Friday, September 2

Daily WHUFC News - 2nd September 2016

Arbeloa - I'm fit and I feel ready

Alvaro Arbeloa revealed that a glowing report from Croatia star Luka Modric
helped convince him to join West Ham United. The highly-decorated former
Liverpool, Real Madrid and Spain full-back has linked up with the Hammers on
a one-year deal. FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship and UEFA
Champions League winner Arbeloa told West Ham TV the advice given to him by
former teammate Modric to work under Slaven Bilic was key to his decision to
return to the Premier League.

Alvaro Arbeloa, welcome to West Ham United. What is your reaction to joining
the Hammers?

AA: "I am really happy to be here in a great Club in a great league. I'm
really happy to be back in England and, for me, it's a great chance and I'm
looking forward to playing with this side."

You have had a look around London Stadium, seeing the pitch and the dressing
room, so what do you think of your new home?

AA: "The Stadium is amazing. It's really nice and looks fantastic. Hopefully
I'm going to see the Stadium full with all our fans and I'm really happy to
be here."

You had interest from some big clubs in La Liga and Serie A, so why did you
choose West Ham United over those clubs?

AA: "For me, this is a great chance to be back in England and in the Premier
League, which is a fantastic league and I want to put myself in the Premier
League again. This is a big Club and a great Club with good players and a
fantastic coach."

You spoke to Slaven Bilic on the telephone before signing, so what was his
message to you?

AA: "Slaven wants to see me training as soon as possible. I was talking with
[Real Madrid midfielders and Croatia internationals] Luka Modric and Matteo
Kovacic and they told me good things about the coach, so I want to work with
him and hopefully I can learn a lot of things."

We also have exciting midfielders here at West Ham among a squad of talented
players. What do you make of the team you are joining?

AA: "I think West Ham did a really good season last year and it was a little
bit sad about the Europa League, but we have to look forward and we have a
really good squad with amazing players and we have to fight for everything."

You will have faced Sofiane Feghouli in Spain, and his arrival among others
shows the ambition of West Ham?

AA: "Yes, as I told you before I think we have really good players in the
squad, with two players for every position. It's a really strong squad, so I
think we can beat every team."

You played in the Premier League before with Liverpool and then spent seven
years with Real Madrid, so presumably you are ready for a new challenge back
in England?

AA: "I've been in Real Madrid for seven years and now I'm back in England
and I'm very happy to be here again. Everything has changed a little bit,
but I'm really happy to be in London. I think the level of the Premier
League this year is amazing, not just for the players but also for the
coaches and I think one of the reasons to be here is that level of the
Premier League."

You are used to challenging for titles every year, but what do you think
West Ham can achieve this season?

AA: "I think we have to be a better team than last year and that is our
target. We have a good squad and we have to fight every week to beat the
other teams. Why can't we finish in a better position than last year?"

We are told you keep yourself very fit and even do triathlons for fun…

AA: "I need two or three weeks to be really fit because I have been training
on my own, which is different. You can see I feel really, really well and
I'm excited to play for this team. I have been training and I feel ready."

Summer transfer window round-up

With manager Slaven Bilic keen to strengthen his squad in several key areas,
West Ham United signed a total of 12 players over the course of the summer
transfer window.

Algeria winger Sofiane Feghouli arrived from Spanish club Valencia on a free
transfer early in the transfer window. Feghouli announced himself with an
early goal too, in West Ham's 3-0 home UEFA Europa League win over NK

18-year-old Spanish striker Toni Martinez, like Feghouli, made the move from
Valencia to east London, and the U17 international has since scored four
goals in five matches for Terry Westley's Development Squad.

West Ham beat off competition from several major European sides to secure
the signature of midfielder Havard Nordtveit. The Norwegian international
was signed on a free transfer after his contract expired at German side
Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Club had also been working hard behind the scenes worked to recruit top
young European talent, in the form of highly-rated U17 Portugal forward
Domingos Quina, who arrived on a free transfer.

