Wednesday, June 28

Daily WHUFC News - 28th June 2017

Portugal call-up Domingos Quina for UEFA U19 European Championship

Midfielder Domingos Quina has been called up to Portugal's U19 squad for the upcoming UEFA European Championship. Quina and Portugal get their campaign underway against hosts Georgia on July 2 before two more group matches against Czech Republic three days later and then Sweden on July 8. The young star has enjoyed a terrific first season at West Ham United, since joining from Chelsea last summer, and his call up to the Portugal camp is another huge achievement in the 17-year-old's young career. He was part of the national squad that won the UEFA U17 European Championship last year and Quina believes the team can draw on the success from last year as this year's tournament progresses. "I'm not sure if [last year] will help at the start because we have to make sure we get through the group first but if we get through to final, we can start thinking about last year because we won," he said. "We know we are ready for the competition and we know we have a long way to go to get to the final. "I'm happy to be selected because it's a unique competition for the U19s and I cannot wait to get started and show people what I can do."

Portugal's U17 triumph last summer kickstarted a wonderful year for Quina on a personal level. I'm happy to be selected because it's a unique competition for the U19s and I cannot wait to get started and show people what I can do. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic spotted Quina's talent within weeks of his arrival in east London and he made the young star a regular at first team training sessions at Rush Green. The midfielder's main source of game time came with Terry Westley's U23s and he produced a moment of magic in the Hammers first Premier League Cup fixture of the season, lobbing the Leicester City goalkeeper from the halfway line in a 2-0 victory at Loughborough University. Just a few weeks later, Quina was nominated for the October Premier League 2 Player of the Month. He continued his consistent performances in the heart of the Hammers PL2 midfield throughout the season and, despite missing the promotion run-in through injury, Quina won the Dylan Tombides Award at the Player Awards evening in May after being recognised as the outstanding player from the Academy of Football.

Quina has also had a taste of first team matchdays after being named on the bench 12 times in Premier League fixtures over the course of the season, and he hopes to achieve his dream of making a full West Ham debut next season. "I wasn't expecting this year to go as well as it has but I always believe in my ability and I know what I can do," he continued. "Last year could have been even better if my dream [of playing for the West Ham first team] came true but I know I still have a lot to learn and hopefully that will happen."

Like Quina, goalkeeper Nathan Trott will also be at the U19 Euros in Georgia after being selected in the England squad. You can watch the progress of our young stars on Eurosport when the tournament gets underway on July 2.

Nearly 5,000 seats sold for West Ham United's Altona test

Nearly 5,000 tickets have already been sold for West Ham United's pre-season tour fixture at German side Altona 93.

The visit of the Hammers to the Hamburg-based club has clearly caught the imagination of fans in Germany's second-largest city, with the Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium set to be rocking come kick-off at 6.30pm CEST on Tuesday 1 August.

Altona 93 spokesman Andy Sude said the competitive ticket prices had encouraged thousands of home supporters to see their team take on the visiting Premier Leaguers.

Tickets for West Ham supporters in the Stehplatz Gaster – Guest Terrace – section can be purchased online for just €10 now here.

"We are very happy that we can present these treats to our spectators and football fans in and around Hamburg," said Sude.

"It's been a few years since a Premier League club has played in Hamburg and we are sure that many football fans are looking forward to this event at our time-honoured Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn."

Secure your Altona 93 tickets now!

Altona 93 enjoyed a fine 2016/17 season, finishing third in the Oberliga Hamburg – the regional fifth tier of German football – before missing out on promotion by a single goal in the promotion play-offs.

Founded in 1893 as a cricket club by a group of local students, Altona became a football club a year later and were one of the founder members of the German Football Association. They were crowned Northern Germany champions in 1909 and 1914 and twice reached the semi-finals of the German Cup in 1955 and 1964.

The Hammers will spend ten days in Germany and, prior to facing Altona, will tackle Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in the Betway Cup at the Sportzentrum Osterwald, Schneverdingen at 6.30pm CEST on Friday 28 July. Tickets for this match, priced at €15 for Adults and €10 for Concessions, can be bought here.

The two historic clubs will square-off again the following afternoon at 3.30pm CEST in a second Betway Cup tie at the Heinz-Dettmer-Stadion in Lohne. Seats for this fixture priced at €25 for Adults and €15 for Children, and standing tickets priced at €15/€8 respectively, are available online here.

West Ham will return to Germany for the fourth time in the last six summers next month, having competed in the Schalke 04 Cup in Gelsenkirchen in 2014, faced 1. FSV Mainz, SV Hamburg and Eintracht Braunschweig in 2013 and FC Rot-Weiss Erfurt, SG Dynamo Dresden and Energie Cottbus in 2012.

