfers will not come as we are forever on the lookout if I hear
anymore, which I should do this week, I will be sure to update.

?Some of the chants and songs yesterday were brilliant, especially in the
Drayton Arms before and after the game. If we continue to play like this we
are in for a great season, we just must not let complacency set in like last

?Now I am off to nurse my sore head, COYI.

?Twitter - @ExWHUemployee

Injury update: good news for "bruised" ace Tomkins
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Defender James Tomkins hasn't suffered any serious damage after clashing
with Olivier Giroud during Sunday's win at the Emirates. Tomkins did a top
job at right back, but clashed with the striker when challenging for a
second half header. Despite looking groggy, the defender played on for the
remainder of the match. Afterwards, co-chairman David Gold tweeted: "I saw
him (Tomkins) after the game, he's a bit bruised but very happy with the
result." So were the rest of us, David!

Woods: Irons stopper Adrian is in a class of his own
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

New goalkeeping coach, Chris Woods, has as much to be pleased about with No1
Irons stopper Adrian after Sunday's great performance at the Emirates. The
former England 'keeper was among boss, Slaven Bilic's, first appointments
and has been hard at work with the top Spaniard. And his delight is clear
after seeing his man keep a clean sheet in clash with the Gunners,
declaring: "As a goalkeeper coach, you can't ask for a better start than
that." Speaking to, Woods added: "Adrian has been different
class to work with. He's full of energy, eager to do well and ke knows what
he wants out of the game. It's been good getting to know him and hopefully
we will get to know how each other works and form a good relationship. "Good
goalkeeping is all about doing the right things at the right times and then
making those important saves when you need to. He came and caught a couple
of crosses too, which takes pressure off the back four. "I'm so pleased for
him that he kept a clean sheet."

Barton update: Dicks stays neutral on Joey switch
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Julian Dicks is refusing to take sides in the big Joey Barton debate. It
seems that the midfielder with a bad boy reputation may well be on his way
to the club over the next 48 hours, although word is the odds are 50-50 on a
deal being agreed between the club and the player. Dicks – always ready to
reply on Twitter to fans worries – has taken a neutral stance on an issue
that is dividing opinion among the Hammers faithful. A follower asked him:
"What do you make of some West Ham fans reaction to the possibility of us
signing Joey Barton?" Dicks – like many before him – could justifiably have
ignored the question, but instead he declared: "Everyone is entitled to an

TWO Hammers Targets Set To Move To The Premier League This Week
Posted by on August 10, 2015 in News, Transfer

Barcelona duo Alen Halilovic and Adama Traore will complete move's to the
Premier League this week, according to Spanish source 'Sport'. The Hammers
have linked with both players, as they look to strengthen their squad before
the transfer window closes. It is believed that Slaven Bilic is desperate to
link up with Croatian star Halilovic, and has told the West Ham board to go
and get him. Barcelona would also be willing to loan out the 19 year-old,
who has received comparisons to Lionel Messi. His preference would be a move
to England, despite interest from Celta Vigo, Sevilla and Hamburg – West Ham
and Everton are the two clubs reportedly battling for him. Meanwhile,
Traore, a 19 year-old winger, has held talks with Stoke City, Liverpool and
the East London, according to media outlets in Spain.

Psycho savages Barton
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Outspoken Stuart Pearce has made it crystal clear what he thinks of Joey
Barton and clearly doesn't think his mooted move to West Ham is a great
idea. His feelings are summed up in a talkSPORT picture – currently
circulating on Twitter – as talks continue on the possibility of the
midfielder joining the Irons. Pearce – speaking from his previous experience
– claims Barton will reckon he's the best player in the Irons team. And the
former Hammer – who played for us between 1991-2001 made no bones about
making his feelings public. Meanwhile Hammers sources insisted to
ClaretandHugh this afternoon that no decision will be made on whether the
player will be taken on in several days. He said: "There's been talk of
medicals and all sorts but the decision remains several days away.