It wasn't long before West Ham were able to announce the season-long loan of
Turkish winger Gokhan Tore, who joins after starring in Besiktas' 2015/16
league-winning campaign. Tore's loan could become permanent, with a deal
for £10million on the table.

The deals continued with the free transfer of Englishman Ashley Fletcher
from Manchester United, who has already begun to win over the West Ham
faithful with several bright performances.

The Club then announced the £20.5 million record signing of Andre Ayew. The
versatile forward made his debut against in our Premier League opening
fixture at Stamford Bridge, where he suffered an unfortunate injury setback.
The Ghana international is expected to be out for around four months.

Frenchman Arthur Masuaku also arrived at Upton Park in time to make his bow
against Chelsea. The pacey left-back was signed for a fee of £6.2 million
from Greek champions Olympiacos.

22-year-old Argentine striker Jonathan Calleri was next to land at Chadwell
Heath, on a season-long loan move from Deportivo Maldonado and the prolific
South American soon made his debut against Astra Giurgiu.

Creative midfielder Edimilson Fernandes was dramatically announced on-pitch
at London Stadium before West Ham's Europa League econd leg clash with Astra
Giurgiu. The Swiss star departed former club Sion to make his way to London.

Italy striker Simone Zaza was next to put pen to paper – having already
scored at London Stadium in pre-season for Juventus. The 25-year-old joins
for an initial £4.3m loan fee, with a permanent deal a likely option.

Our final summer transfer signing arrived in the shape of former Spanish
World Cup winner Alvaro Arbeloa. The ex-Liverpool full-back will be the
seventh Spaniard to appear in a West Ham shirt.

Players to have departed the Club this window include Elliot Lee, Joey
O'Brien and James Tomkins. Several players have left on loan deals including
Enner Valencia, Doneil Henry George Dobson, Stephen Hendrie, Kyle Knoyle,
Josh Cullen, Josh Pask, Lewis Page, Martin Samuelsen and Reece Burke.

From the Boardroom - David Sullivan

The transfer window is now closed and we are delighted that we have been
able to bring in 13 players who will hopefully make our squad even stronger.
Before the deadline day on Wednesday we had an unbalanced squad and we
needed to change a few things around. The decision has now been made that
Michail Antonio will play as a winger after originally starting the season
as a right back. As a result we had to move out a winger, getting a £1.5m
loan fee plus wages covered on Enner Valencia, and have brought in a full
back to compete with and help Sam Byram. We explored all avenues and managed
to secure the signature of one of the more experienced full backs in the
world and one with Premier League experience. He is ideally a few weeks away
from playing in a game as he has not trained with a team since May and needs
more game time. This has been a big few days for the Club following the
signing of Simone Zaza from Juventus over the weekend. Zaza could become one
of the major stars and we saw his qualities when he came came on and scored
at London Stadium a few weeks ago. He's fit and ready to play. We expect him
to lead the line against Watford. Our Club record signing Andre Ayew is also
a great signing. We are just unlucky with his injury. He is a player that is
never usually injured, but he is progressing very well and we hope he might
be back sometime in October or early November, a lot earlier than was
initially anticipated.

Premier League squad finalised

In line with Premier League rules, West Ham United have submitted the list
of players who can feature for the Club in Premier League action until the
end of December. In addition to an unlimited number of Under-21 players of
any nationality, West Ham can field any of these 16 overseas and nine
home-grown senior players in top-flight fixtures.

West Ham have filled 16 of the spots for foreign-bred Over-21 players with
the following players:

2 Winston Reid
5 Alvaro Arbeloa
7 Sofiane Feghoili
8 Cheikhou Kouyate
10 Manuel Lanzini
11 Simone Zaza
13 Adrian
14 Pedro Obiang
15 Diafra Sakho
17 Gokhan Tore
20 Andre Ayew
21 Angelo Ogbonna
26 Arthur Masuaku
27 Dimitri Payet
28 Jonathan Calleri
34 Raphael Speigel

The nine homegrown players in our squad are:

1 Darren Randolph
3 Aaron Cresswell
4 Havard Nordtveit
9 Andy Carroll
16 Mark Noble
19 James Collins
22 Sam Byram
30 Michail Antonio
Sam Westley

In addition, all under-21 professionals with the Hammers, including the
likes of Reece Oxford, Ashley Fletcher and Marcus Browne are eligible to
feature for the Club in the Premier League.

