Tuesday, June 27

Daily WHUFC News - 27th June 2017

Andre Ayew attends Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Ghana

Andre Ayew returned to Ghana to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The West Ham United and Black Stars forward joined Muslim scholars in Nima, a suburb of the capital Accra, to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an important religious holiday marking the end of the month of fasting. Ayew and brother Jordan, the Swansea City forward, joined Ghana's National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development Boniface Abubakar Saddick, and other prominent Islamic Scholars, for the annual Qur'anic recitations and special prayers.
During his visit to the country where his father, the former Ghana and Marseille midfielder Abedi 'Pele' Ayew, was born, Ayew also donated an undisclosed amount of money to the National Chief Imam and Sheikh Mohammed Ridwan, host of the annul recitation as their special gifts for the Eid Ul Fitr celebration.
The Hammers and Swansea forwards also donated rice, cooking oil and milk to the local Kado Mosque, to enable local people to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The brothers also joined Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi at a Mosque at the Firdaus Foundation for Social Services, which distributes food to needy families across Ghana, in Nima to observe the traditional Friday congregational prayers. One of the Five Pillars of Islam, Ramadan is an annual worldwide month of fasting, during which Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids and smoking from dawn until sunset. Ramadan, which this year ended on Saturday 24 June, typically includes the increased offering of prayers, recitation of the Quran and an increase of doing good deeds and charity, as was illustrated by the Ayew brothers during their visit to Ghana.

Nathan Trott earns England call-up for U19 European Championship

Promising goalkeeper Nathan Trott has been included in the England U19s squad for the upcoming UEFA European Championship next month.
The 18-year-old was a key figure for West Ham's U23s last season and his form was rewarded by the national selectors in March when he was called-up for the three Elite Round qualifiers against Spain, Norway and Belarus. The Young Lions won all three matches to seal their passage to the tournament in Georgia, but Trott had to settle for a watching brief on the sidelines. However, his eye-catching displays for the Hammers PL2 group have seen him achieve his first major tournament call-up, with England set to open their campaign against Bulgaria on July 3, followed by two more group fixtures against the Netherlands on July 6 and Germany on July 9. "It's always a pleasure to represent England and it's even more exciting to do so in a major tournament," he said. "I've had a great year and being selected in the Euros squad has made it even better. Hopefully I can impress the manager and get my first cap out there."

It's been a hugely successful summer for England's youth sides so far. The U20s set the ball rolling when they clinched the Toulon Tournament title two weeks ago, beating Ivory Coast on penalties in the final with young Hammer Dan Kemp in the squad. A day later, England's senior U20 group won the World Cup for the first time in their history, beating Venezuela 1-0 in the final. And with the U21s poised for a European semi-final with Germany on Tuesday, Trott hopes the U19s can maintain the feel-good factor generated by the England youth sides so far this summer. "It's great to be a part of a team where you can achieve great things and hopefully we can add to that success this summer. "All the success gives everyone in the other age groups confidence and it's important we do well at the Euros to keep the feel-good factor going in England."

The competition officially gets underway on July 2 and you can keep up to date with England's progress at the tournament on Eurosport.

Hammers linked with €20m Juve star
Filed: Monday, 26th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are one of two Premier League clubs reported to be in talks with Juventus over the potential transfer of Mario Lemina. The 23-year-old midfielder is set to leave Juve this summer and, according to reports, has held discussions with both West Ham and Watford over a potential move to England. Rated at around the €20million mark, the Gabonese international has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal - a move which he is said to be keen on - but the Gunners' interest appears to have cooled. And that has allowed both West Ham and Watford to make their interest known - although both are understood to have been told that they will have to pay at least €20million to complete the signing.

* Staying in Serie A and The Sun claim that West Ham are considering a move for Sampdoria's Columbian striker Luis Muriel. Despite recently signing a new contract with the Genoa-based club, the 26-year-old is reported to be available for £24million due to an escape clause in his contract. Liverpool, Leicester and Inter are all reported to have expressed an interest in signing the player in recent weeks.

