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Chicharito on mark as Mexicans win again

Chicharito grabbed his 50th international goal to help Mexico maintain their perfect World Cup start this afternoon (Sat)

 The Mexicans beat South Korea 2-1 to make it two wins from two in Group F and take a big stride towards the second round.

Mexico were the better and more dominant team throughout with former Arsenal man Carlos Vela converting a spot kick before Little Pea   scored a clever second.

That came in the 66th minute when Hirving Lozano slipped a ball through to the striker who who cut back inside his man and finished inside the near post on his  104th appearance.

The goal is his third at World Cup finals, following on from a strike against France in 2010 and Croatia four years later.

Tottenham’s Son Heung-min pulled one back in stoppage time with a stunning shot from outside the box, but it came too late to affect the result as Mexico claimed maximum points.

They close their group fixtures against Sweden on Wednesday in Yekaterinburg.


Jack Wilshere wants to remain in London

Jack Wilshere seems determined to stay in the capital if possible after announcing his end to his Arsenal career.

The Hammers have been predictably linked with an interest in the free agent who supported the Hammers as a boy.

Wilshere is said to earn £130,000 per week at the North London club and reportedly turned down an offer of £100,000 per week to sign a new contract.

It is claimed that Wilshere is keen to remain in the capital but is looking for a multi-million signing on fee together with a six-figure weekly wage on a long-term contract.

The Hammers were previously cautious over Wilshere’s injury record and combined with his wage demands made a move unlikely but a final decision on whether there is any interest will be made by Manuel Pellegrini.

Wilshere has reportedly told his agents to talk to West Ham, Crystal Palace and Fulham to see if a deal could be reached to keep him in the Premier League and in London. Outside of the Premier League Fenerbahce and AC Milan have been made bookies favourites in recent days to sign the 26-year-old.

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Hammers linked with Leeds return

Sam Byram has predictably been linked with a move back to his former club Leeds  after the signing of Ryan Fredericks to join Pablo Zabaleta.

However, while Byram is still hero-worshipped by some Leed fans he would have a challenge with Luke Ayling, Lewie Coyle and Gaetano Berardi all of which can cover at right-back at Elland road.

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Hammers bid rejection mystery

Reports that West Ham had a new bid for Fulham’s captain Tom Cairney have been described as recycled at best and fabricated at worst.  The Hammers long-term transfer target was scouted under both Slaven Bilic and David Moyes and two bids reportedly worth £15m and £18m were rejected last January by Fulham.

Intermediaries enquired again at the start of this summer transfer window but were firmly told by Fulham he is not for sale and not to bother.

Club insiders say the chances of landing Cairney are extremely slim unless Fulham have a change of heart and say no formal bid has been lodged this summer as suggested by Sky Sports yesterday. Manuel Pellegrini and new director of football Mario Husillos have their own transfer targets without recycling former scouted targets and we are told the new manager wants to make his own mark by bringing in his own players.

Tom Cairney shares the same agent as Hammers Ryan Fredericks, Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio, Chiek Kouyate and Pedro Obiang.

Will Salthouse is the agent in question from Unique Sports Mangement and was heavily in bringing Marko Arnautovic to West Ham.


Hammers table ‘take it or leave it’ offer

West Ham are close to giving up on moves for Lazio’s Felipe Anderson.

The right sided midfielder was one of the first names on manager Manuel Pellegrini’s wish list but although the Hammers remain in touch with the Serie A club, hopes are now fading that a deal can be done.

According to some reports in Italy the deal is coming closer but that runs contrary to everything we have been told currently from inside the Hammers.

Despite agreeing an £80k a week wage with the player and his advisers, Lazio presdient Claudio Lotito is refusing to budge on a €million valuation leaving the two sides €10 million apart.

It has now reached the staged where the Hammers insist this is their ‘take it or leave it’ offer on a deal that has blown hot and cold for several weeks.

A final decision on the ongoing situation is expected to be decided at Monday’s meeting between boss Manuel Pellegrini and the Hammers board.

And there remains the hope that given Lazio’s financial troubles the Italian club will accept what’s on the table.


Report: Hammers closing in on defender

The Hammers are this morning reported to be close to concluding a deal for Genoa’s Armando Izzo according to Tuttomercatoweb,

Indeed,  the report claims that Hammers representatives are currently in Italy with Italian newspaper Secolo XIX claiming a fee in the region of £12 million will be sufficient for the club to get him.

If true, it means that Pellegrini has made up his mind that a second central defender is a big requirement to partner his top signing so far Issa Diop.

Izzo, 26, made 16 starts for Genoa last term and is the type of player who can build from the back, a requirement of most Pellegrini defenders.

With the manager having cooled on Swanseas Alfie Mawson, given his reluctance to buy relegated defenders,  the report makes some sense.

Bring the curtain down on favourite’s Hammers career

Adrian’s future at West Ham looks to be a thing of the past.

And despite the club having to juggle the finances to fill key positions with a goalkeeper lower on their priorities than perhaps he was a month ago, he needs to be allowed to move on.

The Spaniard has suffered two hugely frustrating seasons where neither Slaven Bilic or David Moyes showed too much faith in him.

