Footy Extras

Arsenal Set to Battle With West Ham for £13m-Rated European No.15

Arsenal will go head-to-head with London rivals West Ham to sign Besiktas midfielder, Oguzhan Ozyakup, who is valued at around £13m.

The Gunners were reportedly in pole position to sign the Turkish international but Slaven Bilic is confident he can convince him to join the Hammers after working with him during his time managing Besiktas.

Tottenham have also expressed an interest in Ozyakup but it is believed the battle will mainly be between their two rivals.

The Black Eagles midfielder has only one year left on his deal but it is believed Besiktas are working on a five-year extension which could tempt the 24-year-old after lifting back-to-back league titles in Turkey.

However, a source close to Turkish Football says that the club would consider offers that meet their £13m valuation.

Besiktas president Fikret Orman is open to selling Ozyakup but only to the right club and his recent comments angered Leicester City fans.

“We will sell players if we receive the right offers,” he said. “We have not received the right offer yet for Oguzhan and as I have said before he will only join a club of the highest level club.

“I would not for example sell him to Leicester City. I want him to play at the highest level.”

Ozyakup – who scored five goals and recorded seven assists in the Super Lig last season – has said he is keen on a return to England having previously played for Arsenal.

The midfielder, who has become a star for the Black Eagles, said to beIN Sport Turkey: “I have plans to play in Europe.

“I was born in Holland and developed in England at the best academy in the world. I trained with the best and want to relive my time at Arsenal again.”

Wantaway Chelsea Star Targeted by West Ham Who Can Guarantee Playing Time

​West Ham United and Newcastle have joined French title winners Monaco in making wantaway Chelsea star Michy Batshuayi a top transfer target this summer, as the striker seeks more game time ahead of next year’s World Cup.

The Belgium international struggled for regular football under Antonio Conte this season making just 20 league appearances, with just one of those coming from the start. With West Ham and newly-promoted Newcastle willing to offer consistent play time according to ESPN, he is considering his options.

Despite scoring the title-winning goal for Chelsea against West Brom, Batshuayi fears he will still only play second fiddle next season – a threat which has grown with Chelsea leading the race to sign Romelu Lukaku.

Speaking about whether he would accept another season on the fringes, Batshuayi ​​said: “No, no, no. Everyone knows that I have to play more, that I have to score goals. There’s a World Cup coming up next year. I want to be ready for the World Cup.”

West Ham are looking to improve their attacking options after the side struggled for goals this season due to Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Michail Antonio all getting injured as well as Simone Zaza never finding form in the Premier League.

Similarly Newcastle will be looking for more attacking power after bouncing back into the Premier League they will not want a repeat from two years ago and Batshuayi will bring an injection of goals to both sides.

The Premier League duo face tough competition from Monaco however who are looking to bolster their squad ahead of their Ligue 1 title defence next season, and ESPN report that the Ligue 1 side are currently leading the race.

Batshuayi scored 11 goals with three assists during 29 appearances, in all competitions, last season excelling during his limited play time and while the English clubs will rely on him more the lure of Champions League football could be the deciding factor.

22 goals West Ham Target Reveals What He’s Looking for in Next Club

Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle are all vying for the signature of 20-year old Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru.

According to ​Metro the three clubs were all impressed by Onyekuru’s form for the Belgian side K.A.S Eupen where he finished joint top scorer in the Belgian First Division. He ended tied on 22 goals with Łukasz Teodorczyk from Anderlecht, an impressive feat as Onyekuru’s Eupen side finished 13th of 16 teams.

The youngster has recently made his debut for his native Nigeria, coming on as a substitute in the Super Eagles’ 3-0 win over Togo. Onyekuru has insisted that playing time will sway his decision. He told ESPN: “The first and most important thing for a player is to get playing time. I’m still young and I still have a long career to pursue but now I need to play.”

The youngster does not seem bothered about the possible lure of a big club. “It’s not just about going to a big club and sitting on the bench. It’s not good for me, or being loaned to a club where I won’t play or where I will struggle to play.”

Arsenal’s squad depth could mean that first-team opportunities for the youngster could be limited. While Alexis Sanchez could be departing the Emirates, Onyekuru could still be behind Lucas Perez, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck.

West Ham could offer Onyekuru a route into the first-team with Andy Carroll injury-prone, and a number of other strikers on their books enduring tough campaigns in 2016-17.

Newcastle are looking to bolster their squad after securing an immediate return to the Premier League. With only four strikers in their squad last season in the Championship, Rafa Bentiez has been targeting a striker but he was keen to attract someone who had previous Premier League experience.

