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Cup of Tea with Geo & Gonzo

We’re live in 10 minutes with our regular podcast on all things West Ham.

Click on the link below to join in live from 8:30-9:30pm or watch on playback right here on Claret and Hugh.

 

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Irons put Palace Adrian interest on back burner

adrian-west-hamWest Ham are bracing themselves for a fight in holding onto Adrian after Palace made their first moves to take the Spaniard to Selhust Park.

The Eagles had made an initial £3 million for offer for the keeper but we have been told tonight that this will be upped to £5 million the next couple of days.

However, the Hammers have made it clear to ClaretandHugh this evening they have no desire to sell even though Adrian is unhappy at the prospect of a season on the London Stadium sidelines.

And in any event there would be no question of the club accepting such an offer given that former No 2 Darren Randolph joined Championship outfit Middlesbrough for the same fee!

Adrian is understood to be keen on the prospect of  a move and the Hammers now have to decide whether to bring in a replacement quickly and let the deal go ahead or have an unhappy player on their hands.

Adrian meanwhile remains in Germany with the squad and there is no indication that formal talks with Palace are in any way imminent.

A Hammers source told us tonight: “There’s interest but it’s a simple situation. We have no interest in selling Adrian.”

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Chicharito and Cottee …TC gives his thoughts

cottee-442007Exclusive

Frankie McAvennie has hailed the arrival of Chicharito as the arrival of Tony Cottee Mark 11.

But the former Hammers striker turned Sky Sports pundit is far to modest to agree with his old mucker.

However, speaking exclusively to ClaretandHugh TC explained that the little Mexican is certainly the first natural goalscorer to join the Irons since Jermain Defoe was in his heyday at the club.

HernandezBW726And he said: “It’s a fabulous signing and like everybody else I’m thrilled to bits and excited. Javier has got everything you want.

He gets in behind, turns defenders, is deadly in front of goal, has pace and goal power – he’s everything you want isn’t he?

“Frank is my dearest friend but I honestly can’t comment on the comparison he made between Chicharito and me – I’m the wrong person to be asking.

What I do know is the lad is one helluva a striker and will be great for us.

“But let’s remember we have made three other superb signings – miles better than last year and we are now through year one of the new stadium and that makes life easier this time round.”

TC warns though that with the series of away games we must keep our feet on the ground saying: “If we only have one or two points from them – and they aren’t easy fixtures – the pressure could be on when Huddersfield arrive at the LS.”

Tony, however, finds himself in line with most who voted in the CandH poll claiming we would finish in either seventh or eighth place at the end of the season.

He explained: “Remember, there was a 15  point gap between seventh and eighth last season but I reckon with this squad eighth is very attainable.”

 

 

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Chicharito won’t be risked for cup games

ChicharitoShirt726Chicharito is due to fly to Germany on Thursday to meet his new team mates but is unlikely to feature in the Betway cup against Werder Breme in a two legged final on Friday and Saturday.

The Mexican is already match fit after finishing his international duty in the Confederations Cup earlier this month.

His last competitive match came on  July 2 against Portugal as Mexico were edged out to fourth place in the competition.

ClaretandHugh understands that the Hammers are unlikely to risk him in either game after the freak incident with Chiek Kouyate which left him out for the beginning of the season. They is also a train of thought that the player needs to completely recuperate before the gruelling long Premier League season.

Whether Chicharito features in friendlies against Altona 93 and Manchester City remains to be seen but you can guarantee he will make his proper competitive debut at Old Trafford on Sunday 13th August against his old club.

 

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Fletcher linked with £7m West Ham exit

West Ham United v FC Astra Giurgiu - UEFA Europa LeagueMiddlesbrough are said to have entered the race to land Ashley Fletcher from West Ham new reports claim today.

With the arrival of Javier Hernandez and Diafra Sakho said to be 100% fit Fletcher was expected to go out on loan this season to get some game time. Those who want him on loan are said to include Brighton, Huddersfield, Watford, Reading, Wolves and Leeds. 

Fletcher moved to West Ham last summer after his contract ran out at Manchester United for compensation of around £1m.

Now it is claimed Boro want the Hammers 21 year old on a permanent deal and are ready to offer up to £7m and hope that will give them the edge in the battle for his signature.

The youngster made 20 appearances last season for the Hammers but only started in two Premier League games.  West Ham may be reluctant to sell but could well insist on a sell on clause and/or a buyback clause to reduce the risk of letting him go.

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Hernandez ready to put screws on United

HernandezChicharito is desperate for the season to get underway as he ponders a return to Manchester United.

