|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
DAILY MAIL: Terry Venables has called on the FA to appoint the next England manager as quickly as possible.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: : Sir Alex Ferguson has hit back at Patrick Vieira's claim that Manchester United receive favourable treatment from officials, claiming Manchester City have enjoyed their own luck with decisions and suggesting the Frenchman is risking sanctions if he continues to talk about referees.
DAILY MIRROR: Fernando Torres is set to be offered a £45million way out of his Chelsea nightmare. Also: Andy Carroll returns to Newcastle for the first time on Sunday, with Kenny Dalglish insisting he still believes in his striker.
THE SUN: Alex Ferguson cranked up the mind games last night by suggesting Patrick Vieira could face an FA charge. Also: Tottenham are planning for life after Harry Redknapp and preparing a move for Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers.
DAILY EXPRESS: Brendan Rodgers has jumped to the front of the queue of managers to whom Tottenham will turn if Harry Redknapp becomes the next England boss.
DAILY STAR: Sir Alex Ferguson believes Patrick Vieira should face an FA charge for his latest gig at Manchester United. Also: Fernando Torres' agent last night hinted the Spaniard could be on his way to Roma.
THE TIMES: Anzhi Makhachkala, the Russian Premier League club, were linked with Fernando Torres last night, but one of the Spain striker's representatives added to the confusion surrounding his future when he was forced to deny remarks attributed to the player that his position at Chelsea would be resolved in the coming months.
Manchester City preparing world record transfer bid for Cristiano Ronaldo (report)
EXCLUSIVE: Former Chelsea bosses eye £67m triple raid on Blues
Roma and Juventus are interested in signing Fernando Torres
Liverpool eye up Barcelona starlet Tello
EXCLUSIVE: Sunderland eye Aston Villa duo
VIDEO: Watch the Serie A star Arsenal have been to see
Blackburn boss bids to buy baby-sitters
Baggies aim to snap up racism-row Ghana star
Nathaniel Knight-Percival is one of (yes, really) the Posh!
VIDEO: Manchester United and City target Hazard sounds out Munich move
Chelsea and Spurs won't get Krasic on the cheap, warns agent
Chelsea will bid £35m for R eal Madrid 's Angel di Maria (The Sun)
Tottenham have lined up Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers as a replacement for Harry Redknapp (Daily Express)
Manchester City boss has heaped praise on Luka Modric in what could be the first stages of an attempt to buy them (The Sun)
Fulham want Trabzonspor striker Burak Yilmaz to replace Andy Johnson (Daily Mail)
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will reject interest from CSKA Moscow (Daily Mail)
Juventus will battle Chelsea and Manchester City for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani (talkSPORT)
Malaga want to gazump Manchester United 's bid for Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen (Inside Futbol)
Arsenal striker Carlos Vela wants to stay at Real Sociedad (talkSPORT)
Anzhi Makhachkala want Fernando Torres to join Samuel Eto'o in the world's most ludicrously expensive forward line, and are willing to pay £45m to make it happen. They could find themselves competing against Roma, though The Star's quote in support of that story, which consists of the player's agent saying "there are no discussions with Roma or Juventus", leaves a lot to be desired. Chelsea have drawn up an ambitious four-man shortlist to replace the Spaniard, say the Mirror, comprised of Napoli's Edinson Cavani – also a target for Manchester City and Juventus – Ezequiel Lavezzi, Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuaín and, ahem, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real, meanwhile, fancy Chelsea's Raul Meireles, while Paris St-Germain – who, like Real and Anzhi, are coached by a former Chelsea boss – are targeting Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole and CSKA Moscow, whose manager has no obvious links to Stamford Bridge, want Branislav Ivanovic (but probably won't get him). Talking of managers raiding their previous employers, Sunderland's Martin O'Neill wants to steal Gabriel Agbonlahor from Aston Villa, and might nab free agent Carlos Cuellar and Richard Dunne as well while he's there. Sunderland are also planning to swoop for James McClean's sell-on clause, and hope that Derry City will accept £500,000 for it. Better news for Villa, meanwhile, comes in the shape of the 6ft 4in Spartak Moscow striker Artem Dzyuba's admission that he's up for a move. "I don't deny that I want to play in England some day," he enthused.
