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Hammers ahead in race for defender

West Ham are reported to be ahead of their rivals in the race to sign Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby this summer.

The Irons are keen to strengthen their back line and have been linked with a number of potential acquisitions.

Diakhaby has emerged as a target and a new report in Spain, from Mundo Deportivo reporting that the club are willing to move him on this summer.

Along with the Irons, Premier League rivals Newcastle and Leicester are also eyeing a potential move.

The 24-year-old will be a difficult signing, according to the report, as they still have around £5m of his transfer fee to pay off, and owe 15% of any transfer fee to Lyon, from whom they signed him.

Diakhaby has made a total of 94 appearances for Valencia and has also been capped nine times by France U21s.

His contract is currently set to expire in 2023 and he is valued at £9m by Transfermarkt.

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Hammer could depart for Posh

Peterborough United are preparing a bid for West Ham midfielder Conor Coventry which could see him depart the Hammers for good this summer.

The Championship new boys want to sign the 21-year-old on a permanent deal with Hull City and several other unnamed Championship clubs.

The deep-lying midfielder who won West Ham United’s Dylan Tombides Award at the end of the 2017/18 season was thought to be on teh verge of a breakthrough to the first team this season but it appears that is no longer the case.

A Republic of Ireland U19 international, Coventry made his senior Hammers debut in the 8-0 EFL Cup third-round win over Macclesfield Town at London Stadium in September 2018 as a teenager.

The lifelong West Ham supporter born and raised in Waltham Forest, who has been at the Academy since he was ten years old.

West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold have connections to Peterborough United through their good friend Barry Fry who is Posh’s director of football.

 

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Tammy Abraham update

Chelsea are prepared to drop their price to £30m for their striker Tammy Abraham according to @EXWHUEmployee

Initially, the West London side wanted £40m, a valuation which David Moyes said made the chance of a deal, a non-starter.

Arsenal and Spurs are also said to be keen on the London-born England international, and the Blues could be open to a loan deal with an obligation to buy should the player reach a pre-set amount of games.

Abraham earns around £80,000 a week at Chelsea but his agent reportedly says he wants £140,000 per week in personal terms to move to a new club.

Those wage demands would be difficult for the Hammers to accept without a domino effect amongst West Ham other earners some of which are claimed to have parity clauses inserted in their contracts.

Unless Abraham’s people reduce their demands the chance of signing the Chelsea striker still appears to be slim as it currently stands.

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Hammers to explore Baggies loan option

Reports suggest that West Ham are in talks with West Bromwich Albion on a loan with an option to but for Brazilain playmaker Matheus Pereira.

The Baggies it is claimed would prefer a straight transfer fee in excess of £20m but could be persuaded to convert this to a loan with an obligation to buy if the terms were financially advantageous to them.

The silky Brazilian fired 11 goals and laid on six assists marking an impressive debut season in the top flight.

The Midlands outfit values him at £22 million, and they have not received a suitable bid so far with Al Hilal bid of £7m quickly rejected.

Leciester City and Liverpool have been linked in recent days so West Ham will need to act quickly if they don’t want to lose out.

Despite all the speculation in reports a source close to the player says West Ham have yet to make their move with a formal offer to the Baggies.

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Skinner makes more dubious takeover claims

Former market trader turn TV celebrity Thomas Skinner is back online trying the sell the takeover of West Ham by PAI Capital to Hammers fans on social media.
The former BBC apprentice West Ham fan insists he is not being paid to promote his one-man campaign on an approach led by former QPR man Philip Beard.
Skinner continues to promote the dubious takeover by making fantastic claims without any detail saying he can’t break anyone’s trust. He also claims he has asked the consortium to revert back to the old badge.
Skinner writes on Twitter:
‘So the guys at PAI are serious. I know what their vision is, and it’s brilliant, I can’t share too much, I don’t want to break anyone’s trust but this I can say. Firstly they will invest in the squad which we so desperately need. They want to pump money into the youth academy and work on our facilities as they’re not great. But most importantly they want to transform the Olympic Stadium into a proper home for West Ham, be our fortress!! And I’ve asked them if we can change back to our old badge, not the new one, we don’t like it.
They are 100 per cent football people and lots of west ham legends behind this deal  I don’t want to excite too many people but this is honestly great for our club, and I know lots want new owners. However, nothing will change unless GSB accepts the deal, the guys at PAI are serious, and I’ll let you all know on here when anything moves or I can say more. Please Sullivan, if you love our club and West Ham. Get this deal done.  I love West Ham and will update when I can. Have a great evening.”
What Skinner fails to explain is how Private equity firm PAI Capital would deliver profits and returns for their high wealth investors while delivering all these ambitious football dreams on the pitch and at the stadium/training ground.  The two aims are not usually compatible with each other.
Earlier this week he published a photo of himself with former Hammer Anton Ferdinand with the caption ‘West Ham Legend’, although Claret and Hugh understands that Anton is not one of the former players backing the takeover. No disrespect but Anton is not a West Ham Legend as I am sure he would agree himself if asked.
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Dec set to return to West Ham

Hammer Declan Rice will report back to West Ham for pre-season training on Monday morning at Rush Green to undergo testing, weigh-in, medical screening and checks.  He is the final senior member of the squad to return beyond Winston Reid who is out in Japan at the Olympics and unlikely to be Moyes plans.