West Ham owner David Sullivan says decision made to only play Michail
Antonio as a winger
By James Dale
Last Updated: 01/09/16 4:33pm

Michail Antonio will be a winger for West Ham, David Sullivan has confirmed,
despite starting the season at right-back.

Hammers' manager Slaven Bilic had been deploying Antonio at full-back in
their opening Premier League fixtures, with the 26-year-old earning a debut
call up to the England squad in Sam Allardyce's first England squad.

Bilic suggested Antonio could develop into a right-back similar to that of
Manchester United's Antonio Valencia after he scored the winner in West
Ham's 1-0 win over Bournemouth in August, but the club moved to bring in
former Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa on Transfer Deadline Day.

And after the Spaniard's arrival, the club's owner Sullivan has announced a
decision has been taken to play Antonio only as a winger from now on.

"Before the Deadline Day on Wednesday we had an unbalanced squad and we
needed to change a few things around," Sullivan told the club's official

"The decision has now been made that Michail Antonio will play as a winger
after originally starting the season as a right-back.

"As a result we had to move out a winger, getting a £1.5m loan fee plus
wages covered on Enner Valencia, and have brought in a full-back to compete
with and help Sam Byram.

"We explored all avenues and managed to secure the signature of one of the
more experienced full-backs in the world and one with Premier League

After an injury to record-signing Andre Ayew ruled the striker out for up to
four months, West Ham also moved to bring in Simone Zaza from Juventus
before the transfer window closed on Wednesday.

Sullivan believes the 25-year-old Italy international could be a big hit in
the Premier League, and revealed he could make his debut in their next game
against Watford on September 10.

"Zaza could become one of the major stars and we saw his qualities when he
came came on and scored at London Stadium a few weeks ago," Sullivan added.

"He's fit and ready to play. We expect him to lead the line against

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to appeal FA charge of violent conduct
18:25, 1 SEP 2016 UPDATED 18:59, 1 SEP 2016
The Argentine hitman was charged by the FA over an elbowing incident
involving Winston Reid in Sunday's 3-1 win over West Ham
The Mirror

Sergio Aguero is appealing his FA charge of violent conduct - in a bid to
make the Manchester derby. The Manchester City striker was charged by the FA
after an elbow incident involving him and West Ham's Winston Reid in his
side's 3-1 win last Sunday. The incident, after which Reid was seen holding
his neck, was missed by referee Andre Marriner and his fellow officials
during the match. Aguero had until 6pm today to respond to the charge and
sources close to the forward have indicated he will contest the charge. The
28-year-old was handed an extra 24 hours to respond to the misconduct charge
on Wednesday lunchtime, after retrospective action was initiated by the FA
after review by a panel and Aguero was given until 6pm on Wednesday to
reply. An FA commission will make a decision on Friday, but Aguero will not
be making a personal appearance. Aguero could face a three-match ban if
found guilty, ruling him out of the derby against Manchester United on
September 10 as well as a home clash with Bournemouth and EFL Cup tie at
Swansea. The 28-year-old is a fitness doubt for the United game anyway after
he limped out of City's win over West Ham with a calf problem.

West Ham winger Michail Antonio: I couldn't head the ball to save my life
before I joined Nottingham Forest
Evening Standard

