Wednesday, May 31

Daily WHUFC News - 31st May 2017

Hammers appoint Lewin as Head of Medical Services

West Ham United are delighted to announce the appointment of Gary Lewin as the Club's new Head of Medical Services. The vastly-experienced Lewin arrives at London Stadium with a peerless CV, having previously combined 22 years as first-team physiotherapist at Arsenal with 18 as England's physio – the last six as England Senior Head of Physiotherapy. The 53-year-old was born in East Ham and spent time on West Ham's books as a schoolboy goalkeeper, before turning to physiotherapy full-time at the age of 19. Now, he is relishing a return to the Premier League and working with a manager in Slaven Bilic who he knows well. "I am really looking forward to it," Lewin said. "I have met Slaven a few times down the years, most memorably when I was sat on the bench when his Croatia team beat England at Wembley in 2007 to stop us qualifying for Euro 2008! "Despite that, I am looking forward greatly to working with Slaven and also with Julian Dicks and Chris Woods, who I know from my time in football, his other backroom staff and all the players."

Vandenbroucke departs

West Ham United can confirm that Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke has left the Club to pursue a new challenge. Vandenbroucke initially joined the Hammers as a first-team physiotherapist in 2009, spending three seasons on the backroom staff under Gianfranco Zola, Avram Grant and Sam Allardyce.
After spells in Russian football with Anzhi Makhachkala and Dinamo Moscow, the Belgian returned to east London to take up a new senior role under Allardyce in February 2014. He has worked under Slaven Bilic for the past two seasons.
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan thanked Vandenbroucke for his more than six years of service to the Hammers. "Stijn was a member of the backroom staff when we arrived at the Club in 2010 and immediately struck the Board with his professionalism and commitment to the role," said Mr Sullivan. "Since taking up his role as the Head of Medical and Sports Science, he has continued to show his expertise in his field and raise the bar with an ambitious philosophy. "He has created and maintained professional and strong relationships with all departments at the Club, the players, the manager and the Board. He was also involved in the transition to London Stadium and the new training ground at Rush Green. "We all have enjoyed working with Stijn and wish him and his family all the best."

The Club would like to thank Stijn for his hard work during his time at the Club and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Kemp helps England to victory

West Ham United youngster Dan Kemp helped England U20s get their Toulon Tournament title defence off to a great start on Monday. The winger played 65 minutes as the Young Lions beat Angola 1-0 in their opening fixture of the 2017 edition. Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo scored the decisive winner just after half-time as the youngsters stormed to the top of Group A. The squad this year, led by Neil Dewsnip, is aiming to emulate Gareth Southgate's team from last year who managed to win the tournament overall after beating France 2-1 in the final. Kemp will hope to feature once again in England's second group fixture against Cuba on Thursday 1 June (6.30pm BST) where a win could seal qualification to the semi-finals. The Young Lions then round off their group campaign again Japan on Sunday 4 June at 2pm BST.

Pablo's praise for the Claret and Blue Army

Pablo Zabaleta is relishing the prospect of being roared on by the Claret and Blue Army after agreeing to join West Ham United this summer. The highly-decorated Argentina full-back will link up with the Hammers on 1 July after putting pen to paper on a two-year contract. Zabaleta has spent the past nine seasons with Manchester City, during which time he played against West Ham on no fewer on 12 occasions, including four visits to the Boleyn Ground and an appearance at London Stadium in last season's Emirates FA Cup. Every time he played in east London, the 32-year-old was wowed by the noise and atmosphere generated by the passionate West Ham supporters – and hopes to reward their loyalty by bringing silverware to the Club. "I must say that it was always a privilege as a player to go to Upton Park and to London Stadium and see the atmosphere in these stadiums," Zabaleta told West Ham TV. "I would probably say West Ham are one of the greatest fans in England with great tradition and in home games and away games as well, following the team everywhere. "The Bubbles you have when you come out from the tunnel make it more special as well, so hopefully as a player I can give good moments to them, but it's not all about me but about the players performing well as a team to make sure we can win something together."

Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron CresswellWhile his overall career record against the Hammers reads 'Played 12, Won 9, Lost 2', he tasted victory just once in his four appearances in east London – an FA Cup third-round win at London Stadium in January. So, it comes as no surprise that Zabaleta did not always enjoy turning out as a visiting player in the East End, and he is looking forward to the boot being on the other foot going forward! "It was always hard playing at West Ham away," he recalled. "They said that Upton Park was the home of West Ham for so many years and it is now a new era in London Stadium, where when I went to play my first game I thought the atmosphere was really good. That's why I'm here. "I'm really happy, my family will also enjoy it and, as I say, I'm very proud to remain in England to keep playing in this wonderful league."

Nordtveit called up by Norway

Havard Nordtveit has been called up to the Norway side to face Czech Republic and Sweden next month. Norway are currently fifth in Group C of 2018 World Cup qualifying and desperately need a victory over Czech Republic on 10 June to have any chance of reaching the finals in Russia. Nordtveit and his teammates then take on Sweden in a friendly on 13 June. The Hammers midfielder has featured twice in Norway's qualifying campaign so far and will be keen to help his side record their second win in Group C. The 26-year-old played 16 times for West Ham United in his first season at London Stadium and will hope to round off his year on a positive note with his international teammates.

