Tuesday, August 4

Daily WHUFC News - 4th August 2015

Noble gearing up for big week

Mark Noble is raring to go ahead of the most important week of West Ham
United's 2015/16 season so far. Noble captained the Hammers during their
final pre-season friendly game on Sunday - a 2-1 defeat at home to Werder
Bremen in the Betway Cup. The competitive football now comes thick and fast,
though, with a trip to Romania to face AFC Astra in a UEFA Europa League
qualification game on Thursday before the much-anticipated Barclays Premier
League season gets underway with a trip to Arsenal on Sunday. "We're pretty
fit and strong and we're ready to get going," Noble said. "We've picked up a
few injuries along the way but we've got the squad to cope with it so we
just need to look after the ones that are fit and get back the ones that
aren't fit and then concentrate on the next two games to come. "It's not
ideal travelling to Romania three days before the season start but we've got
to deal with it."

The Hammers' pre-season has been an action-packed adventure with plenty of
talking points, not least the penalty shoot-out win in Malta that saw Slaven
Bilic's side set up Thursday's third qualifying tie with Astra. The volume
of games has thrown up a few new injury concerns but Noble is confident that
absentees including Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Matt Jarvis and Kevin
Nolan will be back and raring to go before long, whether that be in Romania
or north London on Sunday. "I wouldn't say we were disappointed with the
result against Werder Bremen, the pre-season results don't really matter.
Having said that, nobody likes to lose as we're all professionals. "We lost
a couple to injury in the run up to last Thursday's game at home to Astra
but I'm sure we'll get them back soon. We then have to travel to Romania on
Wednesday morning to play Astra the following day and then Arsenal on Sunday
for the big one, which we're all looking forward to. "We've got good enough
players to go to Romania and win the game comfortably. What the manager does
about the team I don't know as we've got Arsenal on Sunday so what team he
picks is down to him. I'm looking forward to both games - I enjoy playing
football so of course I'm looking forward to playing."

As well as wearing the captain's armband for the past two games, Noble
proudly carries the mantle of being the Hammers' longest-serving player.
Having been around the block and seen a number of different managers and
styles since his debut in 2004, he knows it is down to the playing squad to
adapt to new era under Bilic as quickly as possible. "It's been different
but you've got to adapt. I've played under six managers at West Ham alone
and you need to learn to adapt. "The training has been different. You need
to get used to life to the new regime. We'll see the test of character we
have in the first four or five games in the new season. "We have to stay
positive, it's the best league in the world to play in and we cannot wait to
kick off."

Enner Valencia update

West Ham United have received an update regarding Enner Valencia's lower-leg
injury. The Hammers forward visited a specialist consultant on Monday
morning to discover the extent of the problem he suffered during last
Thursday's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg tie with
Astra Giurgiu. Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke said
the Ecuadorean is set to return to action in ten to 12 weeks. "Enner visited
the consultant on Monday morning, when we discussed the results of the scans
he underwent on the injury last Friday," said Vandenbroucke. "The outcome is
that there is now a very small chance that he will need an operation and
that we instead hope to treat the injury to his fibula using conservative
treatment, which we hope to start in three weeks. "We will know for sure
whether or not Enner will need an operation next week, but if everything
goes to plan we hope that he will be available for selection again within
ten to 12 weeks. "Enner will spend the next three weeks in a walking boot
and using crutches, after which we will start his rehabilitation."

Valencia spent Monday with his teammates at Spire Roding Hospital – West Ham
United's official private hospital – where the squad underwent their annual
pre-season screening, including visits to the dentist, optician and blood

Joint-Chairman wishes Valencia a speedy recovery

West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Gold wishes Enner Valencia a speedy
recovery and is confident the Club have enough strikers in the squad to have
a successful start to the campaign. Valencia was ruled out for ten to 12
weeks with a lower leg injury after he picked up the problem during the 2-2
draw against AFC Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League last Thursday. Mr Gold
has indicated that the Club are looking to strengthen the forward line and
add even more competition for Diafra Sakho, Mauro Zarate, Modibo Maiga and
Andy Carroll. Gold said: "In football you need that bit of luck and injuries
play a part in the season. We have to take it and be strong. "We have got
Sakho, Zarate and players who can do a job while Valencia makes his
recovery. "Hopefully not that far away is one of the great centre forwards
of his type in Andy Carroll and we want him back as soon as possible, but we
will not take any risks. "David Sullivan, Karren Brady and Slaven Bilic are
working their socks off to bring in the best players available, but we will
not panic. We will get the right player at the right price."