West Ham's Michail Antonio has revealed he "couldn't head the ball to save
my life" when he moved to Nottingham Forest. In Europe's top five leagues
only Gareth Bale has scored more goals with his head since the start of the
2015/16 season, when Antonio moved to West Ham, and the 26-year-old has
developed quite the knack for crucial headers. Against Tottenham and
Manchester United last season and in the first Premier League game at the
London Stadium – a victory over Bournemouth – Antonio weighed in with
crucial headed goals. But it was not always such a forte. He told Goal:
"It's been a part of my game that I've worked on a lot because before I went
to Forest I couldn't head the ball to save my life so it was one of those
things where I've kept training on it. "When I was in training I'd ask
people to keep crossing balls in to help work on my technique eventually
I've become quite good at it." Antonio started the season playing at
right-back but Slaven Bilic has swiftly ditched the experiment, which had
been carried over from the previous campaign, signing veteran defender
Alvaro Arbeloa on deadline day in a free transfer. David Sullivan confirmed
this meant the end of Antonio's spell at right-back, writing on the West Ham
website: "The decision has now been made that Michail Antonio will play as a
winger after originally starting the season as a right back. "As a result we
had to move out a winger, getting a £1.5m loan fee plus wages covered on
Enner Valencia, and have brought in a full back to compete with and help Sam
Byram. "We explored all avenues and managed to secure the signature of one
of the more experienced full backs in the world and one with Premier League
experience. "He is ideally a few weeks away from playing in a game as he has
not trained with a team since May and needs more game time."

Why Slaven Bilic's West Ham can ill-afford to regress this season
Contending with ambitious owners, a new stadium and a new waft of
supporters, Slaven Bilic needs West Ham to start winning
sport review
By Paul McNamara
Thursday 1 September 2016, 14:34 UK

Slaven Bilic's task upon taking charge of West Ham last year was a pretty
straightforward one. The Hammers simply had to retain their Premier League
status. Bilic accomplished that particular mission – and then some. So
swiftly did the Croat bed into the job that any doubts surrounding his
appointment were quickly banished. Furthermore, he was an instant hit with
supporters. Bilic's predecessor, Sam Allardyce, by contrast, never won over
the West Ham faithful during four years in charge – even after restoring the
team to the top-flight in his first season at the helm. But while affection
for Allardyce in east London is in short supply, owing to the perceived dour
nature of the football played under his command, his presence removed the
potential for relegation from the Upton Park equation. So the club's owners
– Davids Sullivan and Gold – were rolling the dice when they hired Bilic,
one year before the Hammers' move to the Olympic Stadium. And how the pair's
numbers came up. The new boss started by winning 2-0 at Arsenal and didn't
really look back all season. Bilic's side kept knocking over the big boys –
and in some style, for good measure.

Only defeat in two of their final three games of the campaign restricted the
Hammers to a seventh-placed finish. If they had taken points from those
fixtures at home to Swansea and away at Stoke then West Ham would have been
playing Champions League football in their new home. The margins are fine,
then. But from an alternative perspective, Bilic and his team had nothing
tangible to show for their efforts across nine months, bar qualification for
the initial stages of the Europa League. An FA Cup quarter-final was the
best of it in the three knockout competitions in which they participated.
But none of that really mattered. West Ham; vibrant, invigorating, flexible,
fearless West Ham were going to Stratford as a high-end Premier League club.
And now the dynamic has changed. Being dumped out of European competition by
Astra Giurgiu is no longer written off as an accident. Not when the home tie
against the Romanian minnows was played in front of the best part of 60,000
people. West Ham's Europa League involvement 12 months ago was ended at a
similarly early stage and by the same opponents (incidentally, has a side
ever run into a more peculiar bogey team?). But back then, a continental
campaign was not high on the agenda. More likely, Thursday night football
would have been regarded as the nuisance of common conception.

Now, in their athletics stadium home, West Ham are on a fast track to the
top. They have colossal ground to make up on the Premier League and European
superpowers. Being booed off the field after defeat by the team currently
11th in Romania's 14-team top-flight is no way to start closing the gap.
Bilic has plenty of currency in the bank with his employers. He remains
immensely popular with supporters. And not only supporters of his own club.
Already broadly admired by the wider football public, the 47-year-old was
acclaimed for his insightful, humorous, compelling contributions to ITV's
coverage of this summer's European championship.

