Friday, June 16

Daily WHUFC News - 16th June 2017

Zabaleta: Facing City in Iceland will be the ideal test

New signing Pablo Zabaleta admits he can't wait to pull on the West Ham
United shirt, after it was revealed that the Hammers will face his former
club Manchester City in a glamorous friendly match in Iceland on Friday 4
August. The historic encounter, at the national stadium in Reykjavik, will
mark the first occasion that two English Premier League teams have played
against each other in Iceland, and Zabaleta believe it will provide the
perfect preparation ahead of the season opener against Manchester United at
Old Trafford a week later. "Of course it will be interesting to face my
former club, so soon after leaving," said the Argentine defender, who signed
on a free transfer this summer after nine years with City. "But more
importantly, I am looking forward to playing with my new team-mates, and it
will be a great test for us one week before the start of the season. "It
will also be a great honour for West Ham and City to be the first English
Premier League clubs to play each other in Iceland. We all saw how well
Iceland did in the European Championships last year – they made a lot of
friends and it is clear they are a nation who love football. "We will be
proud to represent the Premier League, and I hope we can give the supporters
an entertaining match."

Zabaleta will meet up with his new team-mates when Slaven Bilic's squad
return for pre-season training on July 5, ahead of a tour of Europe that
will take in training camps in Austria and Germany before the trip to
Iceland, and the 32-year-old believes the time away will be of huge benefit.
"I am already looking forward to getting started for next season, and our
pre-season schedule will give me a good opportunity to get to know
everyone," he told "It is about hard work and preparation, but
also building the spirit and unity for next season."

Follow the Hammers in Europe this summer

West Ham United are heading to Europe this pre-season – and we have teamed
up with Winged Boots to offer Hammers fans some fantastic discounts on
travel packages for the tour.

Slaven Bilic's men take on Werder Bremen in a Betway Cup double header on
July 28 and 29, with the fixtures being played in the German towns of
Schneverdingen and Lohne.

Both towns are within 50 miles of Bremen, where Hammers fans are likely to
base themselves for the trip. Here's our rundown on the second biggest city
in northern Germany

A major cultural and economic hub, Bremen sits on the River Weser and is
home to dozens of historical galleries and museums.
The city's airport is located just 2.2 miles from the city, giving easy
access to Hammers fans flying to the games from London.
Bremen's Rathaus (town hall) dates from 1410 and is included on the UNESCO
World Heritage List. Other sights in the city include the Dom St Petri, the
1,200-year-old cathedral; Bottcherstrasse, an incredible Art Nouveau street
which runs from the main square to the river; and the charming Schnoor area,
a series of twisting lanes with many shops.
Schneverdingen and Lohne are both within driving distance of Bremen, meaning
fans can easily access both games in Germany.

Winged Boots logoThe Hammers then move on to Iceland, where they face
Manchester City on Friday August 4, giving supporters the chance to watch
the team with the stunning backdrop of the northern Atlantic nation.

The nation's capital, Reykjavik, will play host to the Hammers and there's
plenty to do in this historic city.

Reykjavik's city centre is compact and characterised by eclectic and
colourful houses, with good shopping and dining.
The airport is located 30 miles from the city, with easy access by bus,
while the national stadium – Laugardalsvöllur – where the game will be
played, is a short 30-minute walk from the city centre

Reykjavik is renowned for its nightlife, centred around the Laugarvegur
area, with plenty of live music in bars at weekends
We've teamed up with Winged Boots to offer fans travel options around all
three fixtures – with 20% off hotels in Bremen or Reykjavik for Hammers
supporters with these packages.

With flights from London airports to both Bremen and Reykjavik on offer,
plus hotels to suit all budgets, call 0203 3109 4400 or email today to discuss your requirements.