The mighty Quina
Filed: Monday, 26th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Academy star Domigos Quina says he is ready to feature in the first team next season. The Portuguese youth international was involved with the first team squad on several occasions last season without making his Premier League bow. However a season on, and with that much more experience under his belt, the young midfielder believes that he is now ready for the big time. "Training with the first team so much in my first season has definitely developed me as a player," he told whufc.com. "The tempo of the game, the physical side of it - I'm getting used to all that now and more often. "Hopefully now I can play in the Premier League as well, and that's the aim. It was a good first year but now I want to kick on. It was a good first year but now I want to kick on. "When I first came in, I thought that I would be looking to impress at the Academy and earn a chance later in the season to go with the first team, so that was huge that I was trusted to go straight in there."

Quina was named as a substitute on 12 occasions last season without making a single appearance in the Premier League. He did however feature twice for the Hammers in the Europa League.

West Ham ready to break bank for Olivier Giroud with club-record £130,000-a-week deal for Arsenal striker
The Hammers are willing to pay £20m for Giroud, who looks set to leave north London if Alexandre Lacazette arrives
The Mirror
16:04, 26 JUN 2017

West Ham are ready to break the bank to sign Olivier Giroud. Arsenal are likely to offload the France striker as they look to complete a £50m deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. But West Ham are desperate to get Giroud and stop the Arsenal striker returning to France either as part of the Lacazette deal or to another Ligue 1 club. West Ham are willing to pay £20m plus a staggering £130,000-a-week for Giroud which would make it the biggest deal in the club's history. Giroud, who turns 30 in September, only signed a new deal in January on £120,000-a-week which takes him up until 2020. But West Ham are ready to better that - and give him an extra year to try to tempt him to move across London. Lyon have admitted publicly they are interested in Giroud while Marseille have also been linked with him. But it is unlikely either club could match West Ham's offer and now Giroud has a big decision to make on his future. Giroud has been a brilliant servant for Arsenal since his £11m move from Montpellier in 2012 and is still a first choice for France. But he lost his place towards the end of the campaign and now Arsenal could let him go to help fund their rebuilding plans.
But no deal would be sanctioned until they get reinforcements and Giroud has stayed and fought for his place in the past. Lacazette is their No1 priority and they hope they can get a deal done while Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe remain on their radar. They face daunting competition for Mbappe from Real Madrid with Liverpool also interested.

When do West Ham begin pre-season & which youngsters will Bilic involve? All you need to know
West Ham will return to Rush Green a lot sooner then you think
Football London
15:00, 26 JUN 2017

It barely feels like yesterday that West Ham were finishing the 2016/17 Premier League season with a 2-1 win away at Burnley on the final day to secure an 11th place finish. The players have had some time off since then and when the fixtures for the 2017/18 season were revealed - the Hammers will travel to Manchester United on the opening day - the new season felt a lot closer. Slaven Bilic will have one new face at pre-season training, that of Pablo Zabaleta but it looks increasingly unlikely there will be any other new additions before the first team players report back to the outskirts of Romford.

So, when do the players rock back up at Rush Green? That'll be on July 5 (next Wednesday), where the players will realise their holidays are officially over and Bilic, assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic, first team coach Edin Terzic, head of performance Miljenko Rak, keeper coach Chris Woods, first team coach Julian Dicks and new head of medical recruit Gary Lewin will get down to business.

Bilic, of course, may still be recovering from his off-season hip replacement, the second one he has had. The manager may not be fit - as it were - to start the pre-season training regime but should be in place for the tours.

Unlike last season following Euro 2016, the Hammers players have had plenty of time to rest up - Edimilson Fernandes certainly is if you follow his Instagram account - so there won't be any excuses for not showing up on July 5. Jose Fonte might be the exception as he is taking part in the Confederations Cup with Portugal so he may well get a week off to recover.