The Hammers also faced Germany opposition last summer in the shape of Bilic's former club Karlsruher SC in Austria, while Slaven Bilic's side also welcomed Werder Bremen to the Boleyn Ground for the Betway Cup in August 2015.

Written by Thomas Nott

According to national newspaper 'The Telegraph' that might not be the only thing that they will break this window with West Ham looking to match or slightly increase on Giroud's £120,000 a week contract at Arsenal, this would see Giroud become West Ham's highest paid player overtaking Dimitri Payet (£125,000).

However, any deal for Giroud will only be struck if Arsenal are successful in their pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyonnais for a reported fee worth £49 million (€55.7 million). With Lyon recently signing Bertrand Traoré from Chelsea in a deal worth £8.8 million after recently coming off a good season with Ajax picking up 13 goals and 6 assists last season playing as a versatile player playing in multiple positions.

West Ham however, will have competition from Lyon for Giroud's signature if Lacazette is set to leave. Giroud however, confirmed to French television show Telefoot that he is not interested in returning to Ligue 1. "I am not insensitive to the approaches of the French clubs and especially that of Marseille… But my future is in the Premier League".

With Arsène Wenger currently reluctant to sell Giroud until he has signed another striker West Ham could be made to wait to make any contact with Giroud and his representatives. However French newspaper L'Equipe has reported that Wenger has told Giroud he is free to leave in his quest to find first team football.

Written by Dwayne Hawkins

He had pace that belied his size and a hunger to prove himself at the highest level of English Football. A poacher with the innate ability to find the back of the net with both his head and his feet, Dean Ashton was arguably the most natural goal scorer England had produced since Jermaine Defoe and would produce until the emergence of Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane.

Ashton joined the Hammers at 22 years old for an initial fee of £7 Million – an amount that could easily be triple that in today's market. How far he could have gone and what he could have achieved in game we will never know as he was forced to cut his career short and call time only four years later.

In the 2005/2006 West Ham had just made their return to the Premier League. After finishing sixth in the Championship and getting promoted through the play offs the clubs early form stunned critics and pundits as they made a mockery of early predictions of a relegation battle by dabbling in the top half of the league. Yet, the strike force did need some work. Boasting Marlon Harewood – who was in the midst of his best spell for the club – an ageing Teddy Sheringham, the all glitz but no goals Jeremy Aliadiere and Bobby Zamora who had not yet been able to turn in the level of performances at the top level that we would see from him in the following season. It was clear as it has been for so many years since that we were lacking some firepower. Alan Pardew would turn to one of the most talented prospects in the country and for a record fee, Dean Ashton would be set to lead the line for West Ham for years to come.

His career would begin in 2000 as a 17 year old coming through the ranks at Crewe Alexandra. He would be described later by his first manager Dario Grodi as "the best finisher he had ever worked with". His first professional goal came aged 18 in a 4-2 victory over Burnley. He would end his first season with eight crucial goals in Crewe's fight against relegation the first division. He quickly established himself as one of the most promising young strikers in the country and would go on to score 61 goals in 158 appearances for Crewe. He would represent England at Under 17's, Under 19's and Under 20 level. He made a scoring debut for the Under 21 side in a 3-2 victory against the Netherlands on the 17th February 2004 after converting a cross from future strike partner Carlton Cole. He would make a further 8 appearances for the Under 21 side, scoring 3 goals.

Ashton would soon get the chance to prove himself in the Premiership when he signed for Norwich for a then club record fee of £3 million in January 2005. He made an instant impact by scoring on his home debut in a 4-4 draw against Middlesboro and would go on to prove that he was more than capable of playing in the highest division by bagging 7 goals in 16 games. Unfortunately his goals were not enough to save Norwich from relegation that season.

On the 22nd January 2006 West Ham announced the signing of Dean Ashton. He made his debut during the 3-2 victory against Arsenal, helping the Hammers to become the last team to defeat Arsenal at Highbury. He then scored 3 in his next 3 games in victories against Sunderland and Birmingham and a 2-2 draw with Everton. He was pivotal in the FA Cup run of that season, scoring twice to sink Manchester City in the Quarter Finals before doubling the Hammer's lead in the ill-fated cup final against Liverpool. Dean Ashton had made an impressive start to his West Ham career, leading the line with guile and fortitude that made him a thorn in the side of any defence he came up against. He had the dream of representing his country at the 2006 World Cup. His form in the second half of the season, coupled with his work rate and natural goal scoring ability suggests he should have been given that chance. Instead then England Manager Sven Goran Erickson picked unproven 17 year old prospect Theo Walcott as his fourth striker instead of Ashton.

