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Barkley rumour rubbished

Ross-Barkley-Everton-1024_2979633Reports in the Sunday Star repeated by other papers this morning that the Hammers are lining up a bid for Roos Barkley are likely to be pure speculation as West Ham concentrates on striker targets.Barkley will enter the final year of his Everton contract next month and is yet to agree terms over an extension at Goodison Park.

The England international has been linked with Spurs and Manchester United in recent weeks, with Everton said to value his services at £50million.

And now the Daily Star Sunday claim West Ham are the latest club to show an interest in the 23-year-old midfielder.

RR Very Low (1)The report claims Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is willing to meet Barkley’s hefty £140,000-a-week wage demands – double his current pay packet.Everton are said to have targeted Swansea talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson as a potential replacement for Barkley.

I think we can put this down to some creative journalism by the Star, West Ham is unlikely to look at any midfielders unless a regular first team midfielder leaves in the summer.

 
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No to Jordan Pickford

Jordan PickfordA report in the Sun that West Ham want to sign Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford and use Adrian as a makeweight in a deal worth around £25million is completely wide of the mark.

The tabloid claims that Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is happy to allow his Spanish stopper to leave despite signing a new contract just a few weeks ago.

A source at Sunderland told SunSport: “Jordan is wanted by a whole host of clubs. Everton have showed the most interest but West Ham have now made enquiries too.”

Following the signing Zabaleta on Friday West Ham will now concentrate on signing one or two quality strikers this summer and sources close to the club say Bilic is happy to stick with Adrian and Randolph as his keepers next season. The Sun story has no legs and a Hammers keeper transfer will not be persued this summer.

 

 

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Hammers make signing priorities clear

kouyateWest Ham have no interest in signing new midfielders during the summer transfer window.

The club has been linked with various names in that area of the pitch – notably Manchester City veteran Yaya Toure but the club has made it clear to ClaretandHugh it is happy with its resources in that area.

And in what could be a very quiet summer window the only signings they now need are up top where Chelsea Michy Batshuayi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho  are major targets.

Speculation arose that we were set for a raid on Toure at the same time as co chairman David Sullivan was clinching a deal for Pablo Zabaletta.

But given that Cheik Kouyate – who in fact modelled his game on Toure and is five years younger – is on a long contract until 2021, that was never a goer.

And we were told: “We are absolutely fine in that area of the pitch with Cheik, Manu Lanzini, Mark Noble, Edmilson Fernandes, Rob Snodgrass, Sofiane Feghouli and top youngsters coming through.

We are looking solely at strikers right now but there’s a lot of clubs in the same market place.”

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Frustrated Hammers still waiting for a price

Iheanacho

West Ham have again confirmed their interest in Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho but the possibility of signing the young Nigerian remains some way off.

Rumours have arisen that the player has been on his way to London for a medical after reports arose on Sky Sports and the internet.

But they are wide of the mark and the 20 year old Nigerian – also fancied by Everton – remains on a Hammers striker list  rather than being close to agreeing terms.

We were told by a source: “He’s a player we like but the situation remains the same as it was a couple of days ago. We want to get a price from Manchester City but even that hasn’t been disclosed at this stage.

“It’s a frustrating situation for us because it is all in Manchester City’s  hands as we speak but these are very early days in the window but we have made our interest clear and obvious.”

 

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PSG to rival Hammers for Martial

AntonyPSG are thought to be preparing a bid to bring Manchester United’s Anthony Martial back to France.  Reports in France suggest they are prepared to pay €50 million (£43.5m) for the 21-year-old.

The Frenchman believes Jose Mourinho is using him as a scapegoat for what went wrong at Old Trafford last season and is attempting to force him out. The player has more often than not been benched or left out of the squad altogether – but he still scored six times.

RR Very Low (1)Reports over the past few days have suggested that West Ham could make a cheeky bid for Manchester United’s Anthony Martial over the summer.

Martial joined the Red Devils in the Summer of 2015 from Monaco for €50m. The Ligue 1 side have received an additional €10m (£8.5m) after Martial bagged his 25th goal for Manchester United last month after he scored against Burnley bringing his transfer total to £51m so far.

West Ham were linked with a loan bid in the January transfer window but the transfer rumours appear to be just that, just paper rumours!

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Gold: ‘There is no such thing as a ‘free’ transfer’

Zab3Zab2West Ham Joint-Chairman David Gold has hit back at supporters that claimed we got Pablo Zabaleta on the cheap telling them There is no such thing as a ‘free transfer’.

Signing on bonuses, large agent commission fees and larger wages are all common practice in so-called ‘free transfers’ and Zabaleta will have been no different.

The 32-year-old right back’s agent is Italian Federico Pastorello and he will have demanded a significant fee to West Ham to sign the Argentian. In modern football multiple agents are involved, each taking their cut of the action.

Earlier this year Italian media claimed talks with Zabaleta’s agent Pastorello with Roma over a potential move for his client stalled after the agent demanded €3 million of commission fees so you can only wonder the fee that was finally agreed with West Ham.

Zabaleta is currently valued at around £8m and that market valuation is often factored in for a seven-figure signing on bonus for the player when joining a club on a ‘free transfer’.

