China in your hands
This weeks Hammers news is taken up with summer transfer gossip. Here are the highlights.
So, with Slaven Bilic being appointed the new West Bromwich Albion boss, unsurprisingly some West Ham players have been linked with a move to the the Hawthorns. First up is Reece Oxford who clearly has no future at the Irons and has spent the last two seasons on loan in the Bundesliga and this is were most pundits were expecting to end up, specifically with Ausburg. However, this transfer has seemingly stalled. A straight forward deal for around £3m looks unlikely due to Oxfords £20k pay, ironically negotiated by Bilic, so a loan deal is more likely. We await further developments.
As well as Oxford, another West Ham outcast, right-back Sam Byram, has also been linked with a move to the Baggies. Currently fourth choice at the Irons, a move for Byram seems inevitable, with Nottingham Forest, where he spent part of last season on loan, and his old club Leeds also said to be interested.
Personally, despite Leeds reported interest, I can see possibly Robert Snodgrass moving to the Baggies. With the signing of Fornals and Lanzini now fit, first team action may be sparse for the Scotsman.
Issa off or not
There is continuing speculation linking Issa Diop with a move to Manchester United, with West Ham allegedly asking for Anthony Martial as part of the the deal. Also mentioned have been Scot McTominay, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones. There seems to be little substance behind the names mentioned, with most of it media speculation and it would appear that if an offer has been made, West Ham have simply said no.
Interestingly, latest reports are that Diop's agents are wanting to speak to West Ham about a better deal for their client, especially with the interest for Old Trafford. Could this be the source for these stories.
Speculation continues around the signing of Maxi Gomez and there are many speculative stories. We have agreed terms with the player, we have agreed terms with Celta Vigo, we haven’t agreed terms with Celta Vigo, he doesn’t want to join us. The list goes on.
Lots of Hammers supporters on Twitter seem to be wetting themselves about us getting this player, but I ask, how many have actually seen him play. I haven’t, so its hard to judge whether he is the man for us. We can only trust Husilos and Pelligrines judgement on this and if this is the player they desperately want then we must assume he is quality. Who had really heard of Anderson before we signed him.
However, despite the rumours that we were close to signing Gomez, later in the week reliable source @exWHUemployee debunked any truth that any deal had been agreed
Elsewhere, it is claimed we have submitted an offer for round £9m for the Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice. He is highly rated and scored 14 goals last term, being linked to a number of Premier League clubs and is seen as a future superstar. How many times have we seen that said about a player.
However, whether there is any truth in this rumour, it is also claimed elsewhere that none of the Premier League clubs are on his list of options with the French newspaper L'Equipe stating the player as saying that he wants to sign for German side Borussia Monchengladbach.
“Now I feel like it’s time to leave, to join a club that is playing at a higher level,” Claude-Maurice told L’Equipe.
“I want to join Monchengladbach.
“It is a club that relies on young people, there is a good structure, the team will play in the Europa League. This project pleases me and suits me.”
Towards the end of the week Callum Wilson’s name was being bandied around as a target of West Ham with reports saying that we were looking to offer £35m for the England forward. It is being claimed that despite him now being Pelligrini’s primary, the West Ham owners are said to be reluctant as they do not feel that Wilson is good value for money, especially with his fitness record. This is despite him going from strength to strength since two horrific knee injures.
Fernando Llorente’s contract runs out at the end of the month and he has been linked with a move to the Hammers. If this is as an alternative to other linked players then no thanks. He has hardly set things alight at Spurs and surely we can do better. However, if he is happy to continue to play second or third fiddle and, if Hernandez leaves, then this may be a viable alternative on a free.
But the craziest rumour of the week was that Emmanuel Adebayor is looking to return to the Premier League after his contract with Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir was terminated. It was reported by the Sun that West Ham are one of four clubs interested in signing the 35 year old striker. I think this one can be taken with a large pinch of salt. This would have been a typical Sullivan signing but, hopefully, those days have passed.
Leave or remain
Will I be back
Once more Marko Arnautovic is being linked with a move to China with www.claretandhugh.info claiming that bookies are still saying its odds on that he will be playing in the Chinese League by 3rd September despite him signing a one year extension to his contract in January. Later in the week it was rumoured that Arnautovic fancied a return to to his old Italian club Inter Milan with a figure of £25m being reported. However, his agent, brother Danijel, is quoted in the Daily Mail as follows:
“Marko Arnautovic still has a contract in West Ham. He signed the contract with a very good feeling,” his agent said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. “Be sure, that nobody, nobody called me since a long time ago to say ‘we like Marko, can you please come over.’ “Yes, there was the offer from China, yes there were talks but from Inter, there was no talks. “Marko is a good player and he can play in other very good clubs, yes of course, but he has a contract, the players love him, he is a very loved man in the dressing room. “Training starts for Marko on July 7 and he is going to be there for sure. “Football you know, football is very crazy stuff. You can change everything in two hours, in one day. You never know.”
Very positive, but the last comment is a little worrying.
Pedro Obiang is a another linked with a move away. He nearly joined Fiorentina in January for £10m (Sky Sports News) and it appears to be no secret that he is keen on a move back to Italy.
Forgotten man Jordan Hugill, who spent most of last season on loan at Middlesborough, is also unsurprisingly being linked with a move away from the London Stadium with both Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday said to be interested. Hugill’s days are clearly numbered, so a move away is inevitable. However, it is unlikely that West Ham will recoup the alleged £9m they paid for him.
And finally, Javier Hernandez who joined the Hammers from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2017 is being linked with a move abroad again. Things have been quiet on this front but now, after the recent birth of his baby, stories are now hitting the press that he is not happy with a back up role at the London Stadium with Valencia and now a Turkish club interested in his services.