Friday, May 26

Daily WHUFC News - 27th May 2017

West Ham United to sign Argentina star Pablo Zabaleta

West Ham United are proud and delighted to announce Pablo Zabaleta as the
Club's first signing of the summer. The highly-decorated and
hugely-experienced Argentina international full-back will join the Hammers
on a two-year deal on 1 July, when his contract with Manchester City
expires. A fine defender and respected leader, Zabaleta won two Premier
League titles and four other trophies during nine outstanding seasons with
the Citizens. Now, he is hoping to bring his wide-ranging and undoubted
qualities to London Stadium, where is looking forward to starting a new and
successful chapter in his storied career in Claret and Blue.

"This is an absolute pleasure to be part of West Ham United Football Club,"
Zabaleta told West Ham TV, while revealing he turned down offers from
leading clubs in Italy, Spain and England to join the Hammers. "I hope I can
give you good moments. Of course, I come to the Club to enjoy myself and
hopefully we can have a very successful time." "Sometimes a new challenge is
all you need as a person and as a player. I thought my time at City was
done. It's been a fantastic nine years, absolutely brilliant. "Manchester
City gave me the opportunity to come to this wonderful league, the Premier
League, something I've been enjoying a lot as a player and of course for me
it was probably the right time to move on. "Also, as a player, I thought I
wanted to keep playing in the Premier League. For me, after being in this
country for so long, this is a new challenge for me in the Premier League
and I'm ready for it and looking forward to it."

Born in the town of Arrecifes, 110 miles north west of Buenos Aires, Pablo
Zabaleta joined the capital city's San Lorenzo club at the age of 12. There,
he racked up nearly 100 appearances by the age of 20, earning a move to the
relative riches of Spanish football and Barcelona-based Espanyol in 2005.

A year later, Zabaleta lifted the Copa del Rey, and two further successful
seasons in La Liga caught the attention of some of Europe's biggest clubs.
In August 2008, he chose to move to Manchester City over Italian giants
Juventus, citing the lure of the Premier League as his major motivation. A
day later, City were taken over by new Abu Dhabi-based owners and the South
American quickly established himself as a key figure in Mark Hughes'
new-look side.

The versatile Zabaleta retained his starting place under Roberto Mancini,
scoring the opening goal in the vital 3-2 final-day win over Queens Park
Rangers that brought a first Premier League title to the club in 2012. Two
years later, he missed just three Premier League matches as City were
crowned champions for a second time. He leaves the Etihad Stadium having
made 332 appearances and scored eleven goals for the Citizens.

At international level, Zabaleta captained Argentina to FIFA World Youth
Championship glory in 2005, won Olympic Gold in Beijing in 2008 and has
appeared at two Copa America and one FIFA World Cup finals. In all, he has
58 caps for his country.

13 things you probably didn't know about Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta's birthplace of Arrecifes is famous for also being the home
town of Formula 1 drivers Jose Froilan Gonzalez and Norberto
Fontana and the Di Palma motor racing dynasty and is known as Argentina's
'Capital of Motorsports'.

Pablo Zabaleta began his career with Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro at
the age of 12 as a midfielder.

After making 79 appearances and scoring eight goals, Pablo Zabaleta moved to
Spanish club RCD Espanyol, where he won the Copa del Rey alongside fellow
Argentinian Maurico Pochettino.

Pablo Zabaleta captained a squad including future national team stars Lionel
Messi, Sergio Aguero and Fernando Gago to the 2005 FIFA World Youth
Championship title.

Pablo Zabaleta has appeared at three different major tournaments for
Argentina – the Olympic Games, Copa America and FIFA World Cup.
Argentina's star-studded 2008 Olympic Gold medal-winning squad included
Pablo Zabaleta, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Juan Roman

Riquelme, Angel Di Maria and former West Ham United midfielder Javier

June 2011 saw Pablo Zabaleta captain Argentina for the first time in a 3-1
victory over Nigeria at the unlikely venue of the Bangabandhu National
Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh!

