Friday, June 30

Daily WHUFC News - 1st July 2017

Angelo Ogbonna signs new contract

Angelo Ogbonna has signed a new long-term deal with West Ham United which sees him commit his future to the Club until 2022. The centre-back, who signed for the Club in 2015 from Italian champions Juventus, has put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal ahead of the Hammers' second campaign at London Stadium. Ogbonna missed the majority of the second half of the 2016/17 season through injury, but made a winning return to the side for the final game of the term – the 2-1 win at Burnley's Turf Moor. The defender is set to be fit to start pre-season with the rest of the squad and is delighted to have secured his long-term future in east London. "I'm really grateful for this new deal," said the Italian. "Our position last year was quite high and we are looking forward to improving next season.
"My target is that I can't wait to get back playing. I think we have a long season ahead and for me my target is to be better than last season. We finished in 11th position but very close to 8th position and we know we can do better than what we did last year. "I am excited to show my quality on the pitch and the support is always amazing, even when I had my injury. We have got lots of experience in the team at the moment, which is very good."

After a frustrating five months sidelined with injury, Ogbonna will be keen to re-establish himself in Slaven Bilic's side when the squad travel to the likes of Austria, Germany and Iceland this summer. The fans are really important for us. I cannot compare our fans with other fans because we are West Ham, we are more than a club and we are a family. The 29-year-old was a key man for the Hammers during his debut season in English football, making 39 appearances in the year which saw the Irons finish seventh in the Premier League, their highest top flight placing for 14 years. He also provided one of the most memorable moments of the final season at the Boleyn Ground, nodding home his only Hammers goal – an FA Cup fourth round replay winner late in extra-time – against Liverpool. And now with a long-term deal in place, Ogbonna is hoping to provide the West Ham fans with more of those moments to saviour in years to come. "The fans are really important for us," he added. "I cannot compare our fans with other fans because we are West Ham, we are more than a club and we are a family. "For us it's important, even in this new stadium, that we have people behind us. It makes things much better for us. "I'm very excited (for the start of the season). I cannot wait for the Manchester United game, not just me but also our whole team. Everyone wants to show themselves but we have to be focused and prepare for that game by working hard in pre-season."

Hammers star Aaron Cresswell vows to ignore Austrian 'nightmare'

Aaron Cresswell admits he will need to overcome a 'nightmare' feeling when West Ham United return to Austria on pre-season tour in July. The left-back suffered a serious knee injury during the Hammers' visit to the Central European country a year ago, when a crude challenge late in a 3-0 win over German side Karlsruher SC left him writing in pain on the turf. Cresswell was ruled out for three months, but returned to make 29 first-team appearances and make his England debut last season, and he is keen to avoid a similar fall when Slaven Bilic take his squad to the Alpine mountains. "Going back to Austria, I will have a few nightmares on the plane!" he joked. "But you learn to live with things like injuries in football and just get on with it. "To be honest, I have had a good run of it when it comes to injuries, as I'm 26 now and that problem I had last year was the longest I have ever been out of action. "I've never had any major injuries or operations and, touch wood, that will continue next season and beyond."

Cresswell ended last season with strong performances in the victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley, leading to a call-up for England's June fixtures with Scotland and France. Having made his debut against Spain in November, the No3 doubled his cap tally when he appeared in the 3-2 friendly defeat at the Stade de France. After a well-earned holiday, the defender will return for pre-season training on 10 July before jetting out to Austria for a fitness-building training camp.
"Pre-season is part and parcel of football and I'm looking forward to getting back and putting in the hard work to give myself a platform for the new Premier League season," confirmed Cresswell, who has made 101 top-flight appearances over his three seasons in Claret and Blue. "My summer has been a bit shorter than usual, but when you are representing your country you can't complain, can you! "I've managed to get away with my family to Dubai and get some sun on my back and recharge the batteries, too, so it's certainly not all doom and gloom!"

West Ham travel to Austria for a training camp before heading to Germany to face Werder Bremen twice in the Betway Cup on 28 and 29 July before tackling Altona 93 in Hamburg on 1 August. The Hammers will then complete their pre-season schedule by tackling Manchester City in The Super Match at the Laugardalsvollur national stadium in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Friday 4 August.

Hammers reject Van Persie offer
Filed: Friday, 30th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have been offered the opportunity to sign former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie. The 33-year-old left England in 2015 in order to join Super Lig side Fenerbahce in Turkey, but is keen on a return to the UK after two years away. According to reports, West Ham were one of several clubs offered the opportunity to sign the former Dutch international - an option that was rejected by the club, who are still hoping to lure either Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho or Arsenal's Olivier Giroud to the Olympic Stadium this summer.