Following England’s exit from the Euro 2020 final against Italy in Wembley Rice flew out to the Greek island of Mykonos on a lads holiday with some of the England team, he then flew by private jet to the Spanish island of Ibiza to spend time with his long term girlfriend Lauren Fryer on a romantic break.

The 22-year-old has been the subject of fever pitch speculation concerning his future but looks set to stay at West Ham to start the season.

West Ham hasn’t changed their stance, he is a contracted player, he is not for sale and no formal enquiry or bid has been received.

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Return of the king

King Arthur Masuaku made his pre-season return as West Ham United U23s drew 2-2 with National League side Aldershot Town on Friday evening.

The DR Congo international returned to action after missing the tail-end of last season with a knee problem and impressed during his 45 minutes on the pitch at Rush Green Stadium, defending strongly and providing an assist for Armstrong Okoflex’s opening goal.

Masuaku was powerless to stop Aldershot equalising when Pierre Ekwah’s pass was intercepted by Toby Edser and the No8 powered a left-foot shot high past David Martin, and he had been replaced by the time Kevin Lokko headed Lewis Kinsella’s cross in at the near post early in the second half.

However, the Hammers stuck to their task and were rewarded 19 minutes from time when Okoflex pounced on a loose ball and smashed high into the net from around 12 yards to level.

The Irons controlled the game for long periods in front of watching first-team manager David Moyes and coaches Kevin Nolan, Billy McKinlay and Stuart Pearce, and it was summer signing Okoflex who provided the cutting edge to score his third and fourth pre-season goals.

With David Martin and Masuaku joined in the starting XI by a number of youngsters who have featured for Moyes in pre-season, including defender Jamal Baptiste, midfielders Pierre Ekwah and Keenan Forson and attacker Okoflex,.

Masuaku was the creator, starting a move from deep that saw Mesaque Dju run onto Bernardo Rosa’s pass before cutting the ball back for the left-back. He released Okoflex with a perfectly-weighted ball with the outside of his foot and the No11 kept his composure to finish low across goalkeeper Mitch Walker.

Goalkeeper trialist was Brian Kinnear released from Glasgow Rangers who has featured a number of times with both Joseph Anang and Nathan Trott now away on loans.  One missing player from tonight was Thierry Nevers who suffered a groin strain last week.

West Ham United U23s: Martin (Trialist 77), Ashby ©, Greenidge, Baptiste (Laing 60), Masuaku (Longelo 46), Ekwah, Chesters (Diallo 46), Forson (Ashley 46), Okoflex, Rosa, Dju (Swyer 71)
Subs not used: Woods, Forbes

Goals: Okoflex 22, 71

 

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Areola in training

Alphonse Areola has been pictured in training with the Hammers!

The goalkeeper’s move to the club from PSG was confirmed on Thursday, as the Irons struck a loan deal for the stopper, with the option to buy him at the end of the season.

Areola has already been pictured in training, with the Irons uploading pictures of him in the build-up to this weekend’s pre-season friendly against Brentford.

He has enjoyed a varied career to date, making his debut for PSG in 2013 and he has enjoyed a number of loan moves since then.

He has gone to Lens and Bastia in France, Villarreal and Real Madrid in Spain, and prior to his move to the London Stadium, he spent last season with Fulham.

He will be providing competition to Lukasz Fabianski this season and will hope to usurp him throughout the campaign.

Take a look at the picture that was uploaded by the club’s official Twitter account below!

 

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Chelsea’s Abraham stance revealed

Chelsea will not allow Tammy Abraham to leave the club unless they manage to bring in a new striker this summer.

Football.London reports that the Blues are attempting to strengthen their squad but that various players have uncertain futures.

Abraham is included in that, with the website claiming that the Hammers are interested in a deal to bring him to east London.

Still, the club are said to have decided that he will only be allowed to move if they manage to bring in a new forward.

The report claims that both Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku are on their shortlist of potential acquisitions but neither are very likely at this stage.

Southampton’s Danny Ings is said to be a potential alternative, who could well step in as a short-term option ahead of the Blues making a huge bid for either Haaland or Lukaku next summer.

If Ings comes in, the dominoes could fall and the Hammers may be able to snaffle Abraham away, but as it stands, that seems very unlikely!

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Milenkovic v Zouma: The finances

Both Kurt Zouma and Nikola Milenkovic have been mentioned as David Moyes centre back targets this week but one is considered cost-effective than the other.

Chelsea is said to want to double their money and value Zouma at £25m after paying £12.5m to Saint Etienne in 2o14.

His wages are modest by Chelsea standards reported to be £46,000 per week for the 26-year-old

23-year-old Milenkovic is said to be available for £12.8m from Fiorentina and is claimed to earn £23,000 per week in Italy.

The Serbian has just one year left on his contract and is said to be keen on a move to West Ham.

Zouma has been offered in a part-exchange deal to Sevilla and has been offered to several other clubs including Spurs.

It is said he would prefer to remain in London.

At almost double the transfer price and double the wages, I am not sure we would be getting double the player on Zouma.