In other news, Martin Samuelsen has been called up to the Norway U21 squad for their upcoming European Championships qualifier against Kosovo in June. Norway narrowly missed out on qualification for this year's tournament and will hope to get their 2019 qualifying campaign off to the perfect start against Kosovo on 12 June. Samuelsen has enjoyed a great year with the Club's U23s, playing a key role as the PL2 side achieved promotion after beating Newcastle United in the Division Two play-off final two weeks ago. The 20-year-old also gained crucial league experience on loan with EFL clubs Blackburn Rovers and Peterborough United over the course of the campaign. On an international level, Samuelsen scored on his just his third senior appearance as Norway beat San Marino 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier in October.

Hammers youngsters to visit Slovakia

West Ham United's newly-promoted Premier League 2 Division 1 side will contest a series of challenging pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2017/18 campaign. Terry Westley's U23 squad, who defeated Newcastle United 2-1 in the Division 2 Play-Off final earlier this month, will travel to Slovakia to face Super Liga clubs Spartak Trnava and FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce, while also tackling EFL, National League and Isthmian League opposition. Academy Director Westley said the Club's developing young players needed to be tested in pre-season to ready them for the challenges that lie ahead. "This group of players is at a level where they need a pre-season which is akin to that of a Championship club," he confirmed. "For that reason, we have organised matches against EFL clubs, as well as a trip to Slovakia where we will take on two of the country's top sides. "The likes of Dan Kemp, who made his England debut on Monday evening, Martin Samuelsen, George Dobson, Toni Martinez, Marcus Browne and Josh Cullen, if they are with us, need to be tested, so we have put together a pre-season schedule that is fit for purpose."

The Hammers' young professionals will kick-off pre-season with a trip to The Hive to face EFL League Two club Barnet on Saturday 15 July at 3pm. Next up is a visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium to tackle the Bees' League Two rivals Colchester United on Tuesday 18 July at 7.45pm. Saturday 22 July will see West Ham make a return to the familiar surroundings of the Chigwell Construction Stadium, where they will take on National League outfit Dagenham & Redbridge at 3pm.

The Hammers will then travel to Slovakia, where they will take on Super Liga sides Spartak Trnava and FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce.
Westley's promising youngsters will again be playing Premier League 2 fixtures at Chigwell Construction Stadium next season. With Division 1 fixtures to be played against Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City in 2017/18, the Hammers can expect large and vociferous support at the home of the Daggers come August. After their training camp in Slovakia, the young Hammers will return home for their final pre-season match. Big-spending Isthmian League club Billericay Town have made headlines since West Ham-supporting owner Glenn Tamplin signed former Hammer Paul Konchesky and ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O'Hara earlier this year. Tamplin has since added a host of new names to his squad ahead of a season in which they hope to gain promotion to the National League South.

Hammers fans will have the opportunity to see the Billericay revolution for themselves when the PL2 squad visit the AGP Arena on Tuesday 8 August at 7.45pm. Supporters can pre-order tickets for the Billericay fixture by sending their details via email to now.

Ticket details for the trip to Slovakia, Barnet, Colchester United and Dagenham & Redbridge fixtures will be confirmed on and the Club's social media channels in due course. In addition, a West Ham United XI, consisting mainly of Academy players, will visit Billericay's Isthmian League rivals Bishop's Stortford on Saturday 15 July at 3pm. The Club are in the process of finalising the first team's pre-season plans.

Slaven hails 'unbelievable' fans

Slaven Bilic has thanked the 'unbelievable' Claret and Blue Army for their support at the end of his second season as West Ham United manager. The boss, who is currently recovering after undergoing surgery on his hip, has enjoyed a close relationship with Hammers fans since joining the Club as a player back in January 1996. Hailed as a returning hero on his appointment as manager in summer 2015, Bilic led West Ham to seventh in the Premier League in his first season in charge, before enduring a more challenging campaign in 2016/17.
Through it all, the Croatian has enjoyed the unequivocal support of the Club's fans, who have burst into a refrain of 'Super Slav' on countless occasions over the past ten months. "They've been unbelievable and I would love to say a big 'Thank you' to them," the 48-year-old exclaimed. "It's amazing how they treated me and I could feel they were really behind me and the whole team. "They are tremendous fans and I can only promise them that I'm going to give my best and the team is going to do its best to do better next season and to give them more enjoyable games and moments because they definitely deserve it."

While his current priorities are to rest and recover from his operation, while also enjoying valuable time at home with his family in Croatia, Bilic will not allow his attention to slip too far from his day job. Indeed, he has maintained an open line of communication to Joint-Chairman David Sullivan and Director of Player Recruitment, helping the Club to complete the signing of Argentina full-back Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City already. With the new Premier League season just ten weeks away, Bilic is looking forward to tackling the 2017/18 season. "I have two heads because I need to rest but the other part of me can't wait for the season to start because I really feel we will benefit from this [2016/17] season large," he confirmed.

*West Ham United Season Ticket Holders have until the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday 31 May to renew their existing seats for the 2017/18 campaign. Any Season Tickets not renewed by 5pm on Wednesday 31 May will be made available to supporters on the 55,000-strong Season Ticket Waiting List.

Hammers unveil ambitious Ladies plans

West Ham United Ladies have announced dramatic improvements to their infrastructure and unveiled ambitious plans to reach WSL1 in the next five years.

The Hammers finished ninth in the FAWPL Southern Division this season, in a campaign that saw them brought 'in-house' by West Ham, and now an injection of investment and several key full-time appointments are set to propel the Ladies to new heights.