He got his opportunity to fulfil his dream for the first time in August 2006. Unfortunately it was an incident in a training session that had geared toward him starting in a friendly against that would mar and define his career. A challenge by international team mate and then Chelsea player , Shaun Wright Phillips, that would shatter his ankle. Left on the side-lines to go through a gruelling rehabilitation, Ashton could do nothing but watch as his opportunity to play for England would come and go. In his absence West Ham would struggle domestically and flirt with relegation before dramatically surviving on the final day of the season.

Dean Ashton would work his way back to something resembling fitness for the beginning of the 2007/2008 season. The loss of cartilage in his ankle was so severe that his bones were rubbing together when he ran, something he once described as making a "crunching" sound. Despite still being in pain the desire to return to the pitch would win out and even though he was never anything close to 100 percent he ended the season with 12 goals. In June 2008 he would finally make his England international debut in the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. After scoring twice on the opening day of 2008/2009 season Dean Ashton would sprain his already injured ankle in training. He underwent a procedure to fuse the two fragmented pieces of bone together and on the 11th December 2009, he would follow medical advice and retire from professional football, aged only 26.

In an era where players regularly do not reach their potential because of outside distractions and fragile mind-sets Dean Ashton stands alone as a man who had the hunger, the drive and most importantly the ability to be a striker of the highest quality. He was tenacious and graceful, and to this day aged only 33 still has the eye for goal that the Hammers so often lack – as he reminded us all with his overhead kick during his cameo appearance at Mark Noble's testimonial last season. With the exception of the short spells of Carlos Tevez and arguably Demba Ba, the club have been unable to replace with anyone who had the same quality that he had and certainly not with anyone who had the potential to be the player he could have become.

Looking back on a career that should have lasted a lot longer we are left thinking how different the last ten years could have been if we had had a striker who had half the ability of putting the ball in the back of the net that Deano had.

Giroud deal in the balance
Filed: Tuesday, 27th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's attempt to sign Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud are dependent on Lyon signing a replacement for Gunners target Alexandre Lacazette. Lacazette - who was courted by West Ham last summer, to no avail - is set to join the North London club in the near future. However Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has insisted that he will not allow the 26-year-old to leave until such time as he has signed an adequate replacement. And the knock-on effect of Aulas' decision is that Giroud - who has expressed a preference to remain in London, despite offers from France, including Lyon - cannot join West Ham until Lacazette has been signed. "Our position is that as long as we have not signed his [Lacazette's] replacement, we will keep him," Aulas said. "He expressed a wish to leave and he was given an agreement to go to the club of his heart, but things did not happen."
Lyon recently signed forward Bertrand Traore from Chelsea in a deal worth just under £9million, but Aulus insists that he is seeking at least one more striker before he will allow Lacazette to leave. Meanwhile West Ham continue to chase his namesake, the £8million-rated Adama Traore, who is moving closer to a move away from current club Middlesbrough.

Hammers snubbed by young striker
Filed: Tuesday, 27th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's attempt to sign Eupen's Henry Onyekuru collapsed this morning when the striker opted to join Everton instead. Despite having chased the talented youngster for several weeks, the Hammers were pipped to the post by the Merseysiders who have agreed an undisclosed fee with his former club.
As part of the deal, Onyekuru - who had also been heavily linked with Arsenal - will return to Belgium in order to join Anderlecht on a season-long loan as he was unable to secure a work permit in the UK for the forthcoming season.

Enner Valencia transfer bid rejected by West Ham
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 27/06/17 5:56pm

West Ham have turned down an offer for Enner Valencia from Mexican side Tigres, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News HQ understands the Hammers are keen to offload the forward this summer and remain hopeful a deal can be struck. Valencia joined West Ham from Mexican side Pachuca for £12.5m in 2014 after impressing for Ecuador at the World Cup in Brazil. The 27-year-old struggled for consistency following his move to the Premier League and managed to score only 10 goals in 66 appearances for West Ham. Valencia spent last season on loan at Everton after being told he was surplus to requirements at West Ham by manager Slaven Bilic. He scored only three goals in 23 appearances and Everton decided not to activate the option to make his move to Goodison Park permanent at the end of last season.


As always during transfer season, West Ham insider ExWHUEmployee will be providing all the information you need to know about the Hammers' transfer business and other snippets on The West Ham Way. Make sure you tune into Phoenix 98.0 FM Wednesday evenings for 'The West Ham Way Radio Show' – listen live here tomorrow from 7 PM.

In the first of hopefully many Q&A's with Ex over the course of the summer, we sat down with the West Ham insider to discuss the club's summer transfer plans and what he feels about some of the major talking points surrounding the club right now.