Ladies secure thumping pre-season victory

West Ham United Ladies ran riot against Hertford Town Ladies in their latest
pre-season friendly at Hertingfordbury Park on Sunday afternoon.

With the FA Women's Premier League South Division season opener now less
than a fortnight away, Hammers manager Marc Nurse watched on as his side
recorded a dominant 16-0 over their Hertfordshire opponents.

Nurse named a strong, attacking line-up for the game, with new signings
Paige Anderson-James and Shirvae Edwards both joining Emma Sherwood in

Meanwhile, full backs Kayleigh Xidhas and Katie Bottom played a more
attacking role on the wings. Captain Stacey Little partnered Danica Revell
and a trialist in defence, whilst Jess Parlane was selected between the

It was evident from the opening whistle that the Hammers were likely to pick
up an impressive scoreline due to their strength all over the pitch and
within 20 minutes, they had already established a three-goal lead.

Former Millwall Lionesses striker Sherwood netted twice from inside the
penalty area after using her skill to beat a number of defenders, before
holding midfielder April Bowers smashed in a third for the away side from 30
yards out.

Within the next 12 minutes, West Ham doubled their lead. Sherwood again
found time and space inside the Hertford penalty area to secure a 24 minute
hat-trick, before fellow ex-Millwall Lionesses forwards Edwards and
Anderson-James also got their names on the scoresheet for the Hammers' fifth
and sixth.

It was only going to get much worse for the hosts in the run up to half time
as Nurse's side smashed another four goals past a helpless home goalkeeper.
Xidhas timed a late run into the penalty area well to meet a right wing
cross and volley powerfully into the far corner, before Sherwood notched a
fourth goal and Anderson-James was on target twice more for her hat-trick.

Into the second half and it seemed like anything Sherwood could do,
Anderson-James could do too. Within seven minutes of the restart, the
powerful 17-year-old was perfectly placed on the edge of the box to meet
Xidhas' cross to volley home the Hammers' eleventh of the game.

Nurse then decided to keep the game fresh and introduce a trio of
substitutes. Sherwood, Edwards and Anderson-James all made way with nine
goals already in the bank between them, giving Lily Mellors, Kerry Stimson
and Danni Ritson a chance to get in on the action too.

The Hammers were denied a number of extra goals where their efforts had
rebounded off the post and crossbar and just after coming on, Stimson lobbed
the home goalkeeper and was denied by the upright, while captain Little
thundered a header off the crossbar.

Just after the hour mark, Mellors notched her first goal of the game as she
made it 12-0 by meeting a dangerous right wing cross by Revell to head into
the top corner of the net.

Play was then stopped for just over ten minutes after Stimson challenged the
home goalkeeper for the ball with a slide tackle and unfortunately, the
stopper needed extended medical attention for her injuries.

However after the game restarted, the Hammers got back to business and Nurse
reintroduced his attacking forward line of Sherwood, Anderson-James and
Edwards in place of goalscorers Bowers and Xidhas, along with a trialist.

It was Edwards who then extended the scoreline further with her second goal
of the game, before Mellors was again well placed in the box to pick up the
scraps and grab her second of the game too.

With the game already deep into injury time, defender Revell fired home an
unbelievable effort to get herself a rare place on the scoresheet, with
Mellors completing a perfect hat-trick in the 96th minute to take the
scoreline to 16-0.

The Hammers now just have two pre-season fixtures left before they kick-off
their league campaign away to Coventry United on Sunday 16 August.

Nurse's side have arranged to travel to Gillingham Ladies on Wednesday 5
August with kick-off in that game scheduled for 7pm at Gillingham's Training
Ground, before the Ladies close their pre-season fixture list at home to FA
Women's Premier League South West Division One side Shanklin Ladies on
Sunday 9 August at 2pm.