* On Giroud, and former French Under 21 manager Rene Girard has told L'Equipe that the Arsenal striker should snub a move to West Ham on order to return to France. "It is clear that his return would be good for Ligue 1," said Girard. "He is a top player, but it in terms of his image it might be a bit complicated for him."

* In other transfer news, Hammers target Yann Karamoh is Premier League-bound after current club Caen reluctantly agreed to cash in on the 18-year-old striker.
News of his availability has however alerted a string of clubs, with the likes of Everton, Newcastle and Southampton having also registered their interest in singing the French Under 21 international, who is entering the final year of his contract with SMC.

* Two forwards heavily-linked with a move to the Olympic Stadium this summer are on the verge of sealing moves. Monaco's Kylian Mbappe has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent days, whilst Stoke City's 19-year-old Belgian international Julien Ngoy is set to replace him at Monaco. Both players have been on West Ham's radar this summer.

* West Ham are one of a number of clubs monitoring the situation regarding Burnley forward Andre Gray. Linked in recent days with a move to Tottenham, 23-year-old Gray has also been watched by Everton and Leicester. He has recently refused to sign a contract extension with Burnley and has just 12 months remaining on his existing deal.

* St Etienne defender Kevin Malcuit is on the verge of leaving his current club - despite his destination remaining unknown. West Ham had been heavily linked with the €7million-rated defender prior to signing Pablo Zabaleta, but retain an interest nonetheless according to Talksport. Newcastle United and Ligue 1 side Lille remain the favourites to complete the deal, however.

Arsenal must consider selling Olivier Giroud to West Ham, says former Gunner Nigel Winterburn
Evening Standard

Arsenal should consider selling Olivier Giroud to West Ham so as to make their frontline more mobile, according to Gunners great Nigel Winterburn. West Ham are eager to recruit Giroud, who carries a price tag of around £20million, this summer and the Frenchman could be allowed to leave Arsenal if the Gunners can find a replacement. Their two leading targets for a central striking role are French duo Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe – both of whom are yet to displace the Gunners striker in Didier Deschamps' national side – and though progress has been slow on both it appears unlikely Giroud will start the season as Arsenal's first-choice striker. However Arsene Wenger has consistently spoken of his faith in Giroud – who in December 2015 he labelled one of the best in Europe – and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claimed Arsenal wanted to keep the oft-maligned striker. But Winterburn, who played for both Arsenal and West Ham, believes the London Stadium may be a better fit for Giroud than the Emirates bench. "I think Arsenal have stated that they would like to keep Giroud, but they might need to review the situation depending what happens in the summer," Winterburn told beIN Sports. "He's probably looking at his age and thinking 'I need to be playing and I want to make sure that I'm part of the French squad'. "I think he's done a very good job and I just wonder whether Arsenal want a little bit more mobility going forward. He found himself on the bench at the end of the season and he obviously wouldn't want that to happen. "It's again whether the player feels that he is going to play enough games or is it time to make the break? I think there would be a lot more offers from abroad if he did move from Arsenal. "He might also be settled in London and if that is the case, West Ham have a good link with Arsenal and if he wanted to stay in London that could be a good opportunity for West Ham to get a very good striker. "I could see it happening but you have to think whether the player believes he is capable of playing for a top-six club and West Ham are not a top-six club. It'll be a case of whether West Ham can convince the player to join them."

West Ham's Ashley Fletcher looking to Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane for inspiration ahead of new season
Evening Standard

Ashley Fletcher has opened up on the difficulties of trying to break into the West Ham first-team as a young player, but says he looks to compatriots Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane for inspiration. The 21-year old was signed by the Hammers from Manchester United last summer on the back of a successful loan spell at Barnsley, but scored just one goal in his opening campaign in the EFL Cup, against his former team. West Ham have made no secret of their desire to bring in at least one goal scorer, but Fletcher is philosophical about his chances next season. "It was the same last year, as everyone was saying we need a £20m striker but they are hard to come by," He told the club site, "It's not easy to go out and find a player who can score goals regularly in the Premier League, especially those who come in from abroad. "As a young player making my way through, if I am given an opportunity and a run in the team, I think that can only benefit me."
Fletcher is a couple of years older than his former team-mate Rashford, but is full of praise for what he has achieved, "I look at Marcus Rashford, for example, who has taken his chance and stayed in the team and he's probably now one of the best strikers in England. The same can be said for Harry Kane as well. "There aren't many young English strikers playing in the Premier League, so hopefully this season I can get even more game-time, as my ambitions are to play and do well for this massive Club "Last season was a learning year for me, so I've been away and worked on getting fitter and stronger over the summer as I want to come back firing in pre-season."