Onyekuru is an exciting young talent but seems to be a player who is determined to be a regular starter and this story is likely to be one that runs over the summer months.

West Ham and Everton Battle Over Signing £17.5m Ace

West Ham have joined Everton and a number of other European clubs in the race to sign Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore, according to  Foot Mercato.

The 21-year-old has been with the Blues since 2013, but has made just 16 appearances and spent the majority of his time with the club on loan.

The Burkina Faso international spent 18 months with Eredivisie Vitesse Arnhem, scoring 20 goals in 51 appearances.

Last season Traore was on loan with Ajax where he found the net 13 times in all competitions as part of an attacking, youthful side.

Traore has played as both a striker and a winger, and has reportedly attracted interest from Lille, Lyon, Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke.

Chelsea are believed to be asking for £17.5m having already reportedly turned down a bid of £14m.

Last month, Traore expressed his hope of returning to Chelsea and breaking into Antonio Conte’s first team.

“[Chelsea] is my club,” he said – via the Guardian. “I always dream to play for this club. I enjoyed my games last year and this is my first choice. I want to get some time at Chelsea but I don’t decide it.”

Traore has impressed during his loan spells in Holland, and despite his youth has already played 38 times for the Burkina Faso.

Insider: West Ham Could Agree £10m Deal For Midfield Star

Jack Wilshere has been tipped to leave Arsenal for West Ham by former Arsenal star Ray Parlour.

The midfielder spent last season on loan at Bournemouth, and is due to return to the Emirates. But the likelihood of him sticking around is very low.

Wilshere made just three appearances for the Gunners due to injury in the season prior, bouncing back to make 29 Premier League appearances for the Cherries. However, he was unfortunate to suffer a fractured leg late on.

Now in the process of regaining his fitness, his future is shrouded by uncertainty. And Parlour, who made well over 300 appearances for Arsenal between 1992 and 2004, thinks that there will be a big decision for both Wilshere and Arsene Wenger to make.

“The injuries have really taken its toll with Jack,” he said on talkSPORT (H/T Express).

“I’m really pleased he went out last season on loan to Bournemouth, got some game time because he’s been lacking that.

“I’m sure he went to see Arsene Wenger and said ‘what’s my future?’. Arsene Wenger’s probably honest with him and said ‘look, there’s lots of players in front of you’.

“They’ve got lots of midfielders, (Santi) Cazorla was your main man in front of him, he was going to play every week. So Jack said ‘look, I want to play football’ and he got his opportunity to go out on loan.”

Parlour reckons West Ham would be a good choice for the 25-year-old if he does decide that his time at the Emirates is up.

“Does he want to try and fight for his position at Arsenal or does he want to go out to a club and play?

“Another club, West Ham might be ideal for Jack Wilshere. I think if he wants to play on a regular basis, yes (I think he should leave), I really do.

“I don’t think he will play on a regular basis, I know he’s had his injuries this season as well but he’s played a lot more football.

“Again, I’ll go back to West Ham, they will be looking at midfielders, a bit more quality. I would say would Jack be worth £10million?

“He’s only got a year left on his contract, that’s the big stumbling block.”

West Ham Ready to Hijack Rivals £22m Move For Versatile Defender

With the Premier League transfer window looming, the battle for the game’s brightest young star’s has started to intensify.

Chelsea’s Nathan Ake has widely impressed this season during his time at Bournemouth on loan; he was pulled back from the South Coast prematurely by Blues boss Antonio Conte, in order to provide cover for Marcos Alonso – but with Alonso having such a fine campaign and unlikely to be budged any time soon, a report by West Ham World claim West Ham are set to rival Eddie Howe’s club in acquiring his services in the summer.

The Cherries are said to be willing to lodge a lofty £22m figure to lure the 22-year-old back to the Vitality Stadium on a more permanent basis next term.

Although it has also emerged that the Hammers have made the first initial step in signing Ake from Stamford Bridge, after supposedly offering £15m, in the hope that Ake would opt to stay in the capital.

Ake has managed to make 17 appearances this season for both Bournemouth and Chelsea, and has earned himself a shock call-up to Dick Advocaat’s Netherlands side, due to his strong performances this term.

The developing defender is also able to play as a holding midfielder, as well as in the centre of the defence and out on the flanks, so he looks set to be a highly adaptable modern professional who will only get better with more first team experience.