In his first full-time role at the Club, Jack Sullivan, son of Joint-Chairman David, has been appointed managing director, whilst former player and current coach Karen Ray takes up the full-time position of general manager.

Furthermore, current first-team manager Greg de Carnys has left his role as Academy head of performance to take up a full-time role looking after the Ladies' first team and Academy.

The Ladies currently play in step three of the women's game, one below WSL2, and are making no secret of their desire to reach the top flight in the coming years.

New Ladies managing director Jack Sullivan said: "This is a massive project of great importance to West Ham United. We have some exciting plans and huge expectations for the Ladies team, as we do for the mens, and we hope that within five years we can be challenging in FA WSL 1.

"For me personally it's a huge project and something I can't wait to get started on. Whilst I will not be taking a wage from the Club, I am excited to be taking on my first full-time role at West Ham United and looking forward to the challenges ahead.

"We hope to make huge strides this summer before the new season starts, and plan to unveil a key player signing, with WSL experience, in the coming weeks.

"The Ladies team has great potential, and with the help of Karen Ray, Greg and Josh Ewens, I hope I can help guide them to some exceptional achievements and make them a team that the whole football Club, and its supporters, can be proud of."

Karen Ray said: "I am delighted we are able to offer young girls the opportunity to develop as players and people with the new infrastructure that highlights the Club's dedication to grow women's football, with the support of West Ham United Foundation.

"We are very passionate about building a sustainable and successful plan that will see us develop a world-class talent pathway for girls of all ages that aligns with the Club's overall ambitions.

"West Ham United are breaking down barriers and changing the perception of women's football, and I am looking forward to to working alongside Jack Sullivan to systematically rebuild the ladies team and cement the Club's commitment to female participation."

Greg de Carnys said: "These are exciting times to be involved with West Ham United Ladies - the club has shown outstanding support for our long term vision and I can't wait to get started.

"We already have a talented young squad that believes in what we're doing and they're gaining experience all the time. With a few new additions and investment in the right areas I hope we can build a successful and sustainable future for the Club over the next five years.

"I have an excellent coaching team supporting me in Josh Ewens, Karen Ray and Dan Blewett, all of whom care deeply for the players and work with a distinct pedagogical methodology and now, with Jack involved as well, we have a great opportunity to progress."


So after much deliberation and discussion with various people I have decided that I will be continuing with my columns over the summer. I understand there are some people that are not keen on me doing so and I appreciate that opinion. One thing I would like to point out though is that I often hear negative news (from ex-players, agents, disgruntled members of staff) and rather than just putting it out for hits (which many others would) I often let the club know so that it can be dealt with internally, which is why in recent years I think the account/me has/have become more accepted by those working there. Anyway, I simply would ask you to block/unfollow my twitter account and not read the website if you do not approve of me.

The transfer window has already begun successfully and I really think that Zabaleta is a great signing on and off the pitch. He is a leader and a very popular player, as can be seen by his leaving video at Manchester City. The player was signed on Wednesday but as I reported on the radio show, announced to link with the kit launch on Friday. I first reported our interest in the player in March and did regular updates on how this transfer was going proving that transfers are not "ruined" by my tweets. Last week on the radio show/podcast I described the home, away and third shirt on and I will do the same tomorrow if you missed it. The home is likely to be released in June and the third just before the season opens. There has been some talk that Byram will leave because we have signed Zabaleta; I do not believe this is the case and that he will remain to give Bilic alternatives and injury cover. I do not think we will sign another right back now so talk of Malcuit joining (who was once a target) and players from the German league are incorrect.

As I have repeated numerous times on twitter and on our radio show the two top targets for the forward position are Iheanacho of Manchester City and Batshuayi of Chelsea. I find it staggering that a Nigerian website has been used as a regular source of information on this deal, as everything they have reported has been largely inaccurate including us winning the race to sign Henry Onyekuru a week ago and Iheanacho flying in for a medical on Sunday. None of this was remotely true and they have benefit for numerous advertising clicks to their website. We have an interest in Onyekuru but he isn't first choice and a deal isn't agreed and there has been no progress in the Iheanacho deal. I first reported that a bid had been made last week, which sky and many newspapers then followed with. The truth is we have put in our initial offer and haven't really heard much back from Manchester City other then they want a buy back clause. How this would work is that we would set an agreed fee, which we aim to be double what we pay, then if he does really well for us, Manchester City can buy him back for that price. No other clubs could get him for that agreed fee with City and we could reject all offers bar Manchester City's. I understand their thinking on this because if he does do really well they would want to buy him back and can afford pretty much any price. I guess Chelsea wish they had done the same with Lukaku considering they wish to buy him back. At the moment the player is away with the Nigerian national squad, although he did pop back to Manchester at the weekend. This is because there is a few issues that he needs to sort out including a problem with his former agent. The talk of image rights is also wrong because the club do not pay them and after the tax investigation certainly wouldn't be entertaining them now. There are a number of clubs interested but he wants to stay in the UK to get citizenship here meaning that he would be able to move freely across Europe in the future (not knowing how Brexit will affect things) and he only has two years left here to get it. We very much intend to get this deal completed and will also double the player's wages to approximately £80k a week. The deal will not be completed within the next couple of weeks so I would hold tight, stop reading and quoting random sources and hope the club do get this deal over the line.