West Ham United Ladies: Parlane, Revell, Little (c), Trialist, Bottom,
Xidhas, Bowers, Blanchflower, Edwards, Sherwood, Anderson-James Subs used:
Mellors, Stimson, Ritson

Lanzini delighted with Hammers welcome

Manuel Lanzini was thrilled to step out onto the Boleyn Ground turf for the
first time in Sunday's Betway Cup defeat to Werder Bremen.

The 22-year-old Argentine, a summer loan arrival from UAE side Al-Jazira,
was a second half substitute on Sunday as he made his first appearance for
his new Club.

He impressed with his neat footwork and was not far away from levelling with
a free-kick towards the end of the contest and now he is hungry to show what
he can do in competitive action.

He told West Ham TV: "I'm very happy, very excited about making my debut,
and playing with the first team.

"I think it was what I wanted, and looking beyond the result, I think there
are good things and there are also some things to improve. However,
personally I am very happy to have played.

"I wanted to know how it felt [to play in the Boleyn Ground] and think the
club has a magnificent fanbase. It was really a very good game for a first
team debut, and now I have to spend time with them [the fans] adjusting and
getting comfortable with them, However for now I feel more at home, they are
very passionate and fanatical fans, and that's great."

Lanzini could make his European bow on Thursday when the Hammers travel to
Astra Giurgiu for the second leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifier and
he is looking forward to the test.

He continued: "I think that we have to put our minds to Thursday's match
against Astra in Romania. I think it will be a difficult match, but I think
we will put our minds to it and concentrate of getting the best result.
Afterwards we will have to turn our attention to the match against Arsenal
coming up on Sunday, and for everyone that is very important.

"Truthfully I feel very comfortable; there are a lot of top quality players.
It is a very big team with players who look to accomplish many things and
achieve greatness, and I think that is a very important mentality for a team
to have, and we will try our best to accomplish that this upcoming season."

Enner Valencia: West Ham striker ruled out for up to 12 weeks

West Ham striker Enner Valencia is expected to be out for up to 12 weeks
with a leg injury. The Ecuador international damaged his right fibula after
scoring in last week's 2-2 draw against Astra Giurgiu in Europa League
qualifying. The Hammers hope the 25-year-old will not need surgery, but he
will spend the next three weeks in a protective boot. Valencia scored four
goals in 32 Premier League games last season, his debut campaign for the
Upton Park side. "We will know for sure whether or not Enner will need an
operation next week, but if everything goes to plan we hope that he will be
available for selection again within 10 to 12 weeks," said Hammers head of
medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke. In an Instagram update,
posted before the news was confirmed, Valencia said: "I would like to thank
everyone for the support and the affection shown on this difficult moment.
"Thank God, today I received great news as I won't need surgery, all the

West Ham co-chairman David Gold has said the club are looking to make a
signing to cover Valencia's absence, with Atletico Madrid's Raul Jimenez a
reported target. Slaven Bilic's side play the second leg of their Europa
League third qualifying round tie with Astra Giurgiu on Thursday.

Jack Collison: Peterborough United midfielder to manage Under-21s

Peterborough United midfielder Jack Collison has been named as the manager
of the club's Under-21 team. He will also be in charge of the first team
for Tuesday's pre-season friendly against Bishop's Stortford. The
26-year-old Wales international joined Posh this summer, and remains
registered as a player, having appeared for them in pre-season. Collison has
not made a competitive appearance since May 2014 because of a knee injury.
He is currently doing coaching badges with the Professional Footballers'

No surgery required for Enner Valencia
Filed: Monday, 3rd August 2015
By: Staff Writer

Enner Valencia has revealed that he will not require surgery on his injured
knee. The West Ham striker was stretchered off the field during last week's
Europa League clash with Astra Giurgiu amidst fears that his season could be
over. However Valencia has confirmed this morning via his Instagram feed
that whilst he is set for a spell on the sidelines, the injury will not
require him to go under the surgeon's knife. West Ham are expected to
confirm how long the Ecuador international will be sidelined for later
today, although he is likely to be back in action by the beginning of

West Ham forward Enner Valencia ruled out for up to 12 weeks
Last Updated: 03/08/15 4:03pm

