Friday, June 23

Daily WHUFC News - 23rd June 2017

West Ham United to face Altona 93 on German tour

West Ham United will play Hamburg-based club Altona 93 in the third match of
the German leg of their European tour this summer. The Hammers will face the
fourth tier German side on Tuesday August 1 at 6.30pm local time (5.30pm
BST), following on from the Betway Cup double header against Werder Bremen.
The match will take place at Altona's Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium – a
10,000 capacity venue in the west of Hamburg. West Ham's clash with Altona
in the fourth pre-season match to be announced, with Slaven Bilic's men
facing Werder Bremen in the two-legged Betway Cup on July 28 & 29, before
moving on to Iceland for the second phase of their European tour and a match
against Manchester City on August 4. Altona is one of Germany's oldest
football clubs, having been formed in 1893 and were one of the German
Football Association's founding members. They reached the semi-finals of the
German Cup twice in the 1950s and have moved between the third and fifth
tiers of their national league since the 1980s. Last season's third place
finish in the Oberliga Hamburg earned them a move up to the fourth-tier
Regionaliga Nord for 2017/18.

Hammers supporters can purchase their tickets for all three games in Germany
now, with full details available here.

First team pre-season schedule

July 10-21: Training camp in Austria

July 24-August 3: Training camp in Germany

July 28: v Werder Bremen (Schneverdingen, Germany)

July 29: v Werder Bremen (Lohne, Germany)

August 1: v Altona 93 (Hamburg, Germany)

August 4: v Manchester City (Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik)

*Please note that all fixtures are subject to change.

Reece Oxford hails Borussia Monchengladbach move as "great step"

Reece Oxford believes his loan move to Borussia Monchengladbach is an
opportunity to take the next step in his young career. The Hammers youngster
completed his move to Borussia on Wednesday and will begin his temporary
spell with the Bundesliga club on July 1.
The 18-year-old could become the first Englishman to play for the German
side and he thinks the move is a perfect to chance to develop as a
footballer. "From my first impressions, it [the club] looks good," he said.
"The stadium looks good, people around the stadium seem to be welcoming, so
hopefully I can just kick on now and get to know the boys when I get into
training next week. "I think [I chose to come to] Borussia because I have
seen the squad and I've seen them play a few times and they play a few young
players as well, so I think this will be a great step for me away from the
family and everyone. Hopefully I can prove what I can be."

Oxford burst onto the scene at the age of just 16 when he made his Premier
League debut at the Emirates Stadium in the 2-0 win over Arsenal in August
2015. He joined Sky Bet Championship side Reading on loan in January and
played five times as the Royals made it to the Play-Off Final at Wembley.
His move to Germany signals a new chapter for the young defender and Oxford
hopes to follow in the footsteps of another young Premier League defender
who spent two years on loan at Borussia, playing over 60 matches. "I've seen
[Andreas] Christensen play when he was at Chelsea. I think I played against
him when I was only about 15 in the U21s and he's a good player. He did well
here last year and the year before that, so hopefully I can follow in his
footsteps too and lead the team to some good wins and success."

Oxford also gave Borussia fans an insight into the type of player he is. "I
think that I'm a good leader and that I can push the boys even though I'm
young. I'll give it my all in every game, so hopefully the team can do that
and we can just push on this season."

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic thinks the move is a "fantastic opportunity" for
Oxford and looks forward to welcoming the youngster back to east London when
the loan ends.

West Ham reportedly re-open Iheanacho talks but Leicester offer player
preferred position
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United and Leicester City continue to fight for Manchester City
forward Kelechi Iheanacho. According to a report from Own Goal Nigeria,
while West Ham United have re-opened talks with Manchester City regarding
the possible transfer of Kelechi Iheanacho this summer, it is Leicester City
who are currently in the box seat. The report states that the Foxes are not
only willing to match city's £25million asking price, they have also
guaranteed the Nigerian his preferred position behind Jamie Vardy for next
season. Own Goal Nigeria goes on to claim that Iheanacho does not favour a
role as a lone striker and much prefers late runs into the box while
featuring predominantly behind an out-and-out forward.
West Ham could also offer that role, with the 20-year-old playing behind
Andy Carroll next season, but it remains to be seen if the Hammers can
leapfrog their Premier League rivals at this late stage of negotiations.
Slaven Bilic's side are in desperate of additional fire power and
Iheanacho's goal return at City marks him out as the perfect summer signing.
The problem is, Leicester are fighting tooth and nail to get a deal over the
line and one wonders if West Ham will again be caught short in a striker
search, just as they were 12 months ago when they were forced to complete
deals for underwhelming duo Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri.

Considering the Nigerian international's innate talent and availability, a
West Ham swoop seems a no-brainer, but having stepped away from the
negotiating table earlier in the process due to City's preferred buyback
clause, this could be another target that slips alarmingly through Bilic's

Are arrivals imminent as West Ham make concerted effort to clear the decks?
Damien Lucas

West Ham United have been busy this summer but mostly in getting rid of
players. The Hammers endured a tough second season under Slaven Bilic
eventually finishing 11th despite flirting with relegation at various stages
throughout their first campaign at the Olympic Stadium. It was actually seen
as something of an achievement by the Croatian boss given a number of
difficulties he faced including a glut of injuries, poor recruitment, the
Dimitri Payet saga, constant speculation over his job and the fallout from
the stadium move.
This summer Bilic has publicly admitted he wants to sign quality over
quantity and said he is targeting four "game changer" transfers.

He has recruited just Pablo Zabaleta while rumoured moves for Kelechi
Iheanacho, Michy Batshuayi, Onyekuru Henry, Olivier Giroud, Chris Smalling
and Joe Hart have thus far failed to materialise. Instead the club have been
busy shedding players. Highly rated youngster Reece Oxford has been sent on
a season-long loan to Bundesliga side Borussia Munchengladbach while flops
Alvaro Arbeloa, Gokhan Tore and Havard Nordtveit have followed Simone Zaza
out of the exit door as well as goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel and defender
Stephen Hendrie.

Speculation continues to link more of last summer's disappointing crop of
signings with moves away including Andre Ayew, Sofiane Feghouli, Robert
Snodgrass and Ashley Fletcher. With a concerted effort being made to clear
the decks of the deadwood which weighed the Hammers down last season, could
arrivals be imminent? With Nordtveit believed to have been sold for around
£5 million it takes West Ham's income from player sales past the £40 million
mark in the last 11 months after the departures of James Tomkins and Dimitri

That money, plus what would have been made available to Bilic for transfers
anyway, the bumper TV cash and increased revenue from the stadium move
surely means West Ham have the financial clout to land the four big signings
they crave. Media reports suggest Arsenal would want around £25 million for
Giroud and Manchester City the same for Iheanacho while moves for Batshuayi
and Hart could initially be on loan. Smalling is believed to be heading for
the Manchester United exit for around £15m while Onyekuru is valued at £7m
by his club ENUP. Owners David Sullivan and David Gold have been notably
quiet this summer, a stark contrast to the very public manner they went
about their business last summer. That has pleased supporters who want to
see the club conduct themselves in a more professional way regarding


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