West Ham ready to abandon interest in Manchester United ace Chris Smalling
WEST HAM are ready to abandon their interest in Manchester United defender
Chris Smalling.
Daily Star
By David Woods, Chief Football Writer / Published 15th June 2017

The Hammers looked at bringing in the £15m-rated England international this
summer. Jose Mourinho had made it clear he is prepared to let Smalling leave
- with Everton, Newcastle and West Brom all keen on the centre-half who
earns close to £100,000 per week. But West Ham have cooled on the idea after
deciding they do not need strengthening in the position. Slaven Bilic
decided they are covered with Winston Reid performing well there last
season. They also have James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Jose Fonte and rookie
Reece Oxford. The West Ham boss is looking to bolster elsewhere with Saint
Etienne full-back Kevin Malcuit a long-term admirer. French side Lille have
this week seen a £4.4m offer turned down

West Ham face shock battle for Onyekuru as Birmingham ready record bid for
Nigerian wonderkid
The Hammers have been chasing Onyekuru since the season ended
Football London
07:00, 16 JUN 2017

West Ham may face a new battle for the signature of Henry Onyekuru after it
emerged that Birmingham City are ready to offer a club record fee of £7.5m
for the striker, according to the Birmingham Mail. The Hammers thought they
had a deal for the Nigerian striker all wrapped up, only to hit a speedbump
with both Onyekuru's club, Eupen, and with securing a work permit for the
20-year-old. Eupen had advised West Ham to bid £7.87m in order to get
Onyekuru a work permit, and it remains to be seen whether or not Harry
Redknapp's Birmingham can raise their bid to match that total. Onyekuru gave
West Ham fans hope when he said he wanted to move to a club where he would
actually get game time, which appeared to shut down talks of a move to
Arsenal. But now that same factor could go against them, as Birmingham could
offer the 20-year-old a guaranteed starting role in the Championship next

West Ham United should swap Enner Valencia for £26.4m star
Shane Callaghan

West Ham United had a club-record bid knocked back last September. Reports
from Portugal (A Bola) today indicated that Porto might be interested in
bringing West Ham United's Enner Valencia to the club after he was offered
to them. If their interest is genuine then West Ham should look to include
the player whom they reportedly submitted a £33.6 million bid for last year:
Yacine Brahimi. The Mirror reported last September that the Hammers saw a
big-money offer for the 27-year-old rebuffed on deadline day. Fast forward
nine months and he is, according to A Bola, valued at £26.4 million and his
club could have to sell in order to comply with Financial Fair Play
regulations. West Ham boss Slaven Bilic should offer Valencia - worth a
reported £7 million - and cash in an effort to prise the Algerian from
Portugal. Bilic lost Dimitri Payet in January and it is clear that the Irons
still need a creative spark. Brahimi scored six goals and set up three in 16
Primera Liga starts this past season. Robert Snodgrass, signed for £10
million in the wake of Payet's exit, failed to score in any of his 15
Premier League games, setting up two goals. If West Ham have the chance to
right the wrongs of last summer and get Brahimi this time then they must
take it - and Valencia could be the perfect ticket.

West Ham release Scottish defender Stephen Hendrie by mutual consent
Stephen Hendrie made eight appearances on loan at Blackburn last season
The 22-year-old joined West Ham from Scottish side Hamilton in July 2015
West Ham are looking to offset spending on incomings by letting players go
By Simon Jones for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 13:55 EDT, 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:57 EDT, 15 June 2017

West Ham have released full-back Stephen Hendrie by mutual consent. The
22-year-old, who joined from Hamilton in 2015, has had loan spells at
Southend United and Blackburn Rovers where he made eight appearances last
season. Hendrie is one of a number of players who could leave West Ham this
summer as they look to offset spending on incomings. He failed to make an
appearance for the Hammers first team during his two seasons at the club.
The Celtic supporter has four caps for Scotland U21 after progressing
through the age groups from the U17s. Hendrie has just one senior goal so
far, which came in February 2016 during his loan spell with Southend. West
Ham will begin the 2017-18 campaign with an away trip to Manchester United
before a home clash against Southampton.

Kylian Mbappe should join West Ham instead of Arsenal - Shaka Hislop
WEST HAM legend Shaka Hislop has jokingly claimed Kylian Mbappe should join
his old side instead of Arsenal.
PUBLISHED: 17:05, Thu, Jun 15, 2017 | UPDATED: 17:13, Thu, Jun 15, 2017

Mbappe, 18, is one of the most sought after strikers in Europe after
bursting onto the scene midway through last season for Monaco. The Frenchman
has been linked with mega-money moves to Real Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester
United among others throughout the last couple of months. It is likely to
cost a world record fee of over £100million to prise him away from the Ligue
1 champions. Hislop was asked whether he could see Mbappe completing a move
to Arsenal in the transfer window and is response was unequivocal. Instead
he advised the teenager to join the Hammers over Arsene Wenger's side. "I'm
sure they do (need a big player)," he said on ESPN FC. "If you're Kylian
Mbappe, Arsenal is not a destination. We've had this discussion before,
nothing has changed. "He can come to West Ham, we can have him at West Ham.
"West Ham, everybody wants to come to West Ham! "If you change it to West
Ham I will change my mind a little bit."