Being a first-rate pundit, however, only carries a certain amount of weight
when you're back in the day job. Just ask Gary Neville. Bilic is not going
to come under any overbearing pressure following a one-off European defeat,
one in which he was shorn of a number of his key players, to boot.
Nevertheless, he will know he cannot oversee a period of regression this
season. And the manner in which his first year at the club unfolded actually
serves to place the former Croatia national team boss is in an especially
tricky predicament. He set the bar extremely high with respect to what is
now expected from West Ham in the Premier League. But there is no silverware
to act as a buffer should Bilic's side hit a rocky patch. Lose four or five
league fixtures on the bounce, for example, and a manager able to point to
the previous season's FA Cup in the trophy cabinet will be afforded extra
time to ride out the storm. The Hammers' boss does not have that luxury.

And now he has a raft of new 'customers' to satisfy. A feted former player
at Upton Park – even if his departure for Everton in 1999 was somewhat
acrimonious – Bilic was able to rapidly rekindle his healthy relationship
with the traditional fanbase when he returned after 17 years away. A number
of the people filling those 60,000 seats in the club's cavernous new home,
however, don't have any affinity with the man in the dugout. Hence the
catcalls after Astra's smash and grab act. Four days earlier West Ham had
beaten Bournemouth 1-0 in the same stadium. It was a stodgy affair, settled
by a late Michail Antonio goal. Waiting 85 minutes for the first telling
penalty box action wasn't what a section of the paying punters had in mind
for their Sunday afternoon and, again, they let the home players know it.

Messrs Sullivan and Gold would have been rather more forgiving on that
occasion. But the degree to which they are backing their manager in the
transfer market dictates that the joint-chairmen's patience is unlikely to
be boundless. Plenty of teams will be turned over at Manchester City this
season, just as West Ham were on Sunday. But on the near horizon is a run of
games the club's supporters and owners – and one suspects Bilic and his
players – will consider winnable. The Hammers next encounter Watford, West
Brom, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Sunderland – all before
the end of October.

With the arrival of Juventus's Italian international striker Simone Zaza on
loan, the manager has now made 10 stellar additions to last season's squad –
albeit he has already lost Andre Ayew to injury. With such a strong hand at
his disposal, then, the amiable Bilic must emerge from the next couple of
months with his team in good shape. Anything else and 'Super Slav' will be
in some bother before the clocks go back. He achieved everything asked of
him and plenty more in his first year as West Ham's manager. Now Slaven
Bilic is back at ground zero, having to do it all over again.

Enner Valencia announced as new Swansea player - after he'd already signed
for Everton
13:10, 1 SEP 2016 UPDATED 13:11, 1 SEP 2016
New Blues striker unwittingly at centre of embarrassing mix-up for Premier
League rivals

It was almost like deadline day hadn't even happened. Click on to the
official Swansea City website this morning, and you'd have seen the Welsh
side proudly announcing the signing of Enner Valencia. Which was lovely,
except for one tiny problem. He'd already signed for Everton .
Swansea were clearly so confident of snapping up the Ecuadorian on a
season-long loan that they'd already given the green light for their website
to write up a profile of the player.
The article was dated as being published at 8pm last night, and went live –
albeit only briefly – earlier this morning. Of course, at that point last
night Swansea were closing in on signing the 26-year-old striker, who'd
already featured six times for West Ham United this season. But once Everton
made a move, Valencia's head was turned and Goodison not the Liberty Stadium
was his destination. The article on the Swansea website begins: "Enner
Valencia is nicknamed Superman in South America. Now comes the challenge of
spreading his hero status to South Wales." He'll do well to do that now,

Alvaro Arbeloa is the ultimate workaholic who divided the Spain dressing
room… but will he prove a success at West Ham United?
Spaniard Alvaro Arbeloa, 33, won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012
He has since fallen out with ex-team-mates Iker Casillas and Gerard Pique
The right back has been one of Jose Mourinho's most loyal foot soldiers
Ex-Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement called him a model professional
The former Liverpool man joined West Ham United on deadline day
PUBLISHED: 12:13, 1 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:17, 1 September 2016