The Little Pea could hardly be happier having made the switch to us and told West Ham TV: “Of course I will be very happy to go back there and play. Hopefully I can do as well in that stadium for West Ham as I did when I played for United.

“And hopefully we can get the three points to make a great start to the season.”

“I am very excited. The last three years – the loan in Madrid and the two years with Leverkusen – were fantastic for me, and they helped me to improve a lot.

“But before then I was in England for four years – it was my first chapter in my European career – and now to be back makes me very happy.

“For me it is the most competitive in the world. There are no easy games, you can see that the top 10 can change a lot. The Premier League challenges you and that is why I am here – I want to improve.

“I’m very desperate for the season to start now, and help the team to achieve their objectives next season.”

 

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Adrian linked with £3m summer exit

Adrian_3164087bReports suggest Crystal Palace are in talks in an attempt to get Adrian to swap London clubs with West Ham getting a transfer fee of around £3m in return. Palace has reportedly turned their attentions to the Spaniard after failing in initial move to land Jasper Cillessen.

Adrian has been at the Hammers for four years since arriving on a free transfer from Real Betis in June 2013. He has made 123 appearances for the club but only made 19 starts last season.

Sky Bet make Palace the 6/4 favourites to Land Adrian with Newcastle 100/30, Brighton are 20/1 with Watford 25/1 and Real Betis 33/1. The keeper is 11/10 to stay at West Ham.

TransferMarket value the stopper at £6.8m while valuing Darren Randolph at £2.1m who sold for £5m.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is said to have already started his search for another goalkeeper to come in as cover for England international Hart should Adrian decide he wants out.

One rumour to resurface is possible interest in Brentford stopper Daniel Bentley who has recently signed a new contract with the Bees. The 24-year-old was born in Basildon and said to be a boy hood West Ham fan. He was often linked with a move to the Hammers while at Southend before his £1.1m switch to Brentford last year.  John Ruddy was another name linked as backup for the Hammers earlier this summer but he joined Wolves earlier this month.

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Late twist in Feghouli exit

west_hams_sofiane_feghouli_celebrates_scoring_their_third_goal_317515Sofiane Feghouli was missing from training in Germany yesterday with a club source insisting he was injured and it is not a smoke screen to mask his imminent exit.

Speculation says Feghouli days are still numbered at West Ham as he prepares for a summer exit.

Stade Rennais are the latest team who are said to be interested in the Algerian winger although his high wages could prove an obstacle for them claims Le Quipe in France this week.

According to the Turkish outlet Fotomac, Galatasaray have reached an agreement with Feghouli on a four-year deal with the 27-year-old earning €3 million per season. Fotomac goes onto state that the transfer is expected to be completed this week.

Ideally, Slaven Bilic would like to keep both Feghouli and Snodgrass but he has been told he must let one of them go if he wants to bring in Senegal midfielder Badou N’Diaye for £8.5m

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Is this the Hammers first team?

BilicI sat down to complete what I thought would be a relatively simple task this morning – selecting the Hammers starting line up for next season – err wrong…it’s actually a tough old call.

I started from the premise that everybody is fit although in the Hammers world that would represent something of  a major miracle.

However one of my new mottoes for the season is #trustlewin!

It was also necessary to ensure that no allowances are made for a player’s position – so sorry Mark Noble, the captaincy role doesn’t guarantee you of a place in my team.

Obviously game conditions will dictate the manager’s choices but mine are very personal choices based on what I believe is a team that looks safe at the back strong in midfield and can cause damage up front with a bench of real strength.

So here we go and please send your teams – looking forward to seeing them:

WE ARE PLAYING 4-5-1: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Obiang, Kouyate; Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic; Hernandez.

Bench: Adrian, Byram, Rice, Cresswell, Noble, Fernandes, Sakho

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Sullivan hails Chicharito as “potentially our greatest”

David-Sullivan-arrives-at-006David Sullivan has made a claim that Javier Hernandez could be one of the greatest players to have ever signed for the club.

And given the Mexican’s record at the top of the game it would be very hard to disagree with such an assessment.

Chicharito becomes the 33rd striker signed by the club since Sullivan and David Gold took over and we are due to hit the jackpot!

Sullivan said: “He is potentially the best player to ever come to the club. He is probably the best proven goalscorer we have signed.

He’s done it in the Premier League with Manchester United. His goal-scoring was a goal every two-and-a-half games, so that’s a pretty good record.”

Sullivan also refused to rule out a move for England and Arsenal star Jack Wilshere, among others in August.

The Hammers chief added: “I can’t comment on players from other clubs and we have a lot of good midfielders at the club, but never say never.”