Sofiane Feghouli not interested in quitting West Ham this summer
Evening Standard

Sofiane Feghouli has no intention of leaving West Ham this summer despite
enduring a difficult first season in the English top flight.
The deal to bring the right-winger in from Valencia on a three-year deal was
seen as something of a coup at the time, but he made just 11 Premier League
starts in his first campaign as a Hammer. He did manage to score three goals
and get three assists, but manager Slaven Bilic preferred Manuel Lanzini,
Andre Ayew and Michail Antonio in wide areas.
West Ham had been open to selling Feghouli before Dimitri Payet's departure
in January, but the Frenchman's exit put a stop to any further departures in
attacking areas. But even after Payet left for Marseille in January, the
Algerian found his opportunities limited.
"I have two years left at West Ham and as I said on social media, I see
myself staying at West Ham. I'll start again on the 10th of July with the
team. I mean it when I say it, but you don't control everything in football.
I'm not looking for a way out, not at all," he told RMC Sport. "I'm going to
go on holiday calmly and prepare myself for a great season. I'm open for
talks with the manager, but there aren't any planned. Maybe the owner will
tell me one day that I need to leave, but I don't think so."

Henry Onyekuru so good, West Ham raises bid to £9m
Posted By: Osita Duruon: June 15, 2017
Breaking TimesIn

English Premier League side West Ham has intensified efforts to sign
prolific Nigerian striker, Henry Onyekuru from the Belgium League as they
raised their offer for the KAS Eupen striker to £9m. West Ham thought they
had a fee agreed after meeting his release clause of around £6.5m but the
fee only applies to clubs in Belgium, while for clubs outside Belgium a fee
over or close to £9m is what the Belgians are demanding. However they have
not given up hope of luring the forward, who is keen on moving to the
Premier League, despite offers from fellow Belgium side Anderlecht. A fresh
bid of around £9m was launched by the club yesterday after talks with Eupen
negotiator, Mogi Bayat, who is widely regarded as the biggest player
representative in Belgium, and also holds close ties with the president of

Arsene Wenger unwilling to sign Henry Onyekuru this summer; would prefer
2018 deal
Vincent Ralph

Arsenal and West Ham United have both been linked with the young forward.
According to a report from, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger likes
what he sees of Eupen forward Henry Onyekuru but has no intention of bidding
for him this summer. The Frenchman would preferably like to wait and take
the 20-year-old in 2018, when he has seen what the young Nigerian can do
over a longer period of time. The problem for the Gunners is that according
to a recent report from Own Goal Nigeria, West Ham United are fighting hard
for the forward and have made an improved £9million bid in an attempt to
seal a deal. For that kind of money, and given that Onyekuru scored 24 goals
and provided nine assists in 41 appearances for Eupen last season, he
clearly has the talent to be a canny addition for a number of Premier League
clubs. However, it seems Arsenal are not prepared to jump in now, even if
they could blow the Hammers out of the water and secure one of the most
exciting young forwards in European football. Arsenal need to make the right
additions this summer to build on yet another FA Cup triumph and ensure
their slip out of the top four was merely a blip. As for West Ham, they are
desperate for additional fire-power and Onyekuru fits the bill as a
cut-price signing whose value is only likely to increase in the years ahead.
If West Ham seal a deal and Onyekuru hits the ground running, Arsenal fans
will have another reason to bemoan Wenger's transfer tactics.