In May 2012, Pablo Zabaleta opened the scoring in Manchester City's
unforgettable 3-2 final-day victory over Queens Park Rangers that secured
their maiden Premier League titles.

Pablo Zabaleta enjoyed a double personal success at the end of the 2012/13
season, being named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and
Manchester City's Player of the Year.

Pablo Zabaleta has made more Premier League appearances, 230, than any other
Argentinian player.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed the winning feeling in 134 of those matches, and
tasted defeat in just 51.

In 230 Premier League appearances, Pablo Zabaleta has conceded just 209
goals, scored nine himself and kept 72 clean sheets.

Pablo Zabaleta played against West Ham United 12 times during his Manchester
City career, winning nine, drawing one and losing two.

Joint-Chairman hails 'supreme professional' Zabaleta

Joint-Chairman David Sullivan cannot wait to see the effect 'supreme
professional' Pablo Zabaleta has on the West Ham United squad. The
experienced Manchester City and Argentina defender will arrive at London
Stadium on 1 July after agreeing a two-year contract following his departure
from the Citizens. The 32-year-old has developed a reputation for being a
focused and committed professional - an approach which has led to him making
230 Premier League appearances, winning seven major trophies and appearing
in the FIFA World Cup and Copa America finals. The Joint-Chairman is a big
fan of the new No5, and worked around the clock for ten days to secure his
services after learning of his availability. "I have been working on this
solid for the last ten days since Manchester City gave us permission to
speak to the player and I am absolutely delighted that Pablo has agreed to
become a Hammer!" Mr Sullivan enthused. "He is a top player and a supreme
professional. He plays for one of the top countries in the world in
Argentina and he'll be a fantastic addition to our squad. "We are thoroughly
looking forward to seeing not only what Pablo himself can do on the pitch,
but also the positive effect he can have on the promising young players in
our squad, who he will no doubt mentor and guide during his time with us."

Zabaleta is tipped to help young right-back Sam Byram to continue his
promising development after the 23-year-old enjoyed an encouraging finish to
the 2016/17 season. With a host of young centre-backs, including Reece
Oxford, Reece Burke and Declan Rice, also coming through the ranks,
Zabaleta's presence at Rush Green is sure to rub off positively on them.

Written by @DanJamesHill

So after announcing on Thursday that the club is to release Calleri, Tore
and Arbeloa, West Ham today announce their first signing of the transfer
window in Argentinian International Pablo Zabaleta. In my opinion this is an
amazing transfer for the following three reasons:


The player has played at all levels of the game which include over 50 caps
for Argentina. He has honours that include 2 Premier League winners' medals
and an FA Cup winner's medal. This will help our younger players including
Byram and Cresswell to improve their game and learn from this experience.
Oh, and not to forget there is also another certain Argentinian currently on
our payroll who will benefit from another countryman joining.


Zabaleta is known for his dogged style and has captained club, and on
occasions country. This is leadership that West Ham are currently lacking
and in big games could be the difference. Also, if Mark Noble does drop to
the bench next season then he could easily fit into his shoes helping to
raise the team if and when there are difficult situations.


Some may say this is Zabaleta's last pay day but as a free transfer and an
£80K a week salary for two years (option for a third), I find this great
value. Pablo played 31 games for Manchester City (19 League, 5 Cup and 7
Champions League) last season and scored 2 goals, so he is far from past it.