Irons ready to seal Song deal
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News

Alex Song's permanent switch to Upton Park is still a major priority for
Slaven Bilic. The Barcelona midfielder is recovering from ankle surgery and
the Hammers are being kept fully up to date on the defensive midfielder's
progress. But despite the pay as you play talks with Joey Barton, the Irons
are determined to clinch a deal for the former Arsenal man. ClaretandHugh
understands that Barca have agreed to a free transfer and that the manager
is ready to put a two year deal in front of Song. The player would prefer to
sign for three years but the Hammers have made it clear to him that they are
ready to sign him before the end of the present window, wait for him to
fully recover and judge his progress over the rest of the season. Should he
come through then they may be ready to offer him the deal he wants further
down the line. In the meantime, Barton's arrival on a 'pay as you play' deal
would give the manager the added cover he needs in teh Song position but the
arrangement is not seen as anything like permanent.

Transfer news: Hammers up Hernandez bid to £12m
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Manchester United are considering a new £12 million West Ham bid for Javier
Hernandez – an increase of £3m on their initial offer for the talented
youngster. The Irons moved in after the United star was an unused sub at the
weekend and, as regularly reported by ClaretandHugh, have made the Mexican
their Number One target. We reported yesterday that the club were keeping
their cash in the bank in order to go "all in" on the player, and United are
now being forced to give the bid serious consideration after claiming the
striker would be given a fresh Old Trafford chance. However, The Daily Mail
reports United want to sign Barcelona's Pedro this week before ratifying any
deal for Hernandez. Hernandez spent last season on loan at Real Madrid and
arrived back from the Bernabeu after the Spanish giants decided not to
exercise an option to make the deal permanent. ClaretandHugh was told a few
minutes ago by a key source: "We are very keen on the player – he has been a
long term target and we are pursuing things.."

Foxes fans angered by Irons 80% ticket price hike
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Leicester City fans are deeply unhappy at being asked to stump up £45 for
tickets at Upton Park this weekend compared to the £25 that was charged for
last season's corresponding fixture. The price represents an 80% price
increase! Ian Bason, chairman of the Foxes Trust, said despite attempts to
strike reciprocal deals between clubs to lower the cost for away supporters,
more needs to be done.

"The final opportunity to visit their current ground is our first away game
of the season, but it comes at a staggering £45 per adult compared with £25
last time," he said. "Only Chelsea (£50) and Manchester United (£46) were
more expensive last season.

"City's management have consistently told our own fans' consultative
committee the difficultly they have in striking reciprocal deals with other
clubs to charge £20 for away fans. "This is the amount consistently
suggested by the Football Supporters' Federation's (FSF), the 'Twenty is
Plenty' campaign. "Just nine of the 20 clubs last season took part in any
reciprocal deals. "Our club funded £10 off per ticket for the Swansea and
Sunderland games, but these weren't reciprocal deals."

Report: Irons pull out of Barton deal
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham have pulled out of signing Joey Barton after the storm of protest
from the club's fans according to The Mirror. Their latest on-line report
says the club has listened to its supporters – the majority of whom were
against taking the player on a pay as you play deal or any other. They
report an insider as saying: "We've pulled out in the last hour because of
the strength of feeling from the fans.
"He's a good player and based on football decisions we'd have signed him,
but in the interests of team spirit we haven't."

Adrian provides a reality 'Cech' to Petr the Great
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Adrian has sympathised with his Arsenal counterpart Petrr Cech after the
Arsenal goalkeeper's two howlers cost the Gunners dear at the weekend. The
former Chelsea keeper came a long way off his line for Chiek Koutaye's first
goal before allowing Mauro Zarate's shot to by-pass him for the second. As a
result, Adrian has issued something of a reality 'Cech' declaring: "That is
the life of a goalkeeper. Sometimes you are the hero and sometimes you are
the worse keeper. But Petr Cech is one of the greatest keepers ever. You can
have a mistake but the last seasons from him at Chelsea he has been
outstanding. He is a great goalkeeper and I'm sure he will show his best in
the next game." He added: "We have a lot of confidence to keep working for
the next game on Saturday. We were solid in defence and in attack we were so
effective. It has changed a little, Slaven wants to play the ball more from
the goalkeeper to the defence, keep possession. "We have a lot of players
in attack who can cause problems for other teams. With the old players and
new signings it is a stronger squad. The last season at Upton Park is an
emotional one for everyone."

Teenager Reece is the 'new Vieira' says Graham
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 11, 2015 in News, Whispers

Former Arsenal boss George Graham has likened Reece Oxford to Gunners legend
Patrick Vieira. The 16-year-old has received rave reviews since his
brilliant debut performance at the Emirates on Sunday. And Graham, who won a
hatful of silverware during his days as Gunners boss, has suggested that
what made Reece's performance all the more remarkable was the fact the
youngster was playing out of position in midfield! "He was very calm, very
collected, he reminded me of a young Vieira," Graham told talkSport. "He was
very comfortable on the ball at 16-years-old he was fantastic sitting in
front of the back four soaking it all up because he is a centre-half."