The next signing we hope to make is Bathsuayi of Chelsea. He has always been a top target and we will not know whether we can get him yet until Chelsea are clear on their forward options. Costa's future is unclear, they have also identified a number of forward targets including Lukaku and Llorente. Solanke, a former target of ours, appears to be joining Liverpool so it all depends on what Chelsea do.

West Ham hope to sign both forwards if possible and have other forward options on the list, including Modeste who plays in Germany and the previously mentioned Onyekuru, if we don't sign these two. The club are no longer interested in Defoe, they felt his form had fallen away and his wage demands are now too high and he is likely to join Bournemouth with Begovic, who I think is a great signing for them. We want to sign at least two forwards but do not see keeper as a priority. John Ruddy from Norwich is being lined up as a backup keeper should we sell Randolph but we want to concentrate transfer fees and wages into the forward positions.

Calleri has returned to Argentina and the club are not sure whether Fletcher or Martinez are ready to play regularly in the Premier League so two forwards are the minimum likely to join with the injury records of Carroll and Sakho. The club would listen to offers for Sakho and Carroll I believe but wouldn't be likely to get any due to their injuries.

Off the pitch the club are very frustrated with the regular injuries and "miss diagnosed" players. Mark Noble came out and admitted he had an injury which he kept quiet from the manager and the likes of Carroll and Sakho have regularly been given incorrect return dates. Both have sustained some "strange" injuries this year but these are some of the stories I have chosen not to reveal. This has meant that the club are considering a reshuffle of the medical and coaching staff. Whilst official confirmation hasn't been given yet, so things can change and may be inaccurate, I have heard that Stijn Vandenbroucke- who is the head of medical and sports science, could be being replaced by Gary Lewin in his role. Gary Lewin is the former Arsenal and England National team physio, he was born in East Ham and is said to have been brought up a West Ham fan. He is extremely highly rated and will be brought in to try and improve our injury record. When Bilic met with the club last Monday to discuss his future he made it clear he didn't want to change his coaching staff too much but was open to a medical reshuffle. Slaven will be given other names that could be brought in to support him in future weeks but he may chose against them all. The manager is currently recovering from a hip replacement operation so may not be too actively involved in the coming weeks however.

Jack Sullivan has been named as the new managing director of the ladies team. I think this is a good move for both. Jack has been learning his apprenticeship at the club this year working in all departments. This will give him vital experience for if/when he takes over from his dad at the club. It will also help raise the profile of the ladies and well and truly bring them under the official club banner now.

We are interested in signing a number of wingers/creative players, some of which I will reveal on the radio show tomorrow but this depends on us moving on a couple of current players, including Snodgrass, who has attracted some interest from other clubs including Brighton, who are looking at a few of our players. We will not sign a player yet in that position because it isn't a priority position but with Tore leaving and potentially Snodgrass going there are a number of players that we are considering signing to replace him.

I will try to write regular columns but we also intend to do at least fortnightly radio shows where I will be bringing my regular news section, so it would be great if we keep up the amount of listeners that we have. Once more I apologise to those who do not like the news that I bring but one thing I will state is that I am this club's biggest fan (along with many of you). I have been a season ticket holder for 30 years and travelled up and down the country supporting us. If I believed I was harming the club I really would stop and have offered to do so a number of times to people within it. Anyway, enjoy the summer and try to take every bit of news with a pinch of salt! Until it is on the official site, anything can happen and change, so if you only want factual news-I would suggest sticking to that site only. COYI

Premier League new boys Huddersfield eyeing transfer of West Ham's Ashley Fletcher
The Championship play-off final winners want the 21-year-old striker on loan for next season
The Mirror
21:56, 30 MAY 2017UPDATED21:59, 30 MAY 2017

Huddersfield boss David Wagner wants to sign West Ham striker Ashley Fletcher on a season-long loan. The newly-promoted Yorkshire club have already made an enquiry to see whether West Ham would allow the ex-Manchester United starlet join them. Wagner is hoping Fletcher could be his first signing as he looks to bolster his Championship play-offs-winning squad on a budget. Fletcher, 21, was given limited opportunities under West Ham boss Slaven Bilic in the recently-ended campaign after a free-agent move from Old Trafford. Huddersfield tried to sign Fletcher before he ever went to the Hammers and also made a loan enquiry in January, so they are clearly keen. Championship trio Fulham, Middlesbrough and Norwich are all interested too, and hope West Ham might let him go out to get more regular first team action.

Former Arsenal and England physio Gary Lewin joins West Ham as Head of Medical Services
Lewin, who spent 22 years with Arsenal and six with England, replaces Stijn Vandenbroucke
The Mirror
21:20, 30 MAY 2017

Former Arsenal and England physio Gary Lewin has joined West Ham. The 53-year-old spent 22 years with Arsenal and had recently returned as part of the Ladies' team. He also had six years with the national side before his exit a year ago. Lewin, who spent time with West Ham as a young goalkeeper, arrives as Head of Medical Services. "I am really looking forward to it," Lewin said. "I have met Slaven a few times down the years, most memorably when I was sat on the bench when his Croatia team beat England at Wembley in 2007 to stop us qualifying for Euro 2008! "Despite that, I am looking forward greatly to working with Slaven and also with Julian Dicks and Chris Woods, who I know from my time in football, his other backroom staff and all the players." He replaces Stijn Vandebroucke at the London Stadium.