As always, the first team players will be there - minus the departed Alvaro Arbeloa, Havard Nordtveit, Gokhan Tore, Jonathan Calleri, Reece Oxford etc etc - but some of the Hammers youngsters will also show up.

Declan Rice, Toni Martinez, Dan Kemp, Josh Cullen, Moses Makasi, Noha Sylvestre and Domingos Quina will almost certainly be involved as they all target a spot on the pre-season tours to Germany, Austria and Iceland. Marcus Browne, Reece Burke, George Dobson and Martin Samuelsen could also be a part of it.
Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang have targeted returns from their respective injuries as the start of pre-season but may well be eased back into action.

Five days of easing back into things at Rush Green will be followed by the tours and in case you had forgotten, here's a rundown of what the Hammers will be doing and where.

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)

Then, it's go time as the Hammers head to Old Trafford on August 12 - as it stands that could change - to get the season underway.

Papa Ndiaye, he claims England move is definite
Olly Dawes

West Ham United have reportedly made their move for Osmanlispor star Papa Ndiaye. According to Turkish newspaper Haberturk, West Ham United have made a €10million (£8.8million) bid to sign Osmanlispor midfielder Papa Ndiaye. The Hammers have already tied up one new signing this summer by landing defender Pablo Zabaleta, but manager Slaven Bilic still needs more reinforcements after a disappointing campaign. With fringe players such as Alvaro Arbeloa, Gokhan Tore and Havard Nordtveit moving on this summer, West Ham may look to splash some cash, and a bid appears to have been submitted for a new midfielder. Turkish newspaper Haberturk report that West Ham have offered €10million (£8.8million) to sign Osmanlispor midfielder Papa Ndiaye – and a deal could be on the cards. Ndiaye, 26, has been a goalscoring midfielder throughout his career, smashing 31 goals in 111 games for Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt before joining Osmanlispor in Turkey back in the summer of 2015. Since heading to Osmanlispor, Ndiaye – a Senegalese international team-mate of West Ham star Cheikhou Kouyate – has scored 18 goals in 75 games, including seven last season. Primarily an attacking midfielder who also has the pace to play out wide if needed, Ndiaye could be a smart addition to Bilic's side, and West Ham will hope that Osmanlispor accept their first bid. Ndiaye is even quoted in the report as saying that he will definitely be leaving Osmanlispor this summer, and his new team will be in the Premier League – suggesting that West Ham may well be leading the race for his signature.

Who is Yann Karamoh? Everything you need to know about the wonderkid interesting West Ham
The 18-year-old is barely known outside of France so we've done some digging to find out more about him
Football London
10:23, 26 JUN 2017UPDATED11:00, 26 JUN 2017

West Ham have been linked with a £9m swoop for Caen wonderkid Yann Karamoh as they aim to bolster their squad ahead of the upcoming Premier League season. As is often the norm with the Hammers, they are linked with someone not many people have heard off and th 18-year-old Ivorian is no exception - he's barely known outside of France. The move could be a similar one to that of Edimilson Fernandes, where West Ham's wide-ranging scouting network has picked up on a potential star of the future. Fernandes was picked up from FC Sion for around £5m last summer and has gone on to be a fan favourite in E20. But, what do we know about Karamoh? Here is everything you need to know about the reported target for Slaven Bilic. Born in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Karamoh joined Caen in Ligue 1 in 2011 from Racing Colombes 92. He signed his first professional deal at the club in December 2015 on a three year deal. He spent the season with the Caen second eleven and impressed massively, scoring 11 goals in 28 games which earned his promotion to the first team.

The following season, he made his Ligue 1 debut for Caen in their 3-2 win against Lorient when he got a 13 minute cameo off the bench.
Just six days later, he made his first start for his side, a 2-0 defeat away at Lyon where Karamoh played the entire 90 minutes. He bagged a vital winning goal for his team away at Guingamp in a 1-0 win in April this season and another late winner against Lyon earlier in the season, with Caen squeezing past the French giants 3-2.