1) If reported figures are to be believed, West Ham spent in the region of £70m on transfers during the 2016/17 season. Do you think the club plan to go even bigger this season?

I wouldn't say the budget is that big, well not that I have heard. The budget has been added to due to the sales of Nordtveit and soon to be Valencia but in my opinion, the figure that I have heard as the budget is slightly below what I think is required to really improve us so some shrewd deals are needed.

2) The club earmarked ~£20m of their budget last season for the permanent transfer of Simone Zaza which never materialised. This, in addition to the reported £25m the club received for the sale of Dimitri Payet in January, hands us, in theory at least, an extra £45m of funds to spend that wasn't originally budgeted for. Are the club planning to use this cash on multiple big-ticket signings or make one big splash and supplement the squad with 'lesser' additions?

It really depends on who is available but I think the club have learnt from their mistakes last year and will be investing a bigger amount in at least one forward but probably two. We would pay over £20m for either Giroud, Iheanacho and Bathsuayi. I think we could also spend a fair amount on a new winger too.

3) West Ham have allowed Reece Oxford to leave on loan, with Reece Burke likely to follow. In your opinion, is this the right move, or should they have been given a look in the first-team squad?

I think it is the right move for Oxford who hasn't really shown what he can do on a loan yet and I think he will learn a lot from playing in Germany. I am, however, disappointed that Burke hasn't been given his chance. I think he has proven himself on loan at Bradford before injuries affect his time at Wigan and he looked good in his few games in the Claret and Blue and I would have liked to have seen him stick around and feature maybe in some cup games and be in and around the squad. I suspect there will be a number of youngsters who will leave on loan this summer.

4) Havard Nordtveit has also left the club. He joins Jonathan Calleri, Simone Zaza and Alvaro Arbeloa on an ever-growing list of transfer failures from last summer. Do you think the club still have faith in Slaven Bilic to recruit the right players?

I think the board, Tony Henry and Bilic all have to take an element of responsibility for the failure of some of those signings. I think Bilic proved in his first season he can bring in talent so I see this year as a make or break one in the transfer market.

5) West Ham switched between multiple different formations last season. What do you think is their best formation moving forward? Also, do you think the club will recruit players to fit this system, seeing as last summer the players brought in were seen as more versatile options and haven't really been successful?

I suspect that we have bought Zabaleta to play at right back which to me suggest we will be playing a 4-2-2-1-1 formation which is similar to what we played last year for the majority of games. Players will be brought in with this formation in mind. I think we also have the option of bringing in Byram and going for five at the back with wing backs if we need it.

6) Bilic's future was a big talking point during last season – have the club made the right decision to stick with him?

I believe that they have. Despite what people on other social media tended to believe about me I backed the manager and felt he should have been given this season to prove himself. Don't get me wrong, he made a lot of mistakes last year especially with playing players out of position but I felt with the circumstances around the stadium and Payet he deserved a third season as a make or break one. At the end of the day, 11th wasn't a bad position in the end if you ignore some of the dreadful performances.

7) Where do you think the Hammers need to strengthen the most going into next season, and what are the plans to address them?

It has to be the forward position. We have lacked a great goalscorer for so long now. We are probably going as far back as Dean Ashton to the last one. The plans are to buy at least two top forwards and those names have been well and truly covered in my columns.

8) We start next season with three straight away games. Given our up and down form at the London Stadium last season, do you think this could be a positive thing?

It could be a good thing and away games are always more fun for the fans that go then the home fans so if we pick up some good results the season starts in a positive way. That said though, it is harder to play away and we have some tough teams thrown in so personally, I don't think it is a good thing. I would rather play Newcastle further into the season too when they have been found out a little more. Newly promoted teams usually start better than they finish.

9) Finally, Kelechi Iheanacho and Olivier Giroud are two hot names being linked with West Ham at the moment. Who do you think would be the best fit at the club?

I personally would take either of them. I think we are crying out for proven forwards and I wouldn't turn my nose up at either. Given the choice out of the two, I think I would sign Kelechi but that is more down to his age and his potential development.

West Ham fans will be livid if Everton sign Onyekuru and loan him straight out
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United have been linked with a move for the attacker all summer but it seems Everton have beaten them to the punch. According to a report from, Everton have reached an agreement to sign Eupen forward Henry Onyekuru, and while that would come as a bitter blow for his alleged suitors West Ham United, it is the Toffees' short-term plans for the player that will really rile Hammers supporters. The report states that Everton will immediately loan Onyekuru to Anderlecht, so not only are they signing a player West Ham have somehow let slip through their fingers, but they are not even going to use him next season.
Earlier this month, Own Goal Nigeria reported that West Ham made an improved £9million offer for the 20-year-old, after seeing an initial £7million bid rejected by Eupen. And while the Hammers can only do so much in pursuit of a player, one wonders if they really did enough in this instance. After all, the Nigerian scored 24 goals and provided nine assists for the Belgian club last season and he is exactly what West Ham need to ensure they improve in Slaven Bilic's third year at the helm.
Considering the cut-price fee it would have taken to get a deal over the line, the West Ham hierarchy should have been moving heaven and earth to get a deal done. While no official announcement has yet been made, if Everton do complete a deal and send him to Anderlecht, Hammers supporters can only sit and wonder what might have been, losing out on a player to a club who do not yet need him.