Brighton and Hove Albion close in on West Ham United flop
by ADAM ALLCROFT on MAY 30, 2017
The 72

Brighton and Hove Albion could be set to swoop for West Ham United's Robert Snodgrass according to a report from Football London.
The Seagulls finally achieved promotion to the Premier League after years of coming very close but are now working hard to add to their squad to make sure it isn't a temporary stay. And one of the players they look like they might be signing is a Scottish international who only joined his club a few months ago.
Snodgrass was instrumental for Hull City as they got promoted via the play-offs last season and he continued their form when they were in the Premier League. However this got noticed by their rivals and he soon found himself on his way to West Ham in the January transfer window for a fee believed to be around £10m. However the move would not work out for either party as the 28-year-old struggled to break into the first team, mostly spending the second half of the season warming the bench.
This means that Snodgrass may be set to leave the London Stadium just a few months after moving there and Brighton are planning to swoop. They don't seem willing to come anywhere near the fee that West Ham initially paid for the Scot, but it would give the Hammers a way to cut their losses on a player who hasn't been the right fit for their squad. For Brighton, they would get a talented winger who has shown he can perform at this level.

West Ham to fight Everton and Swansea for RB Leipzig striker after 'official enquiry' - reports
The Hammers are looking for reinforcements up front
Football London
11:02, 30 MAY 2017

West Ham could be set to strengthen upfront by moving for Red Bull Leipzig's German striker Davie Selke. According to Kicker in Germany, the Hammers have officially enquired about signing the frontman ahead of the new Premier League season. Everton and Swansea City are also said to be interested in the 22-year-old, while former club Werder Bremen are believed to want to re-sign the striker.
Leipzig enjoyed a hugely successful season in the Bundesliga after finishing second but Selke struggled for match action throughout the campaign. The frontman finished the season with four goals but he only started two of his 21 appearances for the Champions League newcomers. Selke's agent is in the UK this week as he seeks a move away from the Red Bull Arena in hope of securing first-team football in the Premier League. Slaven Bilic is in need of a new striker with injuries ruling Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho out for long periods of the season, while Jonathan Calleri has returned to parent club Deportivo Maldonado.

West Ham eye €20m move for Portuguese defender but face competition from Newcastle and Everton
The Hammers are considering a move for Sporting's Ruben Semedo
Football London
09:36, 30 MAY 2017

Reports from Portugal suggest that West Ham could be set to move for Sporting Lisbon's Ruben Semedo in the summer. The centre-back, a product of the club's famous academy, has seen his name linked with numerous Premier League clubs and the Hammers have reportedly shown an interest according to the Portuguese media. Newcastle United are said to have watched Semedo all season and are preparing a bid, while Everton and Southampton have interest in the highly-rated defender. The 23-year-old is also attracting interest outside of the Premier League, with AC Milan and Lille also keen to secure his signature. Semedo, who only signed a new deal with Sporting until 2022 back in March, has a €45million release clause in his contract, although his club are willing to sell for €20 million. Interested clubs wanting the defender may want to quickly tie up a deal for the player after he was named in Portugal's Under-21 squad for the European Championships in Poland. Semedo has impressed in the Primeira Liga this season and if he continues his form for his country then his price tag could well rise. The Hammers have options at centre-back but Slaven Bilic may elect to move for Semedo as he looks to build a squad for the future.

By Iain Dale 30 May 2017 at 08:42

I wrote last week that the priority for West Ham in this transfer window is to only sign players who would add to the quality of the team and that it was quality we should be searching out rather than signing a whole host of average players like we did last year. Well we got off to a good start with the signing of Pablo Zabaleta, and if reports are to be believed we head the race to sign Kelechi Iheanacho, the Manchester City striker.

Iheanacho is only 20 years old, but looks to be a real star in the making. He's made 46 appearances, scoring 12 goals, but most of those are substitute appearances. He's also scored five goals in eight senior appearances for Nigeria. It's worth looking at his Manchester City career in its totality. This is from Wikipedia…

In July 2015, Iheanacho was included in City's pre-season tour team in Australia. On the tour, he set up the first goal for Raheem Sterling and scored the second goal in the win against Roma in the 2015 International Champions Cup. He also set up Sterling for the fourth goal in City's 8–1 victory against the Vietnam national team. In City's last pre-season game, against VfB Stuttgart, he came on as a substitute, scoring late on in a 4–2 defeat. Due to his impressive pre-season, Iheanacho was promoted to the Manchester City senior squad. On 10 August 2015, Iheanacho was included in a first-team matchday squad for the first time in a competitive fixture, however he remained an unused substitute in their 3–0 win at West Bromwich Albion in their first game of the Premier League season. Nineteen days later, he made his competitive debut, replacing Raheem Sterling for the final minute of a 2–0 win against Watford at the City of Manchester Stadium. He scored his first competitive goal on 12 September, replacing Wilfried Bony in the final minute in a match away to Crystal Palace and scoring the only goal of the game.

Iheanacho scored his first career hat-trick on 30 January 2016 against Aston Villa in the fourth round of the FA Cup, also setting up City's fourth goal, scored by Raheem Sterling.The following month, he was put in City's UEFA Champions League squad at the expense of the injured Samir Nasri.26 During February, Iheanacho scored against Tottenham Hostpur in a 2–1 home defeat for City.