That wasn’t their fault of course as his form had been more than dodgy.

But when you lose your place for a long stretch to Darren Randolph and later to a significantly ‘past it’ operator like Joe Hart you may have reason for complaint.

Equally, he should not be put in a position where he is likely to  suffer the same fate behind Lukasz Fabianski who despite all the “he’s here to provide competition” stuff is clearly set to become No1.

He has been a fabulous and uncomplaining servant but whichever way you look at it, Adrian is on borrowed time during the final year of his contract and would be foolish to agree another deal in these circumstances.

So for his sake and the stability of our future, go get the second keeper and let the guy move on.

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Monday! A big day in the Hammers summer

David Sullivan’s home where Monday’s meeting takes place

The new manager and his team have their first face to face meeting with the board since the summer break on Monday with several questions needing to be addressed.

Manuel Pellegrini and Director of Football Mario Husillos head for ‘Sullivan Mansions’ knowing that they will need to act quickly on several fronts as June heads into July with an August 8 cut off transfer window date.

Currently we understand they have 10 names of players on their list but that was prepared ahead of the Manu Lanzini disaster.

The meeting will seek to answer some key issues:

O Do they or can they pursue the Felipe Anderson transfer given the intransigence of the Lazio board that the figure they want is £40 million.

O Is a second new keeper required thus releasing Adrian;

O Will the manager feel he has sufficient central defenders or is another required;

O If so how can the budget be made to stretch to two midfielders;

O which players are now the priority and how quickly can we get them;

O where are we in current negotiations with the targets originally names to the board.

Monday really is a big day in the Hammers summer.

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World Cup: Keeping Your eyes on the Hammers

By David Gates

When the 23-man squads were announced ahead of the World Cup, four Hammers were called up by their national teams: Javier Hernandez for Mexico, Manuel Lanzini for Argentina, Joao Mario for Portugal and Cheikhou Kouyate for Senegal.

Unfortunately, Manu Lanzini has sustained a knee injury, so he is out of the tournament. As revealed by Claret & Hugh, we should add Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to the list of West Ham players to watch, as he is in final negotiations to join the club.

Hammers’ National Teams

Hernandez’s Mexico is in a difficult group, with Sweden keen on grabbing the number two slot after the expected group winners Germany.

However, mentally, Hernandez is already through to the knock-out stages and even sees Mexico as a real contender for the ultimate prize, as he told ESPN’s David Faitelson last month, especially after beating Germany in their opening group game.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

With Joao Mario, Portugal has neighbour Spain as well as Iran and Morocco in their group. After a beautiful goal in the recent friendly against Tunisia, Mario has made his mark, grabbing some of the limelight from a certain megastar striker.

Mario has also confirmed that he is not looking to return to Inter Milan; his future in West Ham is still to be confirmed, so a deal may well depend on a successful World Cup tour for him.

Senegal captain Cheikhou Kouyate was back in the national team in their final friendly against South Korea after having rested his knee in the game against Croatia a few days earlier.

Kouyate is joined in the national team by former Hammers striker Diafra Sakho. Taking part in their second World Cup ever, Senegal will find the group games challenging, but as Kouyate said, they are taking part to make their people proud and “write our story”, getting a much needed three points in their opener which they achieved against Poland.

England’s Odds

So, who do you think will be the World Cup outright winner? Across the board, the various oddsmakers are predicting either of Brazil, Germany, Spain or France to grab the trophy.

Germany, of course, ares the reigning champions and they have always been a strong team, consistently reaching at least the quarter-finals since 1982. Their team is getting on a bit though and they’ll find it tougher to progress after their opening defeat.

Looking at Brazil, they have won the World Cup five times before, but the last time was in 2002. On the other hand, they had a strong campaign leading up to the tournament, with 12 won and 5 drawn games and will look to improve after an opening draw against Switzerland.

Spain and France are both strong contenders to the title and on similar odds. France has a strong team and will do their utmost to better their quarter-final achievement from 2014. Spain has a difficult group with European champions Portugal holding them to a draw in their first game before scraping past Iran.

Even if there are no Hammers in the England team, we are hoping for a successful tournament for Southgate and the Three Lions. Belgium, in the final group match, will pose the biggest challenge, but assuming we can beat Panama after getting three points late against Tunisia, we should go through to the knock-out stages. Watch this space!


Report: Sullivan to step in over Stadium

David Sullivan is tonight reported as being ready to step up into what is described as an “impasse”  surrounding London Stadium.

The BBC are reporting that Sadiq Khan said he wanted to make the stadium financially viable over the term of West Ham’s 99-year lease.

And they add that it’s projected London Stadium will lose £140m over the next 10 years.

Khan and West Ham’s chief executive Karren Brady met on March 27 in a 45 minute meeting but there was no progress then and has been none since.

The dialogue was intended to offer the club greater involvement in the running of the stadium in return for an increased financial contribution beyond the present £2.5m per year.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “Following the Mayor’s meeting with Baroness Brady in March we are waiting to receive West Ham’s proposals on how to improve the future governance arrangements of the London Stadium.

“The Mayor’s Office and Lyn Garner, chief executive of LLDC, will then be keen to discuss those plans with West Ham as soon as possible.”