Is Bilic eyeing Karamoh as potential Onyekuru alternative?
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United are believed to have made a bid for Yann Karamoh over the weekend, so what does that mean for their pursuit of the Nigerian? According to Goal.com's French office, West Ham United have made an £8.7million bid for SC Caen attacker Yann Karamoh, and while the move appears to have come out of nowhere, one wonders if Hammers boss Slaven Bilic sees the teenager as a possible alternative to long-term target Henry Onyekuru. As reported by Own Goal Nigeria earlier this month, West Ham tabled an improved £9million offer for the Eupen player after seeing an initial £7million quickly rejected by the Belgian club. The problem for the Hammers is that Onyekuru's cut-price release clause does not apply to English clubs - only those in the country where he is currently plying his trade - meaning Eupen are looking to push the price up for a player who enjoyed an outstanding campaign last time out.

Considering Onyekuru's versatility and his return of 24 goals in 41 matches last season, West Ham should really be going all out for the 20-year-old. But the bid for Karamoh suggests Bilic may now be looking elsewhere. While the latter is predominantly a winger he can also operate up front if required and at just 18 he has years to develop his game in a different position. Just as Onyekuru does his best work out wide, Karamoh is an attacking wide man whose future could be as an out-and-out striker. With Caen valuing the player at just £8.7million, there is also no back-and-forth between clubs attempting to push the price up, and the Hammers will know it is now down to the player to chose between them and his other alleged suitors RB Leipzig. A move for Onyekuru may still go through in due course, but it does feel at this stage that West Ham are stepping back rather than being thrust into an auction, moving for an underwhelming alternative that could have their fans worrying about the possibility of transfer deja vu.

West Ham lodge £8m offer for Senegal attacker N'Diaye - reports
The report arrives from Turkey, who claim the Hammers have made an offer for the attacker
Football London
11:02, 26 JUN 2017

According to reports in Turkey via Haberturk, West Ham have lodged an £8m bid for Osmanlispor striker Badou N'Diaye. The 26-year-old is an attacking midfielder, who can also play on the right wing or as a central midfielder though he prefers to play in a Manuel Lanzini-style role. N'diaye, from Senegal, started his career at Diambars in his home country before he earned a loan move to Norway and FK Bodø/Glimt, where he made 27 appearances in 2012. Three goals in 27 appearances was enough to earn him a permanent move to Norway and N'Diaye would go on to make a further 73 appearances and had an impressive scoring record, notching 25 goals in two seasons.
That form saw Turkish side Osmalispor take notice and they picked him up in August 2015 for what seems a very cheap £300,000, considering he is now worth nearly £10m. N'Diaye made 42 appearances in all competitions for the Turkish Super Lig side last season and scored seven times, while assisting three others. N'Diaye has spoken about his future recently and is quoted as saying: "I will definitely leave Turkey. My new team will be in the Premier League."

Key West Ham star Michail Antonio opens up on major distraction last season
Antony Martin

The West Ham United man put pen-to-paper on a new deal towards the end of last term. Hammers winger Michail Antonio sat down for an exclusive interview with the club's official website and explained how last season's ongoing contract talks proved to be a distraction, and how happy he is that he and the club finally came to an agreement. The 27-year-old has been a revelation for West Ham since he joined the club from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2015, for a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million. That fee now seems like mere pocket change, with Antonio going on to score 17 goals in 55 Premier League outings - a quite remarkable tally considering he spent a prolonged period playing at right-back for Slaven Bilic's side. He has also earned call-ups to the England squad, and despite having not yet actually earned a cap, his debut for the Three Lions is surely only just around the corner. And Antonio spoke to WHUFC.com about how last season's contract talks could very well have been detrimental to his overall game: "It was pleasing to get the deal done before the summer started. The contract talks went on for a long time and it can be quite distracting, so I'm looking forward to going out next season and playing with a free mind."
Antonio will be hoping to remain injury free next season, and help fire his Hammers side to a more successful season in the Premier League. The West Ham faithful adore the 27-year-old winger, and by signing a new deal, he would have endeared himself to them even more so. With his future now sorted out, and the World Cup on the horizon, Antonio could be on the verge of one of his most successful campaigns yet.