The former Manchester City player was earning £90,000 per week which was highlighted by the fact he donated his last week’s wages to the Manchester Victims of the terrorist attack. His total package including bonuses and add-ons is thought to be very close to his previous wage deal meaning the Hammers have committed over £9m in wages alone for the right-back over two years.

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Zaba snubbed Euro and PL interest to join Irons

zabPablo Zabaletta passed on offers from Italy and interest from Spain and England  to join the Hammers.

And in his first serious interview since arriving at the club he declared: ” I expressed myself to them that to keep playing in the Premier League was a priority.

I love the Premier League so much. Of course West Ham has always been my first choice and the reason that it is a fantastic Club and I have a lot of respect.”

He added: “It was always hard playing at West Ham away. They said that Upton Park was the home of West Ham for so many years and it is now a new era in London Stadium, where when I went to play my first game I thought the atmosphere was really good. That’s why I’m here.

“I’m really happy, my family will also enjoy it and, as I say, I’m very proud to remain in England to keep playing in this wonderful league.

I’m not a young player, but sometimes in football it’s all about passion as well and that’s something that I have still got inside me as a football player, to keep enjoying this wonderful professional.

“I’ve been playing [a long time] and have experience in my whole career so it’s good to come here and use my experience to help the young lads to continue to develop.

I know West Ham is a great Club at working with its Academy and we have seen so many players coming through to the first team, and so many big names in the West Ham era.

“That’s why I’m so pleased and happy to be part of that and I will try to give everything to make sure I can to help the Club to make a step forward.”

 

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London Stadium under going further transformation

Seat1

One of the reasons that West Ham’s new signing Zabaleta was photographed on the London Eye instead of the London Stadium is the stadium currently resembles a building site again.  The stadium car park and a section of land outside of Pudding Mill Lane DLR station are full of sections of seats as the stadium is transformed into a music venue ready for June to host concerts for Depeche Mode, Guns N Roses and Robbie Williams.

The first seven rows of seats have been removed from the East Stand while the West, South and North stands have all been pushed back to Athletics mode to reveal the running track as the green pitch surround material is removed.

After the first concert of Depeche Mode on 3rd June operators will install the new LED screens across the whole middle tier where many West Ham flags currently hang. That work will commence on 5th June.

Following the final music concert of Robbie Williams on 23rd June work will then begin to remove all West Ham logos, signs and branding from the stadium including any sponsors to enable a clean stadium for the world Athletics Championships in August.

The stadium operators and owners are legally obliged to return the whole stadium back into football mode and return all West Ham sign, logos and branding before the beginning of September to enable the football season to begin for the Hammers.

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Champions stones supporters stuck in limbo

Stones1Supporters who bought Champions Stones after March 2016 are still waiting for them to be installed some 14 months later.

Over 12,000 stones were installed at Champions Place outside the London Stadium before the 14th March cut-off but thousands of supporters who purchased stones after that date have been left in limbo.

West Ham hopes to install many of the stones over the summer before the season starts again in September but with a full music concert and Athletics programme in June, July and August even that might be in doubt.

Stones2Some disgruntled fans fed up with waiting have already been refunded money for their stones after they complained while a source close to club admitted they may have to refund all supporters if progress is not made over the summer by subcontractors employed by the club to do the work.

One supporter who purchased a stone after March contacted Claret and Hugh earlier this week and forwarded on an email from the club which can be found below:

“Any stones purchased prior to Monday 14  March, 2016 were installed at Champions Place during the summer of 2016. For any purchase made after this date, a confirmation email was sent to each supporter expressing that their stone would be installed as soon as practically possible and advising to monitor the Champions Place website and the Club’s official communications channels for further updates. This is also outlined in the Champions Place FAQ’s.

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Bilic looking for game changers

bilic_main_3437996b-large_transpjliwavx4cowfcaekesb3kvxit-lggwcwqwla_rxju8Slaven Bilic has revealed that he needs “game changers” added to the squad and will remain in regular contact with co chairman David Sullivan from his Croatian home during the summer break.

Speaking ahead of his hospital visit for hip surgery  he said: “We need quality players. Of course you always need quality players but sometimes you are buying players for the future, sometimes you are buying players for the squad to be back-ups and all that, but we are good in that department.

“OK, we can talk about, if some of the players go, we can refresh the team with new players, but mainly we need the players who are going to improve the quality and be the game-changers.

“There are no guarantees in football, but we need starting XI players in certain positions.

“We want it all, but those players are very hard to get and they cost a bit. They are pretty much the privilege of the big, big, big guns. We have to close our eyes on some things. We can’t expect them to tick all the boxes with a mark ten.

“But athleticism is very important in today’s football, especially in the Premier League if you are talking about physicality and all that. It’s got to be fit players with stamina, with pace definitely and the of course good enough in all other departments.

“It depends, because we are looking in a few positions. In some positions, we are looking for physicality and they may lack a bit of first touch and delivery, but if you are talking about midfield area, if we want something in midfield, and I’m not saying we do because we are good there, then we would like to add a bit more quality.”