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini makes first start for Argentina in 6-0 thrashing
of Singapore
Evening Stadnard

Manuel Lanzini capped off a superb season by earning his first start for
Argentina as Jorge Sampaoli's team thrashed Singapore 6-0 on Tuesday. The
West Ham midfielder made his debut for La Albiceleste in their 1-0 friendly
win over rivals Brazil in Melbourne on Friday after being brought on for
David Banega in the 81st minute. After playing the final few minutes of the
game - which was Argentina's first victory over Brazil since 2012 - Sampaoli
decided to give the 24-year-old his first start for his nation against
Singapore on Tuesday.
Lanzini played 60 minutes of the match as Argentina ran out 6-0 winners,
with the West Ham star later expressing his happiness at being able to
represent his nation in what he described as a "beautiful" moment.
"Beautiful to be able to live this with the most beautiful shirt of all,
[and] to continue growing as well," he wrote on Instagram alongside a
picture of himself in action. Lanzini's call-up, and subsequent appearances
for Argentina, are well deserved for the midfielder, who impressed for West
Ham following the departure of Dimitri Payet in January. Such were his
performances in midfield for Slaven Bilic's side that the 24-year-old won
the Hammers' Players' Player of the Year award in May, and is likely to be a
crucial player for the West Ham manager as the club look to have a positive
second season at the London Stadium next term.

The work permit issues which are preventing West Ham making progress on
Onyekuru deal
The Hammers need to get the striker a permit if they want any hope of
signing him
Football London
10:53, 15 JUN 2017

Henry Onyekuru wants to join West Ham but nothing will happen until he has a
work permit that will allow his to move from KAS Eupen in Belgium to east
London. The money the Hammers are currently offering - around £7m - is not
going to be enough to get him in, so the club will need to increase it. The
figure being touted is not much more, £7.87m, to ensure that it happens.
That doesn't mean that a work permit will be automatically given though,
there is a bit more to it than that. So, what is the work permit system all
Previously, in order to qualify to play in the UK, footballers needed to
have played in at least 75% of their country's senior international matches
during the past two years. Onyekuru has just one cap for Nigeria. If his
country were ranked within FIFA's top ten in the world, he would only have
had to have played in 30% of the games. That will be the reason why Onyekuru
is having troubles signing for the club, so it then moves to a points system
as the player and West Ham would have to appeal the decision. You get a
certain number of points for meeting certain criteria and the target West
Ham and Onyekuru need is five points to help the deal over the line and get
the work permit. For example, West Ham would get three points if the wages
they offered Onyekuru are between the 50th and 75th percentile of earners at
the club, so the new man would be on a high wage. Another two points will
arrive if the the value of the transfer fee being paid for the player is
between the 50th and 75th percentile of all transfers to Premier League
clubs in the previous two windows, which is why the club needs to increase
its offer. And that should make up the five points the Hammers need to get
Onyekuru in. Simple, no?

Ray Parlour calls out West Ham owners Sullivan and Gold and discusses
expectations for next season
Damien Lucas

Pundit and childhood West Ham United fan Ray Parlour has called out the
club's owners and discussed expectations for the new season.
The Hammers took a big step back last season as they endured a torrid second
year under Slaven Bilic often flirting with the relegation places before
eventually finishing 11th. The club's big move to the Olympic Stadium was
meant to push the Hammers on to the next level after they finished just four
points off the Champions League places in their farewell campaign at the
Boleyn Ground. Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold were full of promises
about the club's intentions to spend big on quality players ahead of the
move to Stratford.
None of that materialised, though, and instead Bilic's squad was diluted
with a glut of poor quality loan and free transfer signings.
The two Davids have since pledged to get things right this summer and Bilic
has publicly stated he is targeting quality over quantity with eyes on four
"game-changer" signings. Pablo Zabaleta has joined on a free but Parlour has
called the club's owners out on talkSPORT and insists they must start
spending money. "I think it's a big season for West Ham again," Parlour told
talkSPORT. "They under performed a little bit last year, but I'm really
pleased they stuck with Slaven. "But now they've (Sullivan and Gold) got to
invest... (the likes of) Chris Smalling and Joe Hart have been mentioned
with going there and they do need investment West Ham this year to really
push on to be in that top 10."
The club's ability to finally compete with the Premier League elite in the
transfer market was dangled as a carrot to supporters who were unsure about
leaving their beloved Upton Park. But clubs like Everton are showing what
serious investment is already this summer with some big signings and more to
follow. Finishing below clubs like Bournemouth with a fraction of West Ham's
income will not be acceptable to supporters next season. And given the club
has been named in the top 20 wealthiest in Europe, it is time they started
acting like it by spending what is required to attract top quality


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