West Ham summer targets could leave Slaven Bilic with ageing side
Damien Lucas

West Ham United have been linked with a plethora of players this summer but could be at risk of compiling an ageing squad. The Hammers are known for their Academy of Football roots and have a proud history of bringing through young players for club and country. Recent comments from co-owner David Gold suggest the East Londoners are no longer a club which gives chances to teenagers, though, which has been backed up by the decision to send talented Reece Oxford on loan for the season to Germany. Meanwhile Slaven Bilic has signed one player so far in the shape of veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta, who turns 33 during next season.
And media speculation has seen the club linked with a host of more senior players such as John Terry - who turns 37 next season, Joe Hart, who will be 31, Phil Jagielka - who will be 35 when the new season gets underway and Bafetimbi Gomis - 32 this August. The Hammers had also been linked with Bournemouth bound former academy graduate Jermain Defoe, who turns 35 two months into the new season in what appears to be a very deliberate shift in transfer policy. Those targets would join a side containing a number of players over the age of 30 with James Collins and Jose Fonte (both 34 next season), goalkeepers Adrian and Darren Randolph and Mark Noble (all 31 next season) and Robert Snodgrass (30 next season). It was just two season ago owners David Sullivan and David Gold ripped up their recruitment process, bringing in talent spotter Tony Henry as they targeted younger, hungry players with future sell-on value.

The owners said players under the age of 27 were their preference and at first it worked with a number of success stories like Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang and Chiekhou Kouyate to name but a few. Last season's recruitment bordered on disastrous, though, as the Hammers took a big step back with their transfer dealings cited as the key reason for their demise. Perhaps Bilic feels the team needs more leaders and experience, but are the club in danger of going too far the other way at the expense of what looks a talented crop of young players emerging including the likes of Oxford, Toni Martinez, Reece Burke, Josh Cullen, Martin Samuelsen, Domingos Quina, Marcus Browne and Declan Rice.

Bolton Wanderers make ambitious bid to sign two West Ham youngsters on loan next season
Marc Iles MarcIles
chief football writer

WANDERERS have registered their interest in taking West Ham pair Josh Cullen and Reece Burke on loan this season. The two highly-rated youngsters have worked with Phil Parkinson before at Bradford City and are on the Whites' shortlist if the Hammers decide to send them out for more experience. Cullen was considered last season before a surplus of midfielders in the Wanderers camp made the manager look elsewhere. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has got four senior appearances under his belt with West Ham and has been tipped for a regular spot in Slaven Bilic's squad this time around. But Parkinson has marked the 21-year-old's card if his club decides a year in the Championship would be better for his development and the Whites could have a midfield spot to fill if Jay Spearing's contract talks do not go according to plan. Whereas Wanderers may have to sit and wait to see if Cullen is allowed out on loan this term, West Ham have already indicated Burke will be available after a spell with Wigan Athletic last season was blighted by injury.

In May, Hammers co-owner David Gold controversially expressed doubts about whether his club's younger players would be able to push past senior professionals to command a regular Premier League spot. Since then, defender Reece Oxford has been loaned out to German giants Borussia Monchendgladbach. Wanderers would be able to offer regular football and have the fact Parkinson is well-known to both players counting in their favour. Burke played under the Whites boss at Bradford two years ago and won the Bantams' player of the year award aged just 19. He is primarily a centre-half and has 12 appearances for his parent club, including experience in the Europa League.
Parkinson is on the lookout for competition across his defence but reports of interest in former Swindon Town centre-back Raphael Branco – now at Portuguese club Boavista - have been strongly denied by sources at the Macron. Wanderers will begin their pre-season training this morning with a series of fitness tests, leading up to their first friendly at Chorley.



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