Date: 27th June 2017 at 12:38pm
Written by: Forever Westham

West Ham target Henry Onyekuru has joined Everton and will spend the next 12 months on loan at Belgian side Anderlecht, say reports from Daily Mail journalists on Twitter. The Hammers were allegedly close to signing the Nigerian only earlier this month, but having failed to meet his release clause, it now appears they have lost out to Premier League rivals Everton, who have made the Nigerian star their third signing of the summer.

Dominic King ✔ @DominicKing_DM
Everton have completed a deal for Henry Onyekuru, last season's top scorer in Belgium. He will spend next 12 months on loan at Anderlecht
12:24 PM - 27 Jun 2017 · Krakow, Poland
234 234 Retweets 190 190 likes

The Toffees have already spent over £50 million on Sunderland's Jordan Pickford and Ajax's Davy Klaassen. Reports state that a deal for the 20-year-old forward was completed late last night after a successful medical at Everton's Finch Farm training facility. Onyekuru, formerly a target of Arsenal, scored an impressive 22 times in his breakthrough season for Eupen, finishing as the Belgian First Division's joint top scorer. West Ham have only signed one player so far this summer, that being Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City, however are yet to spend any money despite being linked with a number of high profile players, including Onyekuru and most recently Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

West Ham bid £20m for Kelechi Iheanacho; Manchester City yet to respond
Vincent Ralph

It seems West Ham United have not given up their pursuit of the Manchester City forward just yet. According to a report from Sky Sports, West Ham United have submitted a £20million bid for Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, with the Blues yet to respond to the offer. The Hammers have been linked with the 20-year-old for much of the summer, but there appeared to be complications regarding City's insistence on a buyback clause. Given the striker's undeniable talent, it is no surprise that City are only willing to part company with the Nigerian international if they can sign him back at a later date for a previously agreed fee. And while West Ham may be loath to agree to such a clause, it could be the only way they can get a deal over the line. The Hammers need quality strikers now and Iheanacho is certainly that, proven in the Premier League, desperate for regular starts and with the innate talent to improve considerably over the next few years. Iheanacho has already scored 21 goals and provided eight assists for the Blues and he now needs to be playing week in, week out in order to really fulfil his potential. In an inflated transfer market, £20million for such a talented striker could prove to be a steal and West Ham manager Slaven Bilic will be desperately hoping City agree despite the interest of Leicester City. It is unlikely to be long before Pep Guardiola's side respond, and West Ham will either get some great news or potentially have to look elsewhere for a new striker they simply cannot do without next season.

West Ham and Leicester keen on Thorgan Hazard
Antony Martin

West Ham United and Leicester City are keen on the Monchengladbach man. Reports emanating from France today suggest that three Premier League clubs including the Hammers and the Foxes are interested in signing Borussia Monchengladbach star Thorgan Hazard, according to French media outlet Foot Mercato. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder - brother of Chelsea's Eden Hazard, enjoyed a successful campaign in the Bundesliga last term, scoring six goals and chipping in with four assists in 23 outings for his club. Foot Mercato claim that West Ham and Leicester's interest in the Belgian has intensified following his impressive showings last season, and they have been joined in the race to sign him by fellow Premier League side Stoke City. Hazard would be a useful signing for all of the aforementioned clubs, and the fact that he can play anywhere along the front-line, even in the centre-forward position, would surely be a huge attraction to any potential suitors. The former Chelsea star has just two years remaining on his current deal with Gladbach, so now would seemingly be the ideal time to sell him, as far as his peak value is concerned. From all the clubs listed as holding an interest in the Belgian, the Hammers are arguably the team most in need of someone of Hazard's quality. Slaven Bilic is desperately looking to bolster his forward options, and the potential addition of Hazard could be just what the club needs to help them kick on next season.