He won a World Cup and a European Championship with Spain but subsequently
fell-out with the team-mates he celebrated those triumphs with. Gerard Pique
referred to him as a training cone and Iker Casillas, whose hand he
accidentally broke during one match, also ended on bad terms with him. He
has been one of Jose Mourinho's most loyal foot soldiers and defends him to
this day. He is something of a cult figure among some Madrid fans although
others argue his defence of Mourinho was better than his defending at the
Santiago Bernabeu. Alvaro Arbeloa divides opinion and has been hero and
villain in equal measure in a career that has also seen him man-mark Lionel
Messi in a Liverpool win over Barcelona and win La Liga and two Spanish
Cups. In 2015, I asked then-Real Madrid assistant coach Paul Clement who
Real's model professional, best trainer was. 'Alvaro Arbeloa,' he said
without missing a beat. 'Play, train, day off - 'no, I'm coming in boss','
he told me mimicking Arbeloa's attitude. 'I can think of a recent example,
and this isn't the only time it's happened. The coach [Carlo Ancelotti]
says: 'right really good night tonight you can have a day off tomorrow'.
'And then all of a sudden the six subs are saying 'I want to come in and
work.' And that has happened on multiple occasions and is really driven by
players like Arbeloa.' That work-rate is probably the reason why Arbeloa has
had the career that he has. His talent alone never looked like making him a
world-beater but a world-beater he became in 2010 when he was part of the
Spain squad that won the World Cup in South Africa. And while it's true that
he barely played during Spain's journey to the final it was a very different
story two years later when he started all of his country's Euro 2012 games
including the final when they thrashed Italy 4-0.
He was fortunate to be around at a time when great right backs were thin on
the ground. He might struggle now competing with Hector Bellerin, Juanfran,
Sergio Roberto and Dani Carvajal. But opportunity knocked and he was ready.
Not that there will be too many long lunches with Iker Casillas or Gerard
Pique in his retirement, recalling how they became the best team on the
planet. Arbeloa fell out with both as his career wound down. 'El no es amigo
mio, es un conocido,' said Pique in one press conference. That translates
as: 'He is not my friend, he's an acquaintance,' but the joke was in the way
he said 'conocido' the Spanish word for acquaintance. He pronounced it
'cono-cido' and 'cono' means cone, training-cone in this case. The pair are
both active on social media; Pique is never slow to ridicule Real Madrid and
Arbeloa was always quick to defend his colours. 'He'll be on 'Club de
Comedia' next week' he had said earlier, referring to Spain's stand-up
comedy show. Both are wind-up merchants and a long-lunch, should they ever
call a genuine truce, would probably be a lot of fun. The fall-out with
Casillas always seemed more serious, and something that simmered for years
as the Real Madrid dressing room came down against, or for, manager
Mourinho. Arbeloa loved the current Manchester United manager; Casillas
couldn't stand him. The pair's relationship was not helped when Arbeloa
completely accidentally went to clear a loose ball in a game against
Valencia and broke Casillas' hand keeping him out of action for weeks, and
inadvertently helping Mourinho who wanted to replace his goalkeeper anyway.
Arbeloa carried out his coach's orders to the letter and Mourinho liked
that. The player liked Mourinho because he appealed to his sense of soldiers
standing shoulder to shoulder in the trenches. 'He was a like a
bullet-proof vest for us at first' he said. 'He fights for the interests of
the team without bothering about the fact that in the end his image is
damaged because of it.' When I put it to him once that he had had to
separate Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo in a dressing room scrap when things
at Madrid really did descend into a dark chaos, he didn't deny it, saying:
'When a coach is long enough at a club there are always flare-ups. It always
happens in football and it happened with Mourinho'. So he has not always
been the fire-starter; sometimes he has extinguished the blazes in a
volatile dressing room.
West Ham United will now want him to put fires out on the pitch. Can he do
it? He only made nine appearances last season and directors at Real Madrid
had taken to referring to him as an 'ex-footballer' although they admired
him for other reasons, and made sure he was given a big send off in his last
game for the club. An ex-footballer for Madrid doesn't have to be an
ex-footballer for West Ham. His path to the first team at the Bernabeu was
blocked by Spain's current No 1 right back Dani Carvajal. He will bring
massive experience to Slaven Bilic's team and, as current Bayern assistant
coach Clement will attest, a level of professionalism that can't help rub
off on his team-mates.