West Ham forward Enner Valencia has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a
leg injury. Valencia tweeted on Monday to confirm he does not require
surgery after suffering the problem in the Europa League third qualifying
round draw with Astra Giurgiu. But West Ham have moved to clarify the
situation, insisting the Ecuador international may yet require an operation
after damaging his right knee and ankle in the 2-2 draw with the Romanian
side at Upton Park. Valencia scored the opening goal in that game as the
Hammers spurned a two-goal advantage but he has since been assessed by a
consultant and Stijn Vandenbroucke, the club's head of medical and sports
science, revealed he will be out for an extended period. "Enner visited the
consultant on Monday morning, when we discussed the results of the scans he
underwent on the injury last Friday," he told the club's official website.
"The outcome is that there is now a very small chance that he will need an
operation and that we instead hope to treat the injury to his fibula using
conservative treatment, which we hope to start in three weeks.
"We will know for sure whether or not Enner will need an operation next
week, but if everything goes to plan we hope that he will be available for
selection again within 10 to 12 weeks. "Enner will spend the next three
weeks in a walking boot and using crutches, after which we will start his

With club-record signing Andy Carroll also ruled out through injury, Hammers
manager Slaven Bilic is likely to try and sign another attacking player
before the transfer window closes. Bilic has Diafra Sakho, Mauro Zarate and
Mobido Maiga to choose from for the Europa League return leg in Romania and
their Premier League opener against Arsenal on Sunday.

West Ham Premier League season preview 2015/16
Last Updated: 03/08/15 4:08pm

All the transfer news, statistics, pundit views and odds ahead of West Ham's
2015/16 season.

Position last season: 12th

Sky Bet title odds: 2500-1

Ins: Darren Randolph (Birmingham City), Pedro Obiang (Sampdoria), Dimitri
Payet (Marseille), Angelo Ogbonna (Juventus), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal,
loan), Manuel Lanzini (Al-Jazira, loan), George Dobson (Arsenal)

Outs: Dan Potts (Luton Town), Paul McCallum (Leyton Orient), Carlton Cole,
Guy Demel, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Nene (all released), Stewart Downing


Having kicked off their Europa League qualifying campaign in the middle of
July, West Ham's season is already well underway in what has been a summer
of change at the club.

Slaven Bilic has taken the hot seat after West Ham's dismal finish to the
2014/15 campaign under Sam Allardyce, and the Croat has been heavily backed
in the transfer market. Winger Dimitri Payet and defender Angelo Ogbonna are
the most expensive of their new arrivals, and old heads such as Stewart
Downing, Carlton Cole and Jussi Jaaskelainen have been shown the door.

The Hammers are aiming high ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium in
2016, but Bilic will have to juggle domestic commitments with the
energy-sapping demands of Europa League football in order to meet the club's
expectations of a top-10 finish.

Stuart Pearce's view: "I think they'll have a very solid season. Starting in
the Europa League will probably help them hit the ground running. When I
played for West Ham we were in the Europa League and we started very well
fitness-wise and form-wise. Some people suggest it hinders the team, but I
don't think so. "I think the supporters will embrace BIlic going in as an
ex-player. I think they're looking at a good season. They will be looking
for a decent run in the cups and probably finishing in the top half."

Stuart Pearce's one to watch: "Winston Reid. They've secured him on a new
contract and I think it's important he has a good season at the back for

Opta stats

- West Ham have ended their last 23 top-flight seasons with a negative goal

- No player assisted as many Ligue 1 goals in 2014-15 as Dimitri Payet (17).

- Last season, Mark Noble became West Ham's highest ever Premier League
appearance maker (currently on 222).

Doctors say Valenicia injuries don't need surgery
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

Crocked Enner Valencia has revealed he won't need surgery on the knee and
ankle injuries he suffered against FC Astra last Thursday night. Early fears
voiced to ClaretandHugh that he faced a six month lay off have eased and the
Ecuadorian international is now hoping for a return to action by November.
After a visit to a consultant specialist this morning, Valencia took to
Instagram to announce: "I would like to thank everyone for the support and
the affection shown on this difficult moment. "Thank God, today I received
great news as I won't need surgery, all the best!"