Let's hope this is the first of several impressive signings to be made this

Hammers going black and blue
Filed: Friday, 26th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have released their new away kit for the 2017/18 campaign.
Featuring barely any of the club's traditional claret whatsoever, the club's
new second kit is all black with "bluefish" trim throughout. Priced at £55
for adults and £45 for children, the kit is available to pre-order online
now. The kit will be available in-store at the club's main outlets from 15

Zabaleta signs on
Filed: Friday, 26th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

Pablo Zabaleta has completed his free transfer move to West Ham. The former
Manchester City right back, 32, has signed a two-year contract with the
Hammers after his contract with Manchester City expired at the end of last
season. "It is an absolute pleasure to be part of West Ham," Zabaleta told
the club's website. "I hope I can give you good moments. I'm coming into the
club to enjoy myself and hopefully we can have a very successful time.
"Sometimes a new challenge is all you need as a person and as a player. I
thought my time at City was done. It's been a fantastic nine years,
absolutely brilliant. "Also, as a player, I thought I wanted to keep playing
in the Premier League. For me, after being in this country for so long, this
is a new challenge for me in the Premier League and I'm ready for it and
looking forward to it."
Born in Buenos Aires, Zabaleta began his career at San Lorenzo in 2002
before joining Espanyol three years later. He spent a further three years in
Spain before moving to England in order to join City, in 2008, with whom he
remained until the end of last season.

Iheanacho Becomes Most Expensive Nigerian Player After Man City Accept £24m
Bid From West Ham
May 26, 2017 Nigeria

Kelechi Iheanacho will undergo a medical tomorrow with English Premier
League side West Ham after Manchester City accepted a bid of £24m for his
transfer to the hammers. The price West Ham are paying for his services
makes him the most expensive Nigerian player as his fee eclipsed the 20
million pounds Chanchung Yatai paid for Odion Ighalo for his transfer from
Watford. Iheanacho will team up with West Ham on a permanent deal, with
Manchester City having the option of buying him back after two years
‎according to reports gathered by editorial team. The 20
year old lost his spot at Manchester City following the arrival of Gabriel
Jesus, who pushed him further down the pecking order leading to the forward
missing out on some of the matchday squad of manager Pep Guardiola. His move
will be officially announced tomorrow after a medical which will take place
in France, where he is on duty with the Super Eagles of Nigeria for the
games against Corsica and Togo.

Daniel Martins

Player sales and terminations should boost Slaven Bilic's war chest closer
to £150 million
Damien Lucas

Slaven Bilic should have as much as £150 million to spend reshaping his West
Ham United team this summer. When the Hammers moved from their beloved
Boleyn Ground to the Olympic Stadium, co-owners David Sullivan and David
Gold promised big 'marquee' signings. In reality as one West Ham famously
told a talkSPORT radio phone in earlier this season, 'We got Simone Zaza and
some scaffolding'. Many supporters are sceptical over the intentions of
co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold. Indeed many believe their bluster
about "£35m marquee striker signings" was a ploy to sell season tickets. If
it was, it worked - or certainly helped - as West Ham sold 52,000 season
tickets, second only to Manchester United. With Zaza's loan cancelled
before the £25m obligation to buy clause was activated West Ham never ended
up signing that "marquee" striker. James Tomkins and Dimitri Payet were sold
for a combined £35 million this season while the Hammers announced record
income in their annual accounts last week off the back of the
ever-increasing TV deal. The extra ticket revenue, commercial and
merchandising revenue streams has seen the club enter the prestigious
European Deloitte Football Money League Top 20 for the first time, as
proudly paraded on its official website back in January. Enner Valencia, who
has spent the season on loan at Everton, has impressed and could be set for
a £10m move to Goodison Park this summer.
Meanwhile flop Sofiane Feghouli is an £8m target for Roma and Inter Milan
while the Hammers might cut their losses on record £20.5m signing Andre Ayew
after Marseille were linked with a £25m bid for their former forward. Add in
the fact that Alvaro Arbeloa, Gokhan Tore and Jonathan Calleri have all been
released after the expiration of their respective contract deals and the
Hammers are seriously flush. Then factor in the money that would have been
made available anyway for the summer - typically around £25 million under
Sullivan and Gold - and Bilic should expect no less than a £150m warchest to
start playing catch-up on the top six.
Yes the club still carries historic debt - which club doesn't nowadays - but
that was never held up as an issue by the owners when persuading fans to
make the move to Stratford so why should it become one now they are flush
with cash. Whether Sullivan and Gold sanction that kind of unprecedented
spending remains to be seen and reports of their first signing of the summer
being the free transfer of ageing defender Pablo Zabaleta and it does not
bode well. One thing is for certain, though, for the first time Hammers fans
are truly expectant. Supporters were reluctant to leave Upton Park and many
did so on the promise it would allow them to compete with the Premier League
elite in terms of finances, in the transfer market and for success. Those
fans will not settle for empty promises any longer, Sullivan and Gold will
have to deliver.