Iheanacho's next goals came on 23 April 2016, where he scored twice against Stoke City in a 4–0 victory.28 He followed this up with a Champions League semi-final substitute appearance on 26 April 2016. Five days later, on 1 May 2016, he scored two again, albeit in a 4–2 defeat at the hands of Southampton.

Iheanacho ended the 2015–16 season with eight Premier League goals and had the best goals-per-minute ratio of any player averaging, a goal every 93.9 minutes. In all competitions he finished with a record of 14 goals and 5 assists from 35 appearances, although he only started 11 of these games. His goals total also meant he ended the season as City's third-highest scorer.

On 10 September 2016, Iheanacho started in the Manchester Derby. He recorded an assist and his first goal of the season in the 2–1 win. Five days later, Iheanacho came off the bench to score the final goal in City's 4–0 home win in the Champions League, against Borussia Mönchengladbach. This was his first European goal for Manchester City. Three days after the 4–0 win, Kelechi scored the second goal, also assisting the third, in City's game against AFC Bournemouth. That goal took his tally in the Premier League to 10, allowing him to join an exclusive list of players to have scored 10 Premier League goals before the age of 20. This list includes players such as Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Owen and Romelu Lukaku. In October 2016, Iheanacho was nominated for the FIFA Golden Boy award, which was eventually won by Bayern Munich's midfielder Renato Sanches.

Iheanacho's next goal would come in the Champions League, against Celtic, in a 1–1 home draw on 6 December 2016.

Iheanacho has represented Nigeria at youth levels from under-13 upwards. His first experience of a major international tournament was the 2013 African U-17 Championship in Morocco. For Iheanacho, the highlight was a hat-trick in a win against Botswana. He dedicated his goals to his mother, who died two months before the tournament. Nigeria reached the final of the competition, where they were defeated on penalties by the Ivory Coast.

Iheanacho played a significant role in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball award for player of the tournament. Nigeria won the competition, in which Iheanacho scored six times, including once in the final, and provided seven assists. In the run-up to the 2014 African Nations Championship, Iheanacho trained with the senior Nigeria squad but was released from the squad in order to travel to England to sign with Manchester City. He was part of the Nigeria squad for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, and featured in two matches.

He was selected by Nigeria for their 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but failed to make the final 18. Iheanacho made his senior debut as a substitute in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Swaziland in which Nigeria drew 0–0. His first start for the senior team was on 25 March 2016, a 1–1 draw with Egypt in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.

Kelechi Iheanacho was selected by Nigeria in friendly games against Mali and Luxembourg in May 2016. He scored in the two games providing an assist against Luxembourg. His performance in the friendly matches inspired further confidence within football circles in the nation and was invited to make his competitive debut against Egypt in an African cup of nations qualifying series where he provided an assist for Oghenekaro Etebo in the home game. Despite the change made in the coaching personnel in August this year, he distinguished himself again as one of the most important players in the team when he scored two super goals in the two matches against Tanzania in Uyo and Zambia in Ndola.
Well I don't know about you, but that's got me salivating. £24 million seems a reasonably fair price given his potential, but the stumbling block could be a buyback clause.

Obiang, Fernandes, Lanzini & Antonio - four West Ham players Bilic should build his team around
Bilic can build a successful team around the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Pedro Obiang and Edimilson Fernandes
Football London
15:39, 29 MAY 2017UPDATED15:42, 29 MAY 2017

The signings will be made in - ideally - the next couple of weeks that will improve the West Ham squad, not just in terms of the depth but the overall quality of the squad. We know Slaven Bilic wants to bring in first team players, first team starters for that matter, that will hopefully ensure the Hammers have required quality to challenge for a European spot once again next season. The board knows the side needs a bit more quality and they have already sanctioned the move for Pablo Zabaleta, completed earlier this week and the club are already making moves for Kelechi Iheanacho as well. But, lets not forget, there are players already at the club who Slaven Bilic should be looking to build the future around.

Edimilson Fernandes

The youngster is going to get more game time next season, Bilic has already said as much and the 21-year-old has really impressed Hammers fans when he has got the chance this season. Fernandes is the kind of fulcrum you can have in that defensive midfield that just stays in position and everyone else kind of moves around him, l the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate/Mark Noble specifically.

Manuel Lanzini

An obvious choice, he is the creative force in the team now. Bilic needs to tie him down to a long-term deal first of all and then crack on. Iheanacho running in behind to latch on to Lanzini's passes, the pace of Antonio out wide, a help in the middle from Hakim Ziyech/Gylfi Sigurdsson/whoever. This should be Lanzini's team.

Pedro Obiang

In a similar mould to Fernandes, Obiang is the more likely to be a first team regular this evening when he has recovered from injury.
He can run the show from deep in midfield and if he has the right midfield players alongside him, the Hammers could go well. He can hold fort while the likes of Kouyate/Noble/Fernandes maybe pushing on a bit more. Obiang's passing is underrated too, so he can link up with Lanzini.

Michail Antonio

The Hammers' style of play often relies on Antonio - when he is fit - getting the ball a and running at defenders, taking them on and reaching the byline and crossing, or going it alone. Antonio often finds himself in the box as well so another creative player can find him in there,e especially in the air where Antonio excels.