From Giroud to Iheanacho to Onyekuru - the epic list of forwards linked with West Ham
With West Ham desperate to sign a new frontman this summer, this list is exhaustive
Football London
10:07, 27 JUN 2017

With pre-season training already just a little more than a week away, the West Ham have yet to make their move in the transfer market to find a desperately needed striker. The Hammers were somewhat goal-shy last season with the constant injuries to Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho featuring just three times, with the onus on Michail Antonio to score the goals. Loan moves for Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri completely flopped, while Ashley Fletcher wasn't trusted enough either. The club has been searching for a new frontman for the best part of 12 months and have been linked with a host of forwards but as yet, none of them have arrived in E20. Here, we look at just some of the forwards the club have been touted to make moves for so far this summer.

Olivier Giroud

West Ham are prepared to break the bank for the Arsenal forward, according to reports, with West Ham wanting to entice Giroud with £130,000 a week wages. The Arsenal striker has been heavily linked with the Hammers as the Gunners chase Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, paving the way for Giroud to move on.

Kelechi Iheanacho

The Nigerian forward has been heavily linked with a move to the London Stadium for a few weeks now and, if reports are to be believed, he could soon be signing on the dotted line if the buy-back clause issue can be sorted out. The Hammers are in need of a striker and Iheanacho ticks all the boxes for West Ham.

Shane Long

West Ham have been linked with Long in the past and it seems Bilic is keen to finally get his man. The Ireland striker could be open to a move having spent most of last season on the bench at Southampton.

Michy Batshuayi

Batshuayi scored the goal that won Chelsea the league last season but his future could lie away from Stamford Bridge. West Ham seems a likely destination for the Belgian, whether that be on loan or a permanent deal.

Jermain Defoe

The Hammers were keen on signing Defoe in January but they could not strike a deal with Sunderland for their former striker. Bournemouth are said to be in talks for the England international, although the deal is yet to go through despite reports last week that it was close to completion.

Martin Braithwaite

Denmark international Braithwaite has put clubs on red alert by saying he wants to depart Toulouse this summer. West Ham and Southampton are interested in the 25-year-old but they would face competition from a number of Bundesliga clubs for his signature.

Islam Slimani

Slimani only joined Leicester last season but he could already be on his way out of the club following his £29million move. The Hammers, as well as West Brom, are interested, although a move back to Portugal looks more likely to happen.

Mario Mandzukic

The Croat will be in Champions League final action tomorrow evening but reports suggest that could be his last game for the club.
Bilic is believed to want to bring his fellow compatriot to east London but Besiktas are lining up a move for the frontman.

Max Kruse

Kruse is yet another name to be linked with the club as they bid to strengthen upfront ahead of the new season. German paper Bild suggest the Hammers, Everton, West Brom, Southampton and Stoke City are all lining up moves for the 15-goal striker in the summer.

Henry Onyekuru

The 18-year-old forward is attracting attention from no less than eight Premier League teams but it was West Ham who showed their hand first. Issues over obtaining a work permit for the Nigerian are now resolved but the Hammers will have to work hard to get the in-demand striker over other clubs.

Anthony Modeste

The striker who flopped at Blackburn a few years back has undergone a transformation at Koln and has been scoring goals for fun, leading to the inevitable links with West Ham. However, the club absolutely baulked at the whopping £40m price tag slapped on his head by his clubs and Modeste is now set for a move to China.

Lucas Muriel

Sampdoria's Luis Muriel is the latest name added to the long list of strikers West Ham have been linked with. The Colombian caught the eye in Serie A last season and is reported to have attracted interest from Spain and England, as well as fellow clubs in Italy.

Yann Karamoh

Another youngster who had a good season on the continent, the Ivorian star is ready to leave Ligue 1 side Caen. The Hammers have been linked with a £9m bid for the forward, who made his breakthrough last season, scoring five goals and adding four assists.

Theo Walcott

The Hammers were reportedly readying a £25m for the Arsenal star, who can play up front but is more suited to a wing role. Walcott is concerned a new formation at Arsenal could hamper his England chances in the future and Slaven Bilic is ready to rescue him but the links didn't go down well with Hammers fans.

Lucas Perez

Another Arsenal forward attracting Hammers interest, he has struggled to break through into Arsene Wenger's plans following his move from Deportivo last summer, much to the annoyance of Gunners fans. A return to Spain is more likely and that will be accelerated if Arsenal sign a new forward.

The Curious Case of Arbeloa Unfolds

Alvaro Arbeloa arrived at West Ham from Real Madrid with much expectation that he would tighten up a porous defence by bringing his experience to the right back position that has so troubled Slaven Bilic's reign as West Ham manager. However, Arbeloa quickly fell out of favour after a number (three actually) of lukewarm performances and was suddenly out of the frame even despite Sam Byram picking up an injury.

In truth, many Hammers fans were bemused and befuddled by the whole affair. Arbeloa had no apparent injury issues and his history pointed towards a consummate professional. Just exactly what was wrong was very unclear indeed. However, announcing his retirement today, Arbeloa spoke to La Marca and shed some light on his difficulties at West Ham citing that it was not a physical problem but rather " in the end it was a head and motivational issue".