The club has still not said when they expect Valencia to return – and with
record signing, Andy Carroll, also out injured, boss Slaven Bilic remains
desperate for reinforcements to his frontline.

Jimenez appeal outcome hit by Home Office delays
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham will not discover the outcome of their work permit appeal for
Atletico Madird striker Raul Jimenez until later this week at the earliest.

Although the 24-year-old is a regular in the Mexican national team, new FIFA
guidelines mean he does not automatically qualify for a UK work permit.

As a result, West Ham's disappointed top brass are appealing to the Home
Office in a bid to reverse a decision to reject the player's application to
be allowed to reside in the UK – but they will be forced to swat it out
until the end of the week to see if the authorities are prepared to do a

A Hammers insider told ClaretandHugh: "The appeal will be heard later this
week. The FA merely give us the result, you don't get personal hearings

Dicks offers hope to Irons 'forgotten man' Obiang
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

Julian Dicks has indicated Irons 'forgotten midfielder' Pedro Obiang may be
ready to take his place in the squad for the Premier League clash against
Arsenal on Sunday. Summer signing Obiang, who joined the Hammers from Serie
A outfit Sampdoria, has had a knee injury that has meant he's only been able
to complete only a few pre-season minutes – but Dicks is hoping he'll come
into the reckoning for the clash at the Emirates. Dicks cleared up
suggestions that Obiang may not be a part of the plans when asked on Twitter
when he would be ready to take his place in the team. "Maybe this week,"
revealed the Hammers coach.

Europa League: Thursday's predicted line-up
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

Slaven Bilic looks set to stick with his clear first team choices for
Thursday's Europa League trip to Romania, as the Hammers attempt to secure a
win against FC Astra. The manager faces seriously selection dilemma for a
game the team has to win if they are to progress in Europe, given the two
goals FC Astra secured in the draw at the Boleyn. And with a growing feeling
inside the club that Europa is becoming a luxury we can barely afford, Bilic
– whilst putting out as strong a team as possible – is likely to play it
safe! Although no squad will be named for a couple of days, insiders believe
that the Slav will go with the likes of Diego Poyet, Morgan Amalfitano and
Kevin Nolan for the qualifying game.

ClaretandHugh was told this morning: "We have had three fine nights of
European football, but it's come at an awful price – with Enner Valencia's
injury. The manager has now been forced to change his entire approach
towards this and the start of the season after the 2-2 draw at the Boleyn.
"We see him taking no risks whatsoever with any of those who will feature
either in the team or on the bench at the Emirates."Carl Jenkinson is set
for an outing given that his loan agreement doesn't allow him to play
against Arsenal, and we expect the team for Thursday night to look something
like this:

Randolph; Jenkinson, Burke, Henry, Page; Amalfitano, Oxford, Poyet, Nolan,
Jarvis, Maiga.

But the manager may give Manuel Lanzini another chance to impress after
making his debut in Sunday's friendly against Werder Bremen.


Sakho predicts big Payet partnership
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 2, 2015 in News, Whispers

Diafra Sakho reckons he and Dimitri Payet will provide a prolific goal
scoring partnership for the Irons this season. The Senegal hitman got on the
end of a delicately threaded Payet ball into the box to give the Hammers
lead against Werder Bremen before they were beaten 2-1. And afterwards 'Sak'
told West Ham TV "He [Payet] always creates goals, whether that's for me on
Sunday or Valencia last time. "He's always there to give those assists. I
think he'd prefer to give the passes than even score his own goals and we're
there to take advantage of it. "If you have a player like him, you've got to
make the most of it and try to score as many goals as possible. I hope
that's the first assist and he's going to have plenty more. "Above all, it
was a good cross, and as I had taken two steps forward, I was telling myself
I was just trying to guide the ball towards goal and that's what I managed
to do. Two Anthony Ujah's goals denied the Irons but Sakho said: "I think
overall we played well, it was another opportunity to prepare. "Though we
lost on Sunday, I think we did some good things, and we have to stress those
good things for the league season to come."