According to Calcio Mercato, Southampton are interested in signing Juventus
midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah. The report claims that both West Ham and
Southampton are keen on bringing the Ghanian to England ahead of next
season. Turkish side Galatasaray are also said to be in the hunt, but a move
to the Premier League could be a tantalising proposition over Turkish
football. Asamoah could be set to leave Juventus after featuring in just 17
Serie A matches this season, and 11 the campaign before. He looks to have
become surplus to requirements at the Champions League finalists, with
Southampton now looking ready to pounce. The 28-year-old has played 129
times for Juventus since signing from Udinese in 2012, scoring only five
goals in that time. This is not the first player Southampton and West Ham
have been rumoured to be battling for, with both sides linked to Kelechi
Iheanacho and Martin Braithwaite.

West Ham target Watford youngster Dion Pereira, but face competition from
Newcastle United
Evening Standard

Watford youngster Dion Pereira is wanted by West Ham and Newcastle United
and could leave Vicarage Road for a small fee. The 18-year-old broke into
the Watford first-team squad this season, coming on as a substitute in the
matches against Leicester and Manchester City in May – though he has yet to
sign a professional deal with the Hornets. Pereira, a left-footed wide
player, has been offered terms by Watford but is considering his options. As
well as West Ham and newly-promoted Newcastle, Brighton – who will also play
in the Premier League next season – are interested along with Reading.
Pereira was named the club's young player of the year at Monday's awards
ceremony at Wembley, yet his future is uncertain. Pereira first played for
Watford at Under-9 level but is weighing up his future.
Watford would be entitled to compensation were Pereira to leave but that
would be decided at a later date by a tribunal. Pereira was given his
opportunity by the recently-departed Walter Mazzarri but some feel he may
decide to pursue his career elsewhere, given the regularity with which
Watford change their managers. Slavisa Jokanovic, Quique Sanchez Flores and
Mazzarri all failed to convince the Pozzo family, the club's Italian owners,
that they deserved a second season in the role. Jokanovic led Watford to
promotion from the Championship in 2015, while both Flores and Mazzarri kept
the side in the Premier League.


According to reports by Sport Witness, West Ham are in pole position to sign
Toulouse striker Martin Braithwaite ahead of Premier League rivals
Southampton due to their links with his agent.

Braithwaite is represented by Boutique Transfer's and Management, whose main
client is West Ham's Winston Reid. Reid has been with West Ham since 2008 so
the club already has a long standing relationship with the agency.

West Ham are often linked with France based players as the club do a lot of
work with agents in the country to source out available deals. Both West Ham
and Southampton are said to have already 'expressed their interest' in
Braithwaite, however the 25 year old Dane has a contract with Toulouse until
June 2019, so the French outfit are not under pressure to sell him.

According to Sky Sports, Slaven Bilic's side tabled an £8.5million bid for
the Ligue 1 player in the January transfer window. The bid was rejected as
it is believed that Toulouse are unwilling to let Braithwaite go for less
than £10million. Braithwaite joined Toulouse in 2013 and is a forward who
prefers to play centrally but is also capable of playing out on the wing.
The striker has 11 goals and three assists to his name this past season.