Arbeloa went on to describe how he has no interest in playing in the lucrative US or Chinese Leagues as for him they represent something that he finds less appealing about modern football. Hammers fans will note that he found motivation an issue despite his rumoured £50k per week wage! As the 15th richest club in the world, surely it's time for West Ham to stop buying past it burned out players who lack the desire that a club with our ambitions needs?

West Ham and Arsenal on alert as Everton join race for wonderkid Henry Onyekuru - report
The Hammers were said to be leading the race, but interest from the Toffees may have changed things
Football London
07:45, 27 JUN 2017UPDATED08:08, 27 JUN 2017

West Ham and Arsenal could be set to lose out on Belgian wonderkid Henry Onyekuru after Everton joined the race for the Nigerian youngster. Both London clubs were said to be battling it out for the 20-year-old - with a fee of around £7 million rumoured by many.
In fact, it was the Hammers who were said to be leading the race according to many recent reports, with Onyekuru claiming that he would turn down any move to an elite club in favour of regular first-team football. However, interest from Everton might have changed the scenario. According to Belgian publication DH, the Toffees would try to sign the winger and then immediately loan him out to Belgian champions Anderlecht to pick up more first-team experience in a league he knows well. The 20-year-old bagged an impressive 22 goals in 38 league appearances last campaign - and also claimed 14 assists. It is yet to be seen whether another year in Belgium would tempt Onyekuru before a guaranteed move to Goodison Park, with Onyekuru having gained an entry visa to the UK but not a full work permit, as was reported last week.

West Ham reportedly ready to activate £24million release clause to sign South American striker
By Eshlin Vedan - June 27, 2017 0

According to reports, West Ham are interested in signing unsettled Sampdoria striker Luis Muriel and have not been put off by the £24 million buy-out clause in the players' contract. Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is looking to add new strikers to his squad this summer, especially given that Michail Antonio, who plays as a midfielder, was the club's top scorer this past season with nine strikes. Muriel bagged 11 goals in the Serie A this past season and has also reportedly attracted the interest of Leicester City, Roma and Inter Milan.
After two seasons at Sampadoria, Muriel appeared to indicate recently that he is open to leaving the club by saying, "There are a lot of rumours about me and my agent told me he will only call with something concrete. He has not called me yet and hope he will within the next few days."

Muriel is very highly rated and has been nicknamed the Colombian Ronaldo.

West Ham looking into Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott transfers from Arsenal
Mark Brus for
Tuesday 27 Jun 2017 8:45 am

West Ham are reportedly keen on both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott at Arsenal in this summer's transfer window, though they're likely to only sign one of them. The Hammers are ready to spend big on new attacking players this summer, and have also been linked several times with Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho in that position. However, latest reports suggest they could be focusing on swooping for one of two Arsenal forwards, with Giroud valued at £20million and the most realistic target for Slaven Bilic's side.
The France international looks most likely to make way this summer as Arsenal close in on their own big-money signing of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette in a club-record move. According to Goal, West Ham are also admirers of Walcott, 28, though are slightly put off by the England international's £30m price tag at the Emirates Stadium. Walcott had one of his most personally successful seasons in an Arsenal shirt last term, scoring 19 goals in all competitions – his second highest tally in a single season for the Gunners. Giroud, however, played less often and has suggested he isn't happy to continue being used in a super-sub role. '(Arsene) Wenger is counting on me even though he hasn't used me much,' Giroud said earlier this month. 'I will not settle for limited playing time (next season) like I have this season.' West Ham have reportedly already held initial talks over signing Giroud, who would be offered a four-year contract worth £100,000 per week at the London Stadium.

By Dan Coker 27 Jun 2017 at 08:00

I'll lay my cards on the table from the outset – I personally am a big believer in the loan system. Our big successes from youth to first team level have all benefited from time in the lower leagues. Frank Lampard Junior spent a month at Swansea, while Rio Ferdinand went to Bournemouth. Joe Cole was the exception to the rule as he was fast-tracked to the first team but Michael Carrick had short spells at Swindon and Birmingham. Jermain Defoe had a highly successful stint at Bournemouth and Glen Johnson played a handful of games for Millwall. Mark Noble spent time at Hull and Ipswich while, more recently, James Tomkins had a spell at Derby before becoming a Hammers regular.

Of course, along the way, there are loan spells that didn't work out. Freddie Sears showed at Crystal Palace that he would find it difficult to replicate his excellent youth team form at full league level and he subsequently struggled with the Hammers in the Premier League. Martin Samuelsen and Marcus Browne had disappointing, disrupted spells at Championship level last season while Reece Burke's encouraging development was hampered by a hip injury at Wigan. Conversely, Josh Cullen had an excellent spell at Bradford, following in the footsteps of Burke the season before.