Video captures violent clashes between fans at Islington pub after West Ham
and Arsenal match
TOM MARSHALL Tuesday 11 August 2015 19:30 BST
Evening Standard

Footage has emerged of football fans pelting each other with chairs and pint
glasses as violent clashes erupted after the Premier League match between
Arsenal and West Ham on Sunday. The trouble reportedly flared when a group
of fans attempted to storm the White Swan pub in Upper Street, close to
Highbury Corner, following West Ham's shock 2-0 victory over the Gunners.
Witnesses said chairs and stools were hurled from within the pub, part of
the J D Wetherspoon group, into a crowd standing in the street. The video
taken from outside shows several men flinging glasses while one lifts a
chair above his head, as if about to throw it back inside, before the clip
cuts out.
Families with frightened children were allegedly trapped inside at the time.
Matthew Fallon told the Standard: "My nan, auntie and her kids were in the
back of the Wetherspoon when fans ran in flipping tables around. "The kids
were scared with them being eight and five because they have never
experienced anything like that before." He added: "My family usually go to
that Wetherspoon and have never had a problem with anyone in there before."

The violence erupted at about 7pm, a few hours after Arsenal's home defeat
to their east London rivals at the Emirates Stadium in nearby Holloway. On
Twitter, Cherryl Rose Dris wrote: "So much pent-up emotions from footie fans
back here in Highbury! stools were flying from a Wetherspoons pub on Upper
Dan Fordham, an iPhone app developer, tweeted: "Ugly scenes on Upper Street
right now, big fight outside Wetherspoons between football supporters,
chairs flying. Police took ages to arrive."

A woman known only as Christina wrote: "Fans trying to storm the Swan in

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers were called to reports
of a large fight at the White Swan at 7.09pm. He said two people were
injured but not seriously hurt and no arrests were made. Enquiries are
ongoing, he added. The Standard has asked both clubs and J D Wetherspoon to

West Ham looking into the possibility of bringing Rob Green back to Upton
West Ham have contacted QPR about re-signing keeper Rob Green
The 35-year-old spent six years at Upton Park between 2006-2012
Chris Ramsey is keen to keep him but Green is looking elsewhere
PUBLISHED: 18:12, 11 August 2015 | UPDATED: 18:38, 11 August 2015

West Ham have been in contact about a potential move for Queens Park
Rangers' goalkeeper Rob Green. Green played for the east London club for six
years making more than 200 appearances between 2006 and 2012 and they are
exploring the possibility of bringing him back. QPR do not want to lose
their No 1 goalkeeper, but he has only a year remaining on his contract —
understood to be worth £60,000-per-week — at the club. Green initially moved
from West Ham to QPR on a free transfer three years ago when they could not
agree a new deal. West Ham baulked at his wage demands then, but it is now
understood that the player is keen on a move away from QPR, even though he
is manager Chris Ramsey's preferred choice there. At West Ham, it is
unlikely that Green, 35, would replace first-choice Adrian, who is growing a
reputation as one of the best stoppers in the Premier League, but he would
be a solid deputy. The club's other two goalkeepers are Darren Randolph,
who was on the bench for the match against Arsenal, and 22-year-old Raphael

Joey Barton compares Rudy Gestede to Andy Carroll
Subhankar Mondal

Joey Barton says that Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede's movements are
similar to those of West Ham United's Andy Carroll. Former Newcastle United
and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has explained on BBC Radio 5
live how Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede is similar to West Ham United's
Andy Carroll. Barton made the comment while commentating on Villa's Premier
League clash against Bournemouth away from home in Premier League on
Saturday afternoon. Summer signing Gestede scored what proved to be the only
goal of the match in the 72nd minute, heading home just 13 minutes after
coming on as a substitute against the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium.
English midfielder Barton, who is currently a free agent after leaving
Queens Park Rangers at the end of the 2014-15 campaign following their
relegation from the Premier League, has compared the 26-year-old to former
Liverpool and Newcastle striker Carroll. "Gestede's movement reminds me of
Andy Carroll," the 32-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live. Gestede was one of the
best strikers in the Championship, and he has started his Premier League
career with Villa in style. The Benin international is a brilliant header of
the ball, which is one of the main strengths of Carroll. Against
newly-promoted Premier League outfit Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon,
Gestede won as many as six headers during the 31 minutes he was on the
pitch. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Gestede has scored 20 headed
goals, five more than anyone else in the top four ties of English football.