Striker Deal Done, According To Reports
Posted by whufc_news@hotmail.com on August 1, 2015 in News, Transfer Rumours

West Ham United have agreed a loan deal to sign Atletico Madrid forward Raul
Jimenez on a season-long loan deal, according to Spanish source AS. The
Hammers are in the market for two new strikers, following the news of Enner
Valencia's long-term injury, and the 24 year-old Mexican is on the verge of
becoming the club's 9th signing of the summer transfer window. There have
been some suggestions that West Ham will be signing Jimenez permanently, but
those reports are wide of the mark, as Atletico do not want to sell the
player. It is believed that the deal will go through once the player has
been granted a work permit.

Reid back in the frame
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

Winston Reid is set to be fit for the opening Premier League season at
Arsenal next Sunday. The Kiwi has been missing from recent games after
picking up a knock in training and has missed several pre season games as a
result. But coach Julian Dicks has reported he's ready to start training
which is great news for Slaven Bilic whose central defensive pairing
preference looks likely to be him and Angel Ogbonna. There's an outside
chance that with With James Collins and James Tomkins suspended in Europe,
Reid could be drafted into the team for the second leg Europa Cup clash
against FC Astra on Thursday night. However, boss Bilic may well decide to
'mix and match' in Romania and make Arsenal a clear priority.

Hammers to appeal work permit
Posted by Sean Whetstone on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

The Sun are reporting that West Ham are lodging an appeal in an attempt to
get Raul Jimenez a work permit. They also claim the Hammers will pay
Atletico Madrid a £1.4m fee for a season long loan. Despite Jimenez being a
regular for the Mexican national team, new guidelines implemented by The FA
mean that the 24-year-old will not automatically qualify for a work permit
and West Ham are appealing that decision. Jimenez has scored one goal in 28
games for Atletico, but his record of 39 goals in 102 games for Club America
and 8 in 36 games for Mexico is what interests the Hammers.

Noble stays positive for Astra and Gunners clashes
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in News, Whispers

Mark Noble has shrugged off the friendly defeat inflicted by Werder Bremen –
and is focusing on a very big week for the club. The popular midfielder
believes there was much to admire in the team's first half performance
against the highly-rated Bundesliga outfit, even though the Hammer's
eventually lost Sunday's pre-season game 2-1. "I wouldn't say we were
disappointed with the result against Werder Bremen," said Noble. "The
pre-season results don't really matter. Having said that, nobody likes to
lose as we're all professionals. "We lost a couple to injury in the run up
to last Thursday's game at home to Astra – but I'm sure we'll get them back
soon." Speaking to the club's website, the midfielder added: "We travel to
Romania on Wednesday morning to play Astra the following day, and then it's
Arsenal on Sunday for the big one, which we're all looking forward to.
"We've got good enough players to go to Romania and win the game
comfortably. What the manager does about the team I don't know as we've got
Arsenal on Sunday, so what team he picks is down to him."

Irons Euro campaign or PL? Not even a contest
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 3, 2015 in Hugh's Blogs, News, Whispers

And so the Euro debate rages on – should Slav throw his first teamers into
the action on Thursday evening in Romania or save them for the Arsenal game
on Sunday. As far as I'm concerned it's a no brainer and as soon as we are
free of this competition the better for all concerned. We've had three
European nights at the old lady, have suffered a major injury, blooded some
youngsters in competitive football and shown that even old campaigners like
James Collins can get themselves sent off – probably unfairly – and in silly
circumstances. In other words – a mixed bag

Meanwhile a new manager is attempting to get everybody fit and develop a
system of play where the Premier League is unquestionably his and everybody
else's priority. To see it differently is for me entirely unrealistic and
on a scale of one to ten in terms of importance the Arsenal match gets an 11
in my world. It's been demonstrated on enough occasions that participating
in this competition can damage the Premier League chances of teams – ask
Everton and Spuds fans. I believe we have a really good squad this season
but I really don't think it's strong enough to cope with the demands of a
prolonged European campaign which in the end will only bite us on the bum. I
always want West Ham to win. But if we do fail on Thursday night I can't
help but believe t will be a blessing in disguise.