Samuelsen earns second cap
Posted: Thu 01 Sep 2016

Martin Samuelsen earned his second cap for Norway on Wednesday evening in an
international friendly against Belarus. The Rovers attacker came on in the
62nd minute at the Ullevaal Stadium, moments after Belarus had taken the
lead in Oslo thanks to a strike from Siarhei Krivets. Norway improved in the
closing stages with Samuelsen catching the eye with a rising shot that was
tipped over the bar, but the home side couldn't find an equaliser. The
Norwegians kick off their World Cup qualifying programme this Sunday against
Germany in Oslo. Also in their group are the Czech Republic, Northern
Ireland, Azerbaijan and San Marino.

West Ham FC transfer news: Slaven Bilic blocked late move from Fiorentina
for Pedro Obiang
Pedro Obiang [left] in action for West Ham
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Thursday, September 1, 2016

West Ham rejected a deadline day approach from Fiorentina for Pedro Obiang.
The midfielder has been with the Hammers for a year now after joining from
Sampdoria, but he is yet to secure a regular spot in the first-team. And,
according to Corriere Fiorentino, La Viola tried to use the 24-year-old's
uncertain situation to lure him to Italy. The Serie A side offered to take
Obiang on loan for the season before buying him outright next summer for
£4.6m. However, West Ham rejected Fiorentina's proposal after being dismayed
at their refusal to pay a loan fee. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic also
reportedly views Obiang as a useful squad player and was reluctant to lose
him so late in the transfer window

West Ham demanded £100m for Dimitri Payet during the summer transfer window
Evening Standard

David Sullivan demanded £100 million for West Ham's talisman Dimitri Payet
during the transfer window. Jack Sullivan, son of the club's co-owner,
speaking on a radio station, said a club had asked about Payet but things
went quiet after the £100m quote for the France star. Sullivan had put a
similar price tag on Payet, who was being monitored by Paris St Germain and
Real Madrid, in July. Payet cost West Ham £10.7m from Marseille a year ago.
Meanwhile, West Ham's transfer deadline day signing, Alvaro Arbeloa, has
said that a conversation with former Real team-mates Luka Modric and Mateo
Kovacic convinced him to sign for the club. Former Tottenham star Modric and
fellow Croat Kovacic played under West Ham manager Slaven Bilic for the
national team. Former Spain right-back Arbeloa, 33, who has signed a
one-year deal, said: "I talked with Luka and Mateo and they told me good
things about the coach. "I want to work with him and hopefully I can learn
a lot of things."

West Ham stave off Dimitri Payet interest: Club enquired but wouldn't meet
WEST HAM received one approach for talisman Dimitri Payet this summer - but
demanded £100m to let him go.
PUBLISHED: 04:45, Thu, Sep 1, 2016

The Hammers defied the odds to keep their key playmaker during the transfer
window following his impressive form. Payet was named in the PFA Team of the
Year after his debut season in the Premier League and then shone for France
at Euro 2016. Slaven Bilic's side repeatedly made their intentions clear
that the 29-year-old would not be sold ahead of West Ham's move to the
London Stadium. And with the window now closed, Jack Sullivan, co-chairman
David Sullivan's son, revealed only one club was brave enough to enquire
over Payet. Speaking on Essex radio station PhoenixFM last night, Sullivan
said that the Hammers quoted the interested club an asking price of £100m or
otherwise there would be no deal. The world-record fee was not met though to
take Payet away from east London, following his £10.7m arrival from
Marseille just last June. Fear among fans grew with Payet having been
missing from the starting XI during West Ham's opening five competitive
fixtures of the season, but the midfielder has been nursing an injury. And
now, having joined up with the France team over the international break,
coach Didier Deschamps has insisted he is finally over his problem. West
Ham's next fixture comes against Watford in the Premier League on September
10 where Payet is expected to return.


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