Joey Barton to train with West Ham ahead of signing decision, Chelsea flop
Marko Marin headed to Augsburg and Spurs give up on Basle starlet Breel
Joey Barton trained with West Ham U21s ahead of proposed move
Barton will have a medical on Tuesday as agent calms fan worries
PUBLISHED: 14:34, 11 August 2015 | UPDATED: 14:34, 11 August 2015

Joey Barton will train with West Ham this week before they make a decision
over agreeing a two year contract. The Huyton-born midfielder had a run-out
with West Ham U21s in training on Monday and met up with former Newcastle
teammate Andy Carroll as he took a look round the club's facilities. Barton
has spoken to Slaven Bilic at length and is due to have a medical on Tuesday
afternoon though a deal will be discussed later in the week once he has
trained with the first team squad. Although his arrival has caused some
backlash from fans, Barton is unfazed and determined to prove he can fit in
and contribute to West Ham's cause. His representative, Mark McKay of
ExcelFoot, said: 'I've brought in Dimitri Payet and Diafra Sakho to the club
and I'm confident West Ham fans can feel assured Joey will have a similar
impact. 'He has been a crowd favourite at Newcastle, Marseille and QPR, and
that's because fans see that he gives everything on the pitch. He's matured
as a person and is happy to be part of a squad. He has experience that can
help the promising players such as Reece Oxford. 'He's not just a central
midfielder either, if you look at the stats, when Andy Carroll was at
Newcastle, Joey played a pivotal role from the right of midfield delivering
crosses for Andy to score. He's a free agent and will be a bargain for any
club and hopefully that will be at West Ham.' West Ham are continuing to
discuss a proposed contract for the injured Alex Song while Liverpool's
£8m-rated Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva has also been mentioned. Lucas is
not on the transfer list but Liverpool will listen to offers after his
fall-out with Brendan Rodgers.

Exclusive - Stuart Pearce on Joey Barton: 'He will think he is West Ham's
best player'
By Alex Varney (@lexvarney) | Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stuart Pearce insists Joey Barton will not be going to West Ham to make up
the numbers, claiming the midfielder will believe he is the best player in
Slaven Bilic's squad. Hammers fans appear to have serious doubts about the
imminent arrival of the 32-year-old, but Pearce says Barton will be
confident of winning them over and becoming a key player for the club. The
former England defender managed Barton during his time as Manchester City
boss and he told the Colin Murray show: "Joey will not be going to West Ham
thinking he is a bit-part player.
"I remember he came back from his first England get-together telling me what
poor players Gerrard and Lampard were! "He has been unshakeable in his
determination to be a footballer. I watched him in the reserves for
Manchester City and thought this kid is never going to be a footballer, he
is a non-league player. "But he carved out a career with his unshakeable
mentality and arrogance and belief in himself and he won't be going to West
Ham thinking he will play here and there. He will think he is the best
player in the squad."

Given Barton's penchant for courting controversy throughout his career, it's
not surprising that West Ham fans appear unwilling to welcome him with open
arms. But Pearce insists the England international is no longer the
troublesome character he was, and believes he could prove to be an astute
signing by Bilic. He added: "He struggled to handle his temper in his
younger days. The older you get, the more mature you get, and you go through
that cycle and hopefully grow up, and I think he has. "He has got a wealth
of experience. I'm not a trawler on social media but I don't see and hear as
much from Joey as I did three or four years ago. I've not read about him in
the papers having the odd problem and whatever. "He is a free agent with a
wealth of experience, physically fit, and a good professional who stays out
on the training pitch longer than anyone else. "He has played a lot of
matches, he has got an England cap - I can see why West Ham have dipped in
for him."