West Ham Star’s £30m Price Tag Doesn’t Scare Off Premier League Giants

Top Premier League clubs could still go in for West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini, despite a reported £30m price tag being slapped on the Argentine.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is said to be keen to keep a hold of his prize asset, after the 24-year-old has proven his worth since the departure of star player Dimitri Payet.

After news over the weekend came out that West Ham were setting an asking price of £30m for the playmaker, many believed that interest would cool for Lanzini.

However, reported by the Daily Star, it is claimed that top Premier League teams, in particular, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal, are still keen on the former Al Jazira player.

The news arrives as each side look to the summer to bolster their ranks in order to mount a Premier League title challenge next campaign

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham are looking to build on the strong work shown in the last two seasons by seriously pushing for the Premier League number one spot – and signing Lanzini would add to the much criticised lack of squad depth in the Spurs ranks.

Meanwhile Liverpool might be pursuing the West Ham player as a possible alternative if their Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho leaves the club – with Barcelona reportedly very interested in the Liverpool man.

Arsenal are also said to be keen on Lanzini, who could become part of a hugely anticipated squad overhaul from Arsene Wenger, who looks set to ring the changes in his side in order to improve his stock amongst Arsenal supporters and challenge for their first Premier League title since 2003.

West Ham Set to Agree the Deal For £33m Star

West Ham could sign Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi this summer, one year after the Blues beat them to the Belgian’s signature following Euro 2016.

Any deal would have to be permanent though, with Chelsea wanting to cut their losses on the Belgian hitman – who has managed only a handful of appearances since his £33m move from Marseille, according to the Mirror.

Batshuayi was signed as competition for Diego Costa, but has hardly featured at Stamford Bridge, and has often been introduced to games by Antonio Conte in the latter stages when the result is beyond any doubt.

Even in Costa’s absence, Conte has frequently opted to deploy Eden Hazard as a ‘false nine’, and left Batshuayi on the bench.

The Blues have been linked with big money offers for other strikers this summer, including Everton man Romelu Lukaku, meaning the 23-year-old’s Stamford Bridge future is even bleaker.

However, now he could have an escape route in the form a keen party in West Ham, who were meant to sign him last summer after agreeing a fee with Marseille, only to be beaten out at the last minute by the richer club.

West Ham’s struggles up front have been well documented this season; Simone Zaza flopped, Jonathan Calleri has done little to impress, Diafra Sakho has been injured for the most part, and Andy Carroll has also struggled slightly with injury as expected, meaning a swoop for the man with a point to prove Batshuayi could well be on.​

Chelsea Star Sent Surprise Message to West Ham Boss

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has a deal to live up to, having watched West Ham defeat Spurs 1-0 on Friday.

Manuel Lanzini’s second-half strike proved the difference between the two sides, and left Mauricio Pochettino ruing the fact that his side missed a chance to put even more pressure on the Blues by closing the gap at the top of the table to a single point.

The Stamford Bridge side now have a chance to win the Premier League title much sooner, and will do so if they can take four points from their matches against Middlesbrough and West Brom next week.

Speaking after his side’s win, Bilic told Sport Klub that Matic had sent him a text prior to the match, offering him dinner if he stopped the Lilywhites.

“If you stop Tottenham, I’ll take you out to dinner,” Bilic said, revealing the contents of said text.

“Matic is a wonderful guy, a great player. I will accept that [offer] with pleasure.”

You could well imagine how expensive such a deserved dinner might cost.

Manager Confirms Striker Suffered Whiplash After Wonder Goal Against Crystal Palace

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Andy Carroll suffered whiplash after scoring an incredible bicycle kick in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 28-year-old scored what he called ‘the greatest goal of his career’ after he thumped Michail Antonio’s cross into the top-corner with a supremely powerful scissor-kick.

But the injury-prone striker didn’t escape the goal unscathed, as according to Bilic he suffered whiplash at the end of the game.

However, Bilic went on to confirm that he ‘trained hard’ this week and that he should be okay for Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough.

“The physios told me @AndyTCarroll had whiplash at the end of the game but he trained hard on Tuesday and hopefully he will be okay.” He said during his pre-match press conference.

Bilic also revealed that Sam Byram and Winston Reid suffered knocks in the 3-0 victory at the London Stadium, but he hopes they will both be okay this Saturday.

“We had a couple of knocks with @sambyram93 and @WinstonReid2 but hopefully they will be okay. I am optimistic all of them will be fit.”

Speaking about the prospect of facing a defensively-resolute Middlesbrough on Saturday, Bilic said: “We have a very difficult game on Saturday against a team who are very solid and don’t concede a lot but it is a good opportunity for us.”