Date: 29th May 2017 at 7:00pm
Written by: David Tully

Everton are likely to pull out of talks with West Ham to sign forward Enner Valencia, reports the Liverpool Echo. The Ecuadorian international was sent out on a season long loan to Goodison Park at the start of the season, with the Toffees given an option to buy the 27 year old for £11million at the end of the campaign. Having only started seven games under Ronald Koeman, and due to the fact that the Dutchman is seeking other summer transfer targets, the permanent transfer for Valencia now looks dead in the water. The striker has impressed when he has been given the opportunity this campaign. He scored a goal and provided an assist in the 3-0 win over Southampton at the start of January when he came on as substitute. He then followed that up with a goal against Spurs in the 3-2 defeat, and another goal and assist in the 4-0 victory against Hull City in March.

Kelechi Iheanacho to West Ham: what do we know so far about the Hammers' chase for Man City striker?
There has been little movement in the past 24 hours but here's what we know so far
Football London
19:00, 29 MAY 2017UPDATED19:22, 29 MAY 2017

This smells of Carlos Bacca all over again, doesn't it? West Ham's interest in Kelechi Iheanacho, is absolutely genuine, as it is still in Michy Batshuayi as well, as Slaven Bilic hunts out a new striker or two for the 2017/18 Premier League campaign. Iheanacho is the main target for the time being at least, so what do we know so far?

A bid has been made

The Hammers have put in a bid to Man City for Iheanacho, but it hasn't been accepted or declined by Pep Guardiola. Rumours have suggested the the bid is between £20m and £24m but we understand the bid is less than that, with West Ham waiting for Cityto get back to them with a revised offer and then potentially meet them half way. His representative said: "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."

Everton's interest?

Ronald Koeman's side are also reportedly in the running for the Man City frontman but it is not believed their interest is as concrete as West Ham's.

Date: 29th May 2017 at 8:00pm
Written by: David Tully

Paris Saint-Germain are "confident" of signing Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, according to It has been reported that the Nigerian international is subject to a bid from West Ham but it seems the Hammers will have a battle on their hands if they want to sign the 20 year old this summer. PSG are said to be seeking young talent to add to their ranks and Iheanacho has already demonstrated his capabilities in the Premier League with his 21 goals in 64 appearances for City. The decision will likely come down to whether the forward is seeking more game time or a larger contract. If he opts to move to West Ham, depending on whether his club accept the Hammers' bid, he will most likely be the club's top striker. In France, he will almost certainly be given a better contract but it is not certain where he will figure in the club's first team plans. 49 goal striker Edinson Cavani will remain the side's first choice up front, and Iheanacho may struggle for minutes on the field if he makes the switch to Paris.

Aaron Cresswell could solve a problem area for Liverpool
Subhankar Mondal

Liverpool should make a move for West Ham United defender Aaron Cresswell in the summer transfer window. Aaron Cresswell is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and has improved quite steadily at West Ham United. The 27-year-old has also earned an England cap, and it is safe to say that he will improve in the coming years. Liverpool need to sign a left-back in the summer transfer window, and it would make perfect sense for the Reds to make a move for Cresswell. Spanish left-back Alberto Moreno has not convinced and has made far too many mistakes, while James Milner surely cannot be a long-term solution despite his impressive performances in that position this season. The left-back is a problem area for Liverpool, which manager Jurgen Klopp can solve by signing Cresswell from West Ham in the summer. The former Ipswich Town defender is a good passer of the ball, does contribute in attack and is strong defensively. Cresswell was actually released by Liverpool when he was 15, as he revealed to The Telegraph back in November 2016, and perhaps he could be tempted into swapping the London Stadium for Anfield in the summer.

Brighton move for SnodgrassFeatured Image
Date: 29th May 2017 at 9:10pm
Written by: Joe McHugh

Robert Snodgrass has emerged as a transfer target for Brighton. According to a report on Football London the West Ham midfielder is wanted by Chris Hughton's Premier League newcomers. Snodgrass only moved to West Ham in January and was expected to get among the goals to steer the club away from the relegation zone. While West Ham survived Snodgrass failed to make much of an impact and is still waiting for his first goal after eight starts and seven appearances as a substitute. Slaven Bilic may be tempted to accept a bid for the Scotland favourite or decide that after half a season settling in Snodgrass will come good next season. Brighton are looking to strengthen a number of positions for their first ever spell in the Premier League with Hughton impressed by the seven goals scored from 19 matches that Snodgrass managed in the first half of the season at Hull City.

Tim Krul would be a smart signing for West Ham United
Subhankar Mondal

West Ham United should make a move for Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul in the summer transfer window. According to a recent report in The Chronicle, the future of Tim Krul at Newcastle United is uncertain. Krul is scheduled to return to Newcastle following his loan spell at Dutch club AZ and will report for pre-season duty at the Magpies. Newcastle, though, according to the report, are looking to sign another goalkeeper in the summer transfer window. This means that it is not clear that the Netherlands international will be at St. James' Park next season, and West Ham United should swoop in. With Adrian losing his place in West Ham's starting lineup this season and Darren Randolph not always convincing, there is a need for the London club to bring in another goalkeeper. Krul would be a smart signing for the Hammers. The 29-year-old Netherlands international goalkeeper knows the Premier League inside out, and he will be hungry to star again in the English top flight. True, the Dutchman does make mistakes from time to time, but then again, which player doesn't? What Krul's arrival at the London Stadium would do is push Adrian and Randolph to step up their game.