West Ham pondering bid for Liverpool's Lucas Leiva - sources
Peter O'Rourke

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is a transfer target for West Ham as they
seek an alternative to Alex Song, sources have told ESPN FC. Lucas' future
at Anfield has been placed in doubt after he was omitted from the match-day
squad for Liverpool's 1-0 Premier League win at Stoke City at the weekend.
The midfielder was a surprise omission from the squad that made the trip to
the Britannia Stadium, with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers open to offers for the
player before the close of the transfer window. Lucas, who joined Liverpool
from Gremio in 2007, still has two years to run on his current contract at
Anfield, but could find his first-team chances limited this season. The
news of the Brazil international's possible availability has alerted West
Ham, who are in the market for a defensive midfielder. The Hammers have been
trying to seal a move for Barcelona midfielder Song after his successful
spell on loan at Upton Park last season, however, the deal has been held up
because an injury to the former Arsenal man. Song is not expected to be back
in action until November and West Ham are exploring alternatives to the
former Cameroon international. Slaven Bilic was forced to use highly rated
youngster Reece Oxford in a defensive-midfield role in the 2-0 win over
Arsenal on Sunday and although the 16-year-old excelled in the role, the
West Ham boss is keen to bring in a more experienced option. The Hammers are
monitoring Lucas' situation at Liverpool and are weighing up a move for the
28-year-old, should they decide not to pursue their interest in Song.

Wigan sign former Bolton and West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen
By talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) | Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jussi Jaaskelainen has signed a one-year deal with League One side Wigan
Athletic. The 40-year-old Finn was a free agent after leaving West Ham
earlier this summer following the expiry of his contract. Jaaskelainen
featured 57 times in the Premier League for the Hammers during his
three-year spell at the club. Prior to his switch to Upton Park, he spent 15
years at Bolton, making more than 500 appearances for the Trotters. Latics
manager Gary Caldwell said: "Jussi has had a tremendous career and was
consistently one of the top keepers in the Premier League. "He is still in
fantastic condition and as well as providing great competition in the squad,
his experience will be invaluable on and off the park."

West Ham get tough on Joey Barton contract as club try to strike
pay-as-you-play deal
KEN DYER Tuesday 11 August 2015 11:24 BST0 comments
Evening Standard

Joey Barton will have to accept a pay-as-you-play deal if his move to West
Ham is to go through. The former QPR midfielder was due to undergo a medical
today, as a West Ham club source insisted that negotiations were still
ongoing. It is understood the chances of Barton signing were still only
around "30 per cent" and that the 32-year-old would have to accept a deal
heavily weighted to appearance money to prove his "desire". Barton is a free
agent after he was released by QPR at the end of last season following their
relegation to the Championship.
He wants to stay in the Premier League and had been training with Watford
but he was on £70,000 a week at QPR, which was considerably more than the
promoted club could offer. Barton would be a useful addition to Slaven
Bilic's squad but his possible arrival has already prompted much discussion
on social media. The club are aware of antipathy towards the controversial
midfielder among some of their supporters and will take that into
consideration before making any decision. Back in 2013, chairman David Gold
was asked on Twitter for his verdict on Barton following a public row with
former Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann. Gold said at the time that the
midfielder "has a problem and should seek help" while he also jokingly
claimed he would give former manager Sam Allardyce "some time off" if he
tried to sign Barton.
However, the Manchester City academy product's playing ability is not in
dispute and it is felt he could be a valuable squad member if a two-year
contract can be agreed. West Ham also remain committed to signing a striker
before the transfer window closes on September 2 with Manchester United's
Javier Hernandez still top of their list. The Hammers have already had one
offer for the 27-year-old Mexico international rejected but have returned
with a second bid of close to £12million. They face competition from
Tottenham who are also keen to add a front man to their squad before the
window closes to provide support for Harry Kane. Meanwhile, West Ham's
proposed loan deal to take another Mexican, Raul Jimenez, from Atletico
Madrid has fallen through with the forward now poised to join Benfica.

Angelo Ogbonna's PR Company Takes the Blame After Wembley Tweet Gaffe
By Tom Webb , UK Staff Writer Aug 11, 2015
Bleacher Report

New West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna attracted ridicule at the weekend,
after a post from his personal Twitter account suggested he thought he was
playing at Wembley during the Hammers' stunning 2-0 win over Arsenal at the
Emirates on Sunday.

However, Ogbonna's PR company SportSuite have taken sole responsibility for
the tweet with a post on their website, stating: "We want to emphasise that
the error in the infamous tweet is only our fault and not the player, who
definitely knew he was playing in the Emirates Stadium!"