Another factor to throw in of course is that West Ham United's Under-23s recently secured promotion to the top flight of PL2, ensuring their place amongst the best players in their age group. It is of the utmost importance that this elite position is not relinquished. This brings with it a precarious balancing act of sending young players out on loan to gain experience in the Football League, while simultaneously leaving enough quality players to ensure the Under-23 side can adequately compete.

As an aside, I'm very much of the opinion that Reece Oxford has secured a fantastic temporary switch to a very good side in one of the best leagues in the world and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish him the very best of luck at Borussia Monchengladbach. As it currently stands, he will be facing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski, Anthony Modeste, Timo Werner and Mario Gomez next season. It will be a great experience for young Reece and, in my opinion, will be a huge boost to his development and only serve to benefit West Ham United in the long run.

In this article, I give my opinions on which Hammers starlets should be retained and who else, alongside Oxford, would benefit from loan spells.

Reece Burke – LOAN

Burke had a fantastic 2015/16 campaign on loan in League One with Bradford but his spell at Wigan in the Championship last season was disrupted by injury. With Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, James Collins and Jose Fonte ahead of him in the current pecking order, a further spell out on loan in the Championship may be best for the 20-year-old's development. However, we should look to find him a bigger and better club than we did last season, ideally somewhere where he can play at a big stadium in front of expectant home fans.

Declan Rice – RETAIN

With Oxford and possibly Burke out on loan, the Under-23s will need a centre-half who can help them keep clean sheets. 18-year-old skipper Rice is the ideal man to stay and help his troops through the top-flight transition.

Josh Cullen – LOAN

Cullen (pictured above) had an excellent time at Bradford last season but the jump from League One football to the Premier League is a huge one. The next logical step for the 21-year-old is a similar stint in the Championship. As with Bradford in the league below, a club competing at the top end of the division would only help Cullen's confidence levels.

Marcus Browne – RETAIN

Browne's loan spell at Wigan was not far short of a disaster. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder will almost certainly need a serious boost to his confidence and staying with the Hammers as a top-flight Academy player will hopefully help do that for him.

Martin Samuelsen – RETAIN

Another who had a disastrous loan spell last season, this time at Blackburn. A very promising stint in League One the previous campaign with Peterborough was not built on at Ewood Park, again highlighting the concerns regarding sending players to clubs who struggle against relegation. The 20-year-old, already capped at full international level by Norway, was not the same player when he returned to The Posh in January. Samuelsen (pictured below) will benefit from being in and around the first team squad at West Ham next season and by getting regular game time with the Under-23s in the PL2 top tier.

Domingos Quina – LOAN

Quina spent a lot of time as an unused substitute in the Premier League last season and, at the age of 17, would do well to get regular football elsewhere. Any Championship team with a focus on creativity and attacking football would be a good choice for Quina.

Ashley Fletcher – LOAN

I'm personally not sure that 21-year-old Fletcher has what it takes to be a regular goalscorer at Premier League level but there's no harm in loaning him out and seeing if he can use the Championship as a stepping stone to future top-flight success. There's no doubt the lad has talent but his only regular game time to date has come in League One at Barnsley in 2015/16. A team chasing promotion would be ideal, maybe one of the sides relegated from the Premier League last season as he'd be playing and training alongside players with recent top-level experience.

Toni Martinez – LOAN

Martinez had a decent spell at Oxford, although seemingly performed better in the FA Cup than in League One. Half a season in the Championship would be good for his development, particularly if he had the opportunity to work with a manager who used to be a striker to help guide him through how to be a success against tough, uncompromising defenders. Martinez turns 20 on Friday.

My suggestions above would see the Hammers loan out six youngsters in Burke, Oxford, Cullen, Quina, Fletcher and Martinez. The Under-23 side would therefore consist mainly of:

Trott; Pike, Pask, Rice, Sylvestre; Dobson, Browne; Kemp, Samuelsen, Holland; Hector-Ingram.

That, to me, looks like a side which could have a good go at retaining the club's position in the top tier of the Under-23 league, with players who had spells away from the club on loan last season (Pike, Pask, Dobson, Browne and Samuelsen) being retained to add their loan experiences to the added rigour and challenge of the coming PL2 campaign, as well as being available for the first team for League Cup ties and a place on the bench in the Premier League.

So, what do readers think? Do you agree with the players selected for loan? Would you prefer to keep all our youngsters for the Under-23 campaign or, conversely, loan out even more for full league experience?


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