Pablo Zabaleta has vowed to win even more silverware at West Ham after
signing two-year deal
Zabaleta was determined to stay in the Premier League following his
emotional departure from Manchester City and is relishing the chance to play
for the Hammers
The Mirror
12:54, 26 MAY 2017UPDATED13:15, 26 MAY 2017

Pablo Zabaleta insists he is ready for a new challenge at West Ham and hopes
to win even more silverware after signing a two-year deal with the east
London club. Zabaleta becomes Slaven Bilic's first summer signing after
making an emotional departure from Manchester City.
The Argentine defender enjoyed nine unforgettable years at the Etihad
Stadium where he won two Premier League titles and made 333 appearances. The
City fans gave him an incredible send-off in his final home game and the
talented full-back was given a guard of honour as he left the field. Bilic
was determined to bring an experienced right back into the squad after
allowing former World Cup winner Alvaro Arbeloa to leave the Hammers during
the summer. Zabaleta, 32, still feels he has a lot to offer at the highest
level and was determined to carry on playing in the Premier League when he
made the tough decision to leave Manchester City. "This is an absolute
pleasure to be part of West Ham United Football Club," Zabaleta told West
Ham TV. "I hope I can give you good moments. "Of course, I come to the Club
to enjoy myself and hopefully we can have a very successful time. "Sometimes
a new challenge is all you need as a person and as a player. I thought my
time at City was done. It's been a fantastic nine years, absolutely
brilliant. "Manchester City gave me the opportunity to come to this
wonderful league, the Premier League, something I've been enjoying a lot as
a player and of course for me it was probably the right time to move on.
"Also, as a player, I thought I wanted to keep playing in the Premier
League. For me, after being in this country for so long, this is a new
challenge for me in the Premier League and I'm ready for it and looking
forward to it."

Pablo Zabaleta interview: This League is in my heart... and I knew from the
start West Ham were right for me
Evening Standard
KEN DYER 24 mins ago0 comments

The great city stretches sunlit way below him but Pablo Zabaleta has little
or no interest in the Palace of Westminster standing majestic on the
opposite bank of the Thames. Instead, the 32-year-old Argentine is looking
east, attempting to pick out what is to become, after nine hugely successful
years at Manchester City, his new home: the London Stadium.

Zabaleta, released by City with legendary status, has signed a two-year deal
with West Ham and is marking the occasion with a ride on the London Eye. The
Hammers, who have been short of a quality right-back for some time, have
wasted little time in signing the vastly experienced Zabaleta: firstly, and
most importantly, to improve their team; secondly, to add personality and
resilience to their line-up; and, thirdly, to help young full-back Sam Byram
in his continued development.

Breaking off from parading West Ham's new away kit, Zabaleta, who won the
full set of domestic prizes in his time at City, talks about the different
sorts of challenges which lie ahead in East London.

"I've been thinking about making this decision since January," he says. "I
had been a long time at Manchester City and it was important to make the
right decision for myself, my family and my future club. I wanted to go to
the right place. Even though I had been playing in England for so long, and
the fact that I had offers from Spain and Italy, I wanted to stay in the
Premier League.

"This is the League that is really in my heart, where I have enjoyed playing
for many seasons. There was also interest from some English clubs but West
Ham was the first choice for me. I knew from the start that this was the
right place for me and I really want to thank co-chairman David Sullivan
helping to make this move happen.

"To carry on playing for several more years, to bring my experience here -
hopefully that will help this club have a very successful time ahead.
Everything seemed right. I have always had a huge respect for West Ham. The
tradition of the club in English football is massive and we have seen, down
the years, so many good players in that shirt.
"Also, it is a new era for the club: moving to the London Stadium, making
that big step forward and, of course, it is a great city. I have only been
here before for a few days and I do not know it well but it will be a
fantastic place to live with the family."