That's not exactly what you would expect from your PR company!
Reece Oxford was told he'd never make the grade by Arsenal but the West Ham
starlet is so far passing every test and showing maturity well beyond his

PUBLISHED: 22:32, 10 August 2015 | UPDATED: 23:56, 10 August 2015

He was the revelation of the season's opening weekend, the 16-year-old
English boy handed his Premier League debut at Arsenal, where he came
through a severe test with flying colours.
But those who have admired Reece Oxford for the past few years would not
have been surprised at how he thwarted Mesut Ozil and impressed for West
Ham. Oxford, who became the club's youngest-ever player when he made his
debut in the Europa League qualifier against FC Lusitans in July, has always
been mature and thrives when given responsibility. He was the captain of
England's Under 17s at the Euros in Bulgaria this summer. All the team had
to wear the same kit at all times, be that to training, a match or to
dinner. Oxford made it his duty as captain to knock on all his team-mates'
rooms to ensure they were suitably dressed every day. He also made efforts
to get the whole squad together to socialise rather than letting everyone
just sit in their rooms. Oxford showed the same maturity last winter when
Liverpool tried to sign him before he agreed professional terms at Upton
Park. The idea of joining Liverpool would be enough for most young players
to go weak at the knees. Not Oxford. He rejected the move, believing
Brendan Rodgers' footballing philosophy didn't fit in with his own beliefs.
The youngster was convinced his transition from academy starlet to young
professional would be better suited under Sam Allardyce than Rodgers. 'The
set-up at West Ham is great,' he said. 'The Youth Academy like to push the
players. West Ham have been giving players chances. There's a lot of players
coming through.
'It's an honour to play,' he added after Sunday's 2-0 win. 'I found out I
was playing on Saturday night. I was speaking about Match of the Day and
then I thought: 'Tomorrow I'm going to be on it!' The manager told me just
to sit and break up play and talk to my team-mates. Keep it simple. Don't
try too much. 'I enjoyed it. We haven't won at Arsenal in I don't know how
many years.' West Ham's academy coaches Dave Hunt and Terry Westley have
been at the forefront of preparing Oxford for the big time, providing the
youngster with the necessary guidance. Former manager Sam Allardyce eased
him into the rigours of senior football last season, introducing him to
first-team training before naming him on the bench for some of the club's
final league games. Oxford credits Allardyce for teaching him how to defend
and when to pick the right time to bring the ball out from the back. Bilic
started him in a defensive central midfield role against Arsenal but those
close to him insist he will end up as a centre back. The comparisons at West
Ham with Rio Ferdinand were quick to come: a defender who is very
comfortable on the ball and rarely flustered.
Sir Trevor Brooking, in particular, has been impressed by what he has seen.
Bilic wants Oxford to be his own man rather than a clone of Ferdinand. To
make the point, he gave Oxford and fellow debutant Lewis Page some words of
advice when they made their first-team debuts, telling them to define their
own destiny rather than try to be like other players. Oxford's career could
have panned out differently, with an onus on scoring goals rather than
stopping them. Born in Edmonton, he attended the same school as Nile Ranger,
the troubled striker now at Blackpool. Oxford's pre-teen years were spent as
a striker at Tottenham but they released him, opening the door for West Ham.
'I was at Tottenham for a while but they didn't want me,' he says, insisting
he has only every supported West Ham. 'I decided West Ham was the right
option.' Arriving at Upton Park as a forward, the club's academy coaching
staff believed Oxford would be better suited to a defensive position and
started the process of remoulding his game. Arsenal then showed interest in
plucking the youngster from Upton Park but their academy director, Andries
Jonker, decided Oxford would not make the grade at the Emirates Stadium. He
has done just that at Upton Park. And with his GCSE results due next week,
Oxford will be hoping to make the grade once again.

Harry Redknapp praises West Ham boss Slaven Bilic for bold decision
Sean Lunt

The former boss reveals he texted the new Hammers manager about the decision
to start Reece Oxford against Arsenal on Sunday. Writing on Kicca, Harry
Redknapp has revealed he text West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic about the
brave decision to play Reece Oxford against Arsenal. The new Hammers boss
handed the 16-year-old his Premier League debut, making him the club's
youngest ever appearance holder in the division, and the second youngest in
the league's history. He did not disappoint either as went on to put in a
solid display in the centre of the park against Arsenal's star studded
midfield. It was a bold decision from Bilic, and Redknapp says he text him
before and after the game to say just that, while also praising Oxford for
his performance. "I texted Slaven before and after the game and told him it
was a bold and brave decision to play the lad," he wrote on Kicca. "[But] it
was amazing, the gamble paid off. Reece Oxford had a fantastic, amazing
debut and it was a great and bold move from Slaven Bilic to play him. He got
it spot on and it speaks volumes for him."