West Ham in talks to sign FC Koln striker Anthony Modeste
By Kaveh Solhekol, Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 30/06/17 11:08pm

West Ham are in talks to sign Anthony Modeste from Cologne, according to Sky sources. The 29-year-old Frenchman scored 25 goals in 32 appearances in the Bundesliga last season and the Hammers are prepared to pay £20m for him. Sky Sports News HQ understands that West Ham turned down the chance to sign Modeste for £6m last summer after he scored 15 goals in his first season for Koln, who now want £30m. He was set to join Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian for that amount this month but the move collapsed on Wednesday. Sky sources understand West Ham have also contacted Villarreal about signing striker Cedric Bakambu, who is also of interest to Newcastle United. DR Congo international Bakambu scored 11 goals in all competitions for Villarreal last season and has 34 in 81 appearances since joining the club in 2015 from Bursaspor. Modeste is a former France U21 international but has never earned a senior cap for France.


Solhekol claims that West Ham are in negotiations to bring the striker to England this summer but Cologne have set their asking price at £30m. This is – incredibly – after West Ham turned down the opportunity to sign him for £6m at the start of last season. Modeste has since gone on to net 25 Bundesliga goals in 32 appearances for Cologne – 27 in all competitions. The French striker has netted 45 times over the last two seasons and any deal to bring him to West Ham would be a club-record deal. Modeste spent half a season with Blackburn in the Premier League, scoring no goals in nine appearances.

Battle of the West Ham left backs - Masuaku ahead of Cresswell as number one choice
Our Hammers writer asked you, the fans, who you want as your left back and hundreds of you responded
Football London
14:28, 30 JUN 2017

It's sure to be a dilemma facing Slaven Bilic this coming season - who starts the campaign as West Ham's first choice left back? The form of Arthur Masuaku last season, especially towards the end of the campaign, and Aaron Cresswell's lack of form throughout the season raised the question much earlier than the final week of June 2017. Masuaku was brought in from Olympiacos for around £6m last summer as a replacement for Cresswell, who was then out injured for the first three months of the season having picked up a knee injury in pre-season. Bar one catastrophic performances, Masuaku did absolutely nothing wrong but his season was blighted by injury and Cresswell returned from his in October, setting up the winner for Manuel Lanzini at Crystal Palace on a rain-lashed evening at Selhurst Park last October. Cresswell then picked up a hamstring injury in the final throngs of the season and Masuaku started four games in a row at left back and was sensational before he then picked up another knock. But, with both expected to be fully fit and raring to go for the start of the season, our Hammers writer Sam Inkersole posted on his Twitter feed a vote for who gets the nod for Man United away on opening day?

It was close, but Frenchman Masuaku was your choice for the left back spot, with 59% of the vote, with Cresswell not far behind with 41%. Some of your responses are below:

Sam Inkersole ✔ @Sam_InkersoleTM
Away from transfer news, who should be the #WHUFC first-choice left back next season? Vote below.

iRONS UNITED @irons_united
@Sam_InkersoleTM Always be a Creswell fan, and hope he finds form next year but after last seasons displays it will have to be King Arthur
10:47 AM - 30 Jun 2017

Dave RedgewellOS2016 @redgewd
@Sam_InkersoleTM Cresswell back 4 Masuaku back 5, nice to have 2 good choices.
11:30 AM - 30 Jun 2017
1 1 Retweet likes

The Northern Hammer @NorthernHammer_
@Sam_InkersoleTM Could always try out Mas on the wing above Cress as well, left side vacant- either way great to see young competition on the squad!
11:47 AM - 30 Jun 2017
Retweets 1 1 like

Greg richardson @rakis14
@Sam_InkersoleTM Cresswell massively missed Payet last season. Opp doubled up on Dimi = more space for Cresswell to get forward. Arthur more natural attacker
11:45 AM - 30 Jun 2017

West Ham named as one of the shock favourites to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma
By James Jones - Jun 30, 2017 0

Online bookmakers Unibet have named West Ham as one of the shock favourites to sign AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, according to OddsChecker.
The 18-year-old Italy international has recently alerted a number of Europe's elite clubs after refusing to sign an improved deal at AC Milan, a decision that came under increased criticism from the club's fans. As expected, the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United have been consistently linked with a move for the world class teenager this summer but West Ham are the surprise contenders for his signature with Unibet. It is worth noting that Unibet are the only bookies offering odds for West Ham to be Donnarumma's club after the summer transfer window closes at a very short 4/1, while they have Man United as the favourites at odds of 4/9. With question marks over the future of Darren Randolph and many believing the club needs to recruit an improvement on Adrian in the near future, it's no surprise that West Ham are being linked with a move for a goalkeeper, but this particular stopper may be a little out of our price range. Donnarumma is valued at £21.25m by

Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United interested in Javier Hernandez
Shane Callaghan

West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in the striker it seems. According to Bild, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are among those to harbour a "great interest" in signing Javier Hernandez this summer. The Bayer Leverkusen hitman is out of contract with the Bundesliga side next summer and they could well listen to offers for the 29-year-old in the coming months. And German outlet Bild claim that the former Manchester United striker could be available for around £13 million. The report goes on claim that Tottenham and West Ham are among those interested in the Mexico international, who scored once in the Confederations Cup for his country this summer. Hernandez netted 11 goals in 20 Bundesliga starts last season, and with his Premier League experience, he might just be a smart addition for Spurs or West Ham. It is arguably more important that Hammers boss Slaven Bilic signs up a striker this summer, given that Harry Kane, who won the Premier League's Golden Boot two years in a row, is at Tottenham and will not be displaced in the first XI by Hernandez. But the Lilywhites will need a back-up option after Vincent Janssen managed two goals from open play in 38 appearances last term. West Ham boss Bilic is keen on signing £20 million Olivier Giroud from Arsenal, according to The Telegraph, but perhaps Hernandez is a plan-b option in the event that the Irons cannot prise him from North London, or if he goes to France.

Liverpool's Lazar Markovic would be ideal for West Ham
Antony Martin

West Ham United should consider a move for the Liverpool star this summer. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic will be looking to add some real quality to his attacking options this summer, as he looks to build a squad capable of making a sustained push for the Europa League spots this season. Since Dimitri Payet's acrimonious exit from the club in January, West Ham have lacked any kind of creative edge in the final third, and Robert Snodgrass - the Frenchman's supposed replacement, has been well off the pace. The Croatian absolutely must inject some pace into his side in forward areas, and with this in mind, the east Londoners should target Reds winger Lazar Markovic, who has been made available for just £12 million, according to the Mirror. The 23-year-old moved to Anfield in 2014 from Benfica, for a fee believed to be in the region of £20 million, but failed to establish himself with Liverpool. He spent two separate seasons away from Merseyside last term with Sporting Lisbon and Hull City respectively, where he displayed glimpses of his true ability. The Serbian possesses pace in abundance, and is most effective when deployed as an orthodox winger, although he can play anywhere along the front-line - even as an auxiliary centre-forward.
Markovic's technical ability is second-to-none, and he possesses an exceptional delivery, which could prove to be a great asset to the Hammers, what with the height they possess in their side. The Liverpool man would add a much needed level of guile in the final third for West Ham, and the fact that he can play in a whole multitude of positions will surely appeal to Bilic. The Croatian should make a move for the highly-talented 23-year-old as a matter of priority, and for just £12 million, it could turn out to be a real coup for the east London outfit.

West Ham identify José Izquierdo as Onyekuru alternative
By Adam Leatherbarrow - Jun 30, 2017 0

West Ham's are preparing a move for Colombian attacker José Izquierdo, according to a source close to José Izquierdo currently plays for Club Brugge in the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium and in 34 senior appearances, where he has racked up over 2,500 minutes, he has scored 16 goals. The attacker netted in Club Brugge's 2-1 Champions League defeat to Leicester City in November. Izquierdo had recently been called up to the Colombian national squad for fixtures against Spain and Cameroon, scoring in a 4-0 win over the latter. The 24-year-old also won the Belgian Cup for his club in a 2-1 win against Standard Liege where he scored the equaliser and put in a Man of the Match performance. He is a notable presence on the pitch by using his electrifying pace and skill to come in wide and attack through the centre.
Slaven Bilic has seen footage of José Izquierdo and is keen to bring his speed to east London in order to improve his attacking width on the left hand side. José Izquierdo's contract expires in 2019 and has a valuation of around £10m. Our source has told us a £12.5m deal is on the cards. Bilic is also keen on Izquierdo's strength and at 5ft 7" his low centre of gravity of getting past players has been key to his success. He is the quality player Bilic has been looking for for some time now. We have been told that Izquierdo has been noticed by the same scout who initially alerted Bilic to Henry Onyekuru. Tony Henry's team had decided to move for Onyekuru first due to his age and cheaper price-tag but now that he is signing for Everton, the club will instead move for Izquierdo as a worthwhile alternative.


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