There are some players who, towards the twilight years of their career, move
for an easier, less pressurised but still lucrative option. Not Zabaleta.
"Money is not the most important thing in life," he says. "As a player, the
priority is to enjoy what you do - in training and in playing matches. There
is already a tradition of Argentine players at this club: Carlos Tevez,
Javier Mascherano and now Manuel Lanzini, who has become one of the most
important players for West Ham. Hopefully I can continue that tradition. "I
spoke a few times to Manu because I wanted information about the club and he
always gave me really good words about everyone. That was important for me
when making my decision."

Zabalata is at once sombre, though, when asked about this week's atrocities
in his adopted city of Manchester. "An episode like this is really hard and
the fact there were a lot of kids there is what hurts the most," he says.
"All my thoughts and prayers go out to these families and I want to show my
support at this time. It is important at times like this for the rest of the
world to be united in that support."

The London Eye ride is almost over, but for Zabaleta he is relishing a new
capital city experience. "I know I am not a long-term player for the club
but while I am here I want to show commitment and give all I can, to always
be one hundred per cent ready to help the team achieve important things," he
says. "I know there were some issues last season but hopefully we can learn
from that. We could blame the move or anything else but we must make sure we
are prepared psychologically for the next few years so that we can make West
Ham a better team, a better club."

Zabaleta is the first of what manager Slaven Bilic believes will be several
quality arrivals at West Ham this summer. Another could be City's Nigerian
striker Kelechi Iheanacho - and former team-mate Zabaleta did little to
defuse that speculation: "Kelechi is a young player at Manchester City and
it has been tough for him, with top strikers like Sergio Aguero and Gabriel
Jesus in the team but he has a great future," he says. "I think he needs to
go somewhere, prove himself and show everyone how good he is."

As it turned out, Zabaleta never did quite identify the London Stadium, far
to the east. He wasn't that bothered, though. He knows his direction of

West Ham sign Pablo Zabaleta on free transfer as Argentine becomes Slaven
Bilic's first summer signing
Evening Standard

Pablo Zabaleta has joined West Ham on a free transfer to become the club's
first signing of the summer. The 32-year-old was released by Manchester City
at the end of the 2016-17 season after making 333 appearances for the
Citizens. He signs on a two-year deal. Zabaleta also had options in Spain
and Italy but ultimately decided to continue his Premier League career with
the Hammers. The Argentina international will bring a wealth experience to
the London Stadium, having played a key role in City's recent rise to elite
Zabaleta slipped down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola but will be
expected to establish himself as West Ham's first-choice right back. Bilic
also has Sam Byram at his disposal while Alvaro Arbeloa is expected to leave
the cub after making just four appearances in his debut season in east
London. Zabaleta's move was decided upon following Monday's end-of-season
review meeting between Bilic and co-owner David Sullivan. The Croatian
manager, who has had to cope with a lengthy injury list this season, is
targeting a total or four new arrivals ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Iheanacho agent refuses to rule out West Ham switch but does dismiss a move
to Spurs
The Nigerian striker has been heavily linked with a move away
Football London
11:00, 26 MAY 2017

The agent of Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has refused to rule
out his client making a switch to West Ham this summer as Slaven Bilic looks
to bolster his strike force. Iheanacho is just one of the names being linked
as the Hammers desperately search for at least one new front man, if not
two, to solve a problematic area of the pitch. Andy Carrolll and Diafra
Sakho simply didn't play enough games last season thanks to injury, while
Joanthan Calleri has returned to South America after his loan spell and the
less said about Simone Zaza, the better. The 20-year-old has been with City
since 2014 and made his first team debut a year later. Iheanacho has
struggled to be a first team regular for City with the small matter of
Sergio Aguero ahead of him but he has still managed to bag 12 goals in 42
appearances. Iheanacho's agent told "It's clear he won't
be sold to a direct title rival by Man City, so when I see the reported
interest from Spurs, I know if it becomes official it will be dismissed
outrightly, but Everton and West Ham we will have to wait and see."