West Ham fans react as Dusan Tadic rumours intensify
by James Beavis
29/5/2017 | 09:49pm

According to SkyBet, West Ham United are the 9/4 favourites to sign Southampton attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic this summer. Irons manager Slaven Bilic is determined to significantly strengthen his squad this summer and he could be looking for a creative player to replace Dimitri Payet, who left for Marseille during the January transfer window. Despite having his worst season since coming to the Premier League in 2014 based on statistics, the 28-year-old has still scored 15 goals and provided an impressive 27 assists over the course of the last three campaigns. The Serbian is understood to have fallen out with Saints boss Claude Puel last term and he could leave St Mary's this summer. West Ham supporters were quick to have their say on the latest rumours via social media, and many believe that Tadic would be a good signing and that he would link up well with Manuel Lanzini.

Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…

West Ham Social @WestHamSocial
Odds have been significantly lowered on West Ham signing Southampton's Dusan Tadic.

Steven Trister @StevenTrister
@WestHamSocial I'd defo take him. Quality player
11:16 AM - 29 May 2017

West Ham Social @WestHamSocial
Odds have been significantly lowered on West Ham signing Southampton's Dusan Tadic.
Adam Whiddett 父 @whidderz
@WestHamSocial Yeh I'd take him..he'd link up nicely with lanzini I reckon.
1:37 PM - 29 May 2017

West Ham Social @WestHamSocial
Odds have been significantly lowered on West Ham signing Southampton's Dusan Tadic.
Greg richardson @rakis14
@WestHamSocial Takes some of the creative burden off of Lanzini. Would prefer Barkley (v.unlilely ik) but Tadic would be decent addition
11:54 AM - 29 May 2017
Retweets likes

West Ham Social @WestHamSocial
Odds have been significantly lowered on West Ham signing Southampton's Dusan Tadic.
Jack. @Jack_L_W
@WestHamSocial Another player who lacks pace, a slighty improved Snodgrass, no thanks. He rarely completes 90mins too.
10:20 AM - 29 May 2017
Retweets likes

West Ham News @WHUFC_News
I'd take him tbh. Need another creative player who can play wide
Michael French @frenchie1309
@WHUFC_News Fantastic player - no chance though.
3:12 PM - 29 May 2017
Retweets likes

West Ham News @WHUFC_News
I'd take him tbh. Need another creative player who can play wide
Steve @cheekychambers
@WHUFC_News @WestHamSocial Always plays well against us. Would happily offload Snodgrass Feghouli and Ayew for 2 quality signings
12:16 PM - 29 May 2017
Retweets likes

Manchester City to insist on buy-back clause in Kelechi Iheanacho contract with West Ham interested in striker
£20million-rated Kelechi Iheanacho could be heading for Manchester City exit
West Ham, Everton and Leicester are all battling to sign the Nigerian striker
Pep Guardiola would like to insert a buy-back clause in any transfer this summer
The Hammers will want any buy-back fee to be at least double what they pay
By Kieran Gill for the Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: 22:30, 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:58, 29 May 2017

Manchester City want a buy-back clause inserted in the contract for Kelechi Iheanacho if they are to sell the 20-year-old. West Ham are hopeful they can win the race for the £20million-rated striker but Everton and Leicester are also interested. City do not want to be left in the same situation as Chelsea, who allowed Romelu Lukaku to leave without inserting an option to buy back the striker at a set price. Iheanacho has struggled to play under Pep Guardiola, having only started five Premier League games all season. The Nigerian has previously spoken about his need to play to build his confidence. West Ham will want any buy-back fee to be at least double what they pay, though City will likely argue it should be closer to the £30m mark or less. The total can vary depending on what Iheanacho achieves at a new club. Despite that limited opportunity Iheanacho still managed seven goals and three assists, with those strikes coming at an average rate of one every 128 minutes. With value for money goalscorers a commodity always cherished by Premier League clubs it is hardly a surprise such a promising forward is in such high demand. However, Iheanacho recently dismissed any talk of an impending Etihad exit, telling reporters: 'I'm not very aware of that. 'I just keep working with the team and I'm still at Manchester City so I'll meet up with the boys and kick off the season with Manchester City. 'I'm happy to stay at Manchester City and keep fighting to help them achieve what they want to achieve. Manchester City is a big team and we need to go far as a squad, so we need everybody.'

West Ham encouraged to sign Jack Wilshere this summer as Arsenal midfielder faces up to exit
West Ham transfer news includes advice for Jack Wilshere to move from Arsenal to West Ham this summer for more regular first-team football
Football London
07:00, 30 MAY 2017

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been advised by former Gunners midfielder Ray Parlour to leave the Emirates this summer - and move to West Ham United. Wilshere's future remains up in the air as he recovers from a season-ending broken leg which curtailed his progress on loan at Bournemouth and there are now doubts over his long-term future at the club. The 25-year-old is out of contract next summer and faces a pivotal pre-season to prove his fitness but Parlour believes a move to West Ham would suit all parties, with Slaven Bilic possibly tempted by the player if the right deal can be struck. "Moving forward, it's a massive decision that Jack's got to make as well," Parlour told talkSPORT. "Does he want to try and fight for his position at Arsenal or does he want to go out to a club and play?
"Another club, West Ham might be ideal for Jack Wilshere. I think if he wants to play on a regular basis, yes (I think he should leave), I really do. "I don't think he will play on a regular basis, I know he's had his injuries this season as well but he's played a lot more football. "Again, I'll go back to West Ham, they will be looking at midfielders, a bit more quality. I would say would Jack be worth £10million? "He's only got a year left on his contract, that's the big stumbling block."


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