West Ham 'close in on transfer of Barcelona midfielder Alen Halilovic'
Louis Sealey for Metro.co.uk
Monday 3 Aug 2015 7:20 pm

West Ham are reportedly close to sealing the transfer of Barcelona
midfielder Alen Halilovic in a deal worth £5million. Halilovic, 19, is yet
to make a first team appearance for the La Liga champions but has impressed
several clubs with consistent performances for Barcelona B and Croatia. With
regular first team football still beyond his reach at Barcelona, Halilovic
is said to want a move and the Hammers are in pole position to secure his
services. According to Spanish outlet Sport, a deal worth around £5million
is close to completion with all parties set to benefit from the deal.

Diafra Sakho believes West Ham signings have added quality to squad
Sean Lunt

The Hammers have been busy this summer and the striker is pleased with their
business. West Ham striker Diafra Sakho has told the club's official website
that the quality of the club's signings is more important than the quantity.
The Hammers have been busy in this transfer market so far, with new manager
Slaven Bilic having brought in a number of new faces to reinvigorate his
squad. So far, Dimitri Payet seems to be the most exciting of those players
given his performances in pre-season so far but the likes of Angelo Ogbonna,
Manuel Lanzini and Pedro Obiang have all added serious competition to the
West Ham side. And Sakho believes that new level of competition will push
everyone to do better next season as they seek to guarantee a place in the
first team. "It's the quality that counts, the quality that we're able to
make the most of," he told whufc.com. "It's also good that there's a little
more competition for everyone, it's going to push everyone to give their 100
per cent to try to play."

While West Ham have been so busy this summer, it is fair to say they still
need a couple of more signings ahead of the new season. It is something
clearly in their thinking as well, with owner David Gold having told Sky
Sports that they are now targeting another striker as well as trying to
secure a deal for Alex Song. The striker position will likely be the most
prevalent of those positions, with Enner Valencia having picked up and
injury and Andy Carroll still not fit. Who they can target though is a big
question, with the market being short on top forwards.
Charlie Austin looks the most likely target, but his big asking price may
prove a stumbling block in any move. If the Hammers would be willing to meet
that, is yet to be seen.

West Ham 'to force through transfer of QPR striker Charlie Austin, £15m deal
Louis Sealey for Metro.co.uk
Monday 3 Aug 2015 9:52 am

West Ham have stepped up their interest in Charlie Austin and intend to land
the QPR striker this week, according to reports. New Hammers boss Slaven
Bilic is desperate to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new season
after Enner Valencia was ruled out until Christmas with a knee and ankle
injury. With Andy Carroll also sidelined until October West Ham have yet
again turned their attentions to Austin, who they have been linked with all
summer. The Mirror report that the east London outfit will offer QPR winger
Matt Jarvis as bait to secure the deal, while a fee in the region of
£15million is wanted by Rangers. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals last
season and sat out of QPR's friendly against Atalanta yesterday amid
speculation of a move.

West Ham morning news: David Gold gives transfer update, double injury boost
Subhankar Mondal

West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has told Sky Sports that the club are
keen on signing a new striker this summer. Star forward Enner Valencia will
miss the start of the 2015-16 season due to a leg injury he suffered during
a Europa League qualifier on Thursday. "We were already believing that we
required another striker in the squad and we'll be doing everything in our
power to bring in the best players we can," Gold told Sky Sports. Gold has
also said that West Ham want to sign Alex Song from Barcelona before the
summer transfer window slams shut next month. The former Arsenal defensive
midfielder played on loan for the Hammers last season. Song did well for the
London outfit during the 2014-15 campaign, and Gold wants to sign the
27-year-old on a permanent contract from Spanish and European champions
Barcelona. "We enjoyed Alex Song's contribution last season but these things
are ongoing," said the 78-year-old. "We're not panicking, we're not going to
do poor deals. We're going to do sensible deals."

Fitness boost

West Ham have received a double injury boost ahead of upcoming games against
Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League qualifying and Arsenal in the Premier
League. According to the club's first-team coach Julian Dicks, summer
signing Pedro Obiang could be fit to play this week. Dicks has also stated
on social networking site Twitter that New Zealand international defender
Winston Reid will return to training today.