West Ham to sign Pablo Zabaleta after release by Manchester City as full
back agrees two-year contract
EXCLUSIVE: Pablo Zabaleta to West Ham United is now a done deal
The Argentinian has left Manchester City after nine years at the Etihad
Zabaleta will become Slaven Bilic's first major signing of the summer
By Kieran Gill for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 09:26, 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:26, 26 May 2017

Pablo Zabaleta has agreed a two-year deal to join West Ham United on a free
transfer. The Argentina right back has left Manchester City after seeing out
his contract at the Etihad Stadium. It means Zabaleta, 32, is set to be
Slaven Bilic's first major summer signing. He joined City from Espanyol in
2008 and made more than 300 appearances for City, winning two Premier League
titles and the FA Cup. Zabaleta bid a tearful farewell to his former club at
the end of the campaign. 'It has been nine wonderful years,' he said. 'We
cannot forget where we have come from. We have to be very proud. I am so
proud to see where Manchester City is today. 'It took so much work over so
many years and the future is bright for this football club because the right
people are here to carry it on. For me, I feel I have done enough and it is
the right time to move on. 'It has been a fantastic time. I have been part
of the most successful period in Manchester City's history. I am so humbled
by that.'

West Ham unveil new black Umbro away kit ahead of the 2017-18 season
Evening Standard

West Ham have unveiled their new away strip for the forthcoming season. The
Hammers will sport a black Umbro kit, with electric blue piping on the
shoulders, featuring a matching coloured crest. The shirt also features a
Union Jack motif which harks back to the club's origins as Thames Ironworks
FC. The strip is a vast change to the change kit worn during the 2016-18
campaign; a white shirt with claret and blue trim. It's West Ham's third
season working alongside Umbro, who signed a five-year deal with the club in
April 2015, representing the club in their final year at the Boleyn Ground,
and opening season at the London Stadium. Captain Mark Noble said: "It's a
really smart kit! I like the dark-coloured kits and you can wear this one
with a pair of jeans as easily as when you are playing football with your
mates. "I think this black kit looks powerful, it's a really nice kit and
I'm certainly looking forward to wearing it in front of our fantastic
travelling supporters. "We've had so many memorable away games down the
years and the fans who follow us are always fantastic, especially in the big
cup matches at places like Tottenham and Manchester United. I remember
winning at Spurs in 2013 and the scenes in the away end were amazing –
that's what it means to our away fans when we get the result! "I remember
being in the away end myself as a kid and it was always brilliant being part
of it all. You can really hear our fans everywhere we go and when we're
winning, sometimes it feels like we're playing at home!"

Pep Guardiola set to lose £25m Man City star to PL rivals, who will double
£35k-a-week wages
Posted by Ron Carne May 26, 2017

Man City striker Kelechi Iheanacho is reportedly a target for West Ham
United, and the Hammers will use Pablo Zabaleta to convince him to make the
move. The 20-year-old has struggled for regular playing time under Pep
Guardiola this season, making 29 appearances in all competitions with
limited minutes. He's still scored seven goals and provided three assists in
that time, and so the feeling is that perhaps with a more prominent role, he
could be a more effective weapon for a top side.
According to The Sun, with Pablo Zabaleta strongly linked with a move to the
Olympic Stadium this summer, West Ham will use the Argentine to help prise
Iheanacho away from Manchester in a £25m deal. The veteran full-back was a
mentor to the youngster at the Etihad, and it's claimed that he could use
that relationship with him to persuade him to join him in London and take
his career to the next level rather than continue to warm the bench at City.

Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero will keep him down the pecking order, and
with Guardiola likely to explore his options to strengthen his squad further
this summer, Iheanacho could find himself further down the list by the time
the new season comes around. It's added from a financial perspective that
West Ham are willing to double his £35,000-a-week wages at City, and so it
really looks as though Slaven Bilic is keen to land his top target to try
and solve their goalscoring problems from last season.


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