Praise for Payet

The former boss also praised the performances of both Dimitri Payet and
Mauro Zarate after they starred in the 2-0 win. Payet managed to set up the
first goal in the game while Zarate bagged the second himself, but the
Frenchman in particular was another who impressed on his Premier League
debut. And Redknapp says it looks like he may turn out to be a great signing
based on Sunday's performance. "Dimitri Payet looks a great signing for
them," he added. "The reports I had on him were excellent. He looks strong
on the ball; he's a real good player. They deserved their result and a great
first game for Slaven."

West Ham willing to offer about £12m for Manchester United striker Javier
Manchester United are considering an approach from West Ham
Javier Hernandez was an unused substitute on Saturday at Old Trafford
United want to sign Barcelona's Pedro before letting Hernandez go
PUBLISHED: 22:42, 10 August 2015 | UPDATED: 01:16, 11 August 2015

Manchester United are considering a fresh approach from West Ham for Javier
Hernandez. West Ham are willing to offer around £12million for the Mexico
international. United want to sign Barcelona's Pedro this week before
ratifying any deal for Hernandez, who was an unused substitute at the
weekend. United are keen to bring forwards in first, however, before any
move to West Ham comes off. Hernandez spent last season on loan at Real
Madrid and arrived back from the Bernabeu after the Spanish giants decided
not to exercise an option to make the deal permanent. West Ham are now
circling and manager Slaven Bilic has been heavily linked with Hernandez
recently. It emerged in early August that West Ham will be without Enner
Valencia for up to 12 weeks, and Hernandez would be a suitable replacement
at Upton Park.

West Ham stumped as Tottenham enter £32m race to sign Man Utd and West Brom
TOTTENHAM are ready to trump West Ham in the battle to sign Javier
Hernandez, according to reports.
PUBLISHED: 06:15, Tue, Aug 11, 2015 | UPDATED: 06:47, Tue, Aug 11, 2015

Bosses at White Hart Lane are understood to be seeking forward recruits
ahead of the transfer deadline. And top of their list is Manchester United
forward Hernandez, who - claim the Standard - has failed to win over manager
Louis van Gaal this summer. Hernandez, 27, is wanted by West Ham and it was
believed a £12million offer would be enough to prise him away from Old
Trafford. The report claims, however, that Spurs are not banking on securing
the Mexico international and will also step up their chase for West Ham star
Saido Berahino. Berahino, 22, was linked with a move to north London during
the winter transfer window but the Baggies held firm on their refusal to
sell. Boss Tony Pulis is determined to retain the England U21 ace for the
season and rebuffed a £15m enquiry from Spurs earlier in the summer, with a
£20m offer thought to be required to bring West Brom to the table. That
would mean Spurs spending around £32m on new players and, with Mauricio
Pochettino keen to secure a forward to accompany Harry Kane this campaign,
Pulis may reluctantly have to let Berahino go. Pochettino is seeking buyers
for both Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor, meaning Spurs will be thin
on forward numbers should they fail to land replacements.

Photo: Raul Jimenez snapped arriving at airport in Portugal, as West Ham
deal collapses
Dan Coombs

A West Ham deal for Raul Jimenez is off. Raul Jimenez has been pictured
arriving in Portugal ahead of his imminent transfer to Benfica. Portuguese
newspaper O Jogo published photos of him after flying in from Spain, as he
prepares to conclude a loan move from Atletico Madrid. He had been due to
join West Ham, with Slaven Bilic telling a press conference last week that
Jimenez would be the club's last summer signing, as reported by Talksport.
The Hammer had put a lot of effort into a deal, winning a work permit
hearing on appeal after seeing his original application refused. He was due
to arrive for a medical last Friday but missed his flight. The Sunday Times
reported he told the club he had simply overslept, but he later denied this
via Twitter. What does appear clear is that his head was turned, with a deal
to sign with Benfica now seemingly a formality. O Jogo report Jimenez will
undergo a medical and sign a contract on Tuesday morning.


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