Michael Oliver

West Ham have made an enquiry to signing QPR midfielder Leroy Fer this
summer. Sports Mole, who quote Sky Sports, say that West Ham are pursuing a
deal for the Dutch international midfielder, who made 31 appearances for
Rangers last season which saw them relegated to the Championship. Sky
Sports, who quote the Guardian, say that the 25-year-old is also being
looked at by Sunderland on a season-long loan deal for another crack at the
Premier League. West Ham are still trying to sign Alex Song from Barcelona
this summer to add to their midfield depth, but are waiting the green light
from the La Liga side to complete the deal having already agreed terms to a
contract with the Cameroonian. Esteban Cambiasso has also been mentioned as
a possible target for the Hammers, but that deal has reached a dead end.
While Alex Song remains a Barcelona player, and Pedro Obiang injured for the
time behind, a deal to sign Leroy Fer would be very timely indeed.

West Ham are battling Sampdoria for the signing of Atalanta striker German
Denis this summer.

West Ham are in a real battle to sign Atalanta striker German Denis this
summer. According to Italian source TMW, fellow Serie A side Sampdoria have
registered their interest in signing the former Argentine international
striker before the end of the transfer window. A prior report stated that
Atalanta may be forced to sell their main striker this summer, as they are
strapped for cash and could sell Denis for a cut-price fee as a result. The
33-year-old has 69 goals in 226 Serie A appearances for Atalanta, and is
being looked at by West Ham as a back up for crocked strikers Enner Valencia
and Andy Carroll. Enner Valencia looks set to miss at least five months of
football as it's been reported today that the Ecuadorian will be out until
the New Year through a severe knee and ankle injury suffered against FC
Astra; Andy Carroll is still on the road to recovery from an MCL tear he
picked up against Southampton back in February.

West Ham 'close' to sealing surprise Ligue 1 striker swoop
By James Jones - Aug 2, 2015 0

West Ham are hoping to complete a deal for Paris Saint-Germain striker Jean
Christophe Bahebeck, according to Metro. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is in
urgent need of a striker after Enner Valencia was ruled out for up to six
months with knee and ankle injuries earlier this week. And despite rumours
of a move for QPR's Charlie Austin and Atletico Madrid's Raul Jimenez, Metro
claim the Irons are close to agreeing a loan move for the 22-year-old. The
striker has made 34 first team appearances for the Ligue 1 giants but has
struggled to force his way into a regular starting spot with ahead of Zlatan
Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. Bahebeck scored two and provided three
assists in 15 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG. The French youngster is quick and
powerful and would certainly offer a different dimension to Bilic's
attacking line…

West Ham hit by injury crisis after Enner Valencia faces long lay-off
PUBLISHED: 00:03, Mon, Aug 3, 2015 | UPDATED: 05:24, Mon, Aug 3, 2015

The Ecuador international damaged knee and ankle ligaments in the Hammers'
2-2 Europa League draw with Astra Giurgiu on Thursday. At first it was
thought the injury was not serious but scans today are set to confirm he
will not be fit to play until early December.

Dave Sullivan tweets Ravel Morrison asking him to re-join West Ham
Tim Poole

In a strange social media move, David Sullivan's son contacted the former
West Ham midfielder. The son of West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has
pleaded with Ravel Morrison on Twitter for a return to the Hammers. Indeed,
Morrison enjoyed some iconic moments at Upton Park, most notably his
wondergoal during a 3-0 derby win over Tottenham Hotspur. He never quite cut
it at West Ham in terms of consistency, however, and his character has badly
let him down at every club he has been at. Nevertheless, Dave Sullivan (Jr)
messaged the 22-year-old on social media to ask him back to east London.

?@DaveSulley @morrisonravel come back please Rav X

The co-owner's son may have been serious or joking but, considering the fact
Jack Sullivan has a column for West Ham's official website, the actions of
the co-owner's children are well publicised and his Morrison request is
certainly an odd one. Queens Park Rangers head of football operations Les
Ferdinand recently admitted the west London side did try to bring Morrison
to Loftus Road this summer, according to GetWestLondon. West Ham, meanwhile,
will no doubt need all the support they can get in terms of squad depth this
season. But would the enigmatic Morrison really ever be the answer for the
Hammers again?



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