If the FA is still interested in Harry Redknapp now that Tottenham are rubbish, and hands him the nation's most poisoned chalice at some point soonish, Spurs would make Swansea's man-of-the-moment Brendan Rodgers their top target to replace him. Jurgen Klinsmann and David Moyes would also be on the shortlist, but the former is happy in America and the latter wouldn't offer "the Barcelona-style football which Rodgers has brought to Swansea," according to The Sun.
Talking of Tottenham, Luka Modric could be on his way this summer after Roberto Mancini admitted he fancies having a go at signing him. "Luka is an outstanding footballer, a great player," said the Italian, "but it is by no means easy to get him because he plays for a big club, Tottenham. It is unlikely they would let him leave." But in a blow to City's title bid, Mancini has admitted that his pilgrimage to the Bosnian town of Medjugorje is unlikely to provide the team with God's backing. "The Lord has more important things to do," he admitted. In other Manchester City news, Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany are to be offered new contracts, but Nigel De Jong is available for transfer.
Angel di María is planning to walk out of Real Madrid this summer in a wages-related strop and flounce right into Stamford Bridge. The Argentina winger is being offered a meagre £70,000-a-week by the Spanish giants, and only a big-time wage hike will keep him at the Bernabeu.
Liverpool want Barcelona's 20-year-old forward Cristian Tello. Stoke want Ricardo Fuller to stay for another year. "He's a top player and a fantastic lad," said Tony Pulis. "He can be a little bit off the wall at times, but that's Ricardo." Blackburn want Marseille's André-Pierre Gignac – "I am an admirer of any good player, and he is a very good player," says Steve Kean. West Bromwich are hoping to sign Dnipro's £3.5m-rated 28-year-old Ghana midfielder Derek Boateng, and are interested in Fulham's Andrew Johnson. Martin Jol will replace the Englishman with Trabzonspor's Burak Yilmaz, whose contract has a convenient £4m escape clause.
reading official site
Brian: My respect for Sam Allardyce
Royals boss Brian McDermott has been speaking of his respect for West Ham boss Sam Allardyce.
Brian takes his team to Upton Park this weekend for a much-anticipated fixture, and he has revealed his admiration for the Hammers' manager.
Speaking to Reading FC Player, Brian said, "You've got a manager there who has been there seen it and done it.
"He has won promotions and has been in the Premier League for many years, when West Ham got him it was a real fillip for the Championship.
"He's been backed by the owners, they've got a very, very good fanbase - phenomenal for the Championship. They travel in real numbers, get behind their team and they've got good players."
Brian is sure his team will put on another very good display in East London, saying, "We want to go there and perform, which we've done over 30-odd games, we're top of the League over that period.
"Our players know how to go into games and how to win games, that is the most important thing."
lifes a pitch
Hammers fans “should be grateful Allardyce has got them where they are”
It can’t be much fun being Sam Allardyce. Constantly thinking in the third person, perpetually jeered by West Ham fans for not winning matches in the correct manner. It’s a very curious state of affairs. The Life’s A Pitch panel ponders deeply on the situation.
“West Ham United hired Sam Allardyce to get them out of the Championship, and if they win this weekend they’re in an automatic promotion place,” says Dominic Fifield of the Guardian. “Some West Ham fans have this idea that they should only play football one way, but the Championship is a horrible division to get out of – you do it however you can. They should be grateful that Sam Allardyce has got them where they are.”
The incessant half-time booing suggests Hammers fans don’t really see it that way, and that Big Sam may be flogging a proverbial horse corpse. His old acquaintance, David Walker of the Sunday Mirror, has some advice: “I’ve known Sam for 35 years, and if I was giving him advice I’d say, ‘Sam, win promotion, take the bonus, and clear off – you’ve done your bit’. He hasn’t got a prayer of surviving long term at West Ham, he will become a hate figure.”
Dave Kidd of The People can see where the disenfranchised fans are coming from. “It’s easy to criticise West Ham fans, but would you want to watch Sam Allardyce’s team week in, week out? I wouldn’t. People go to football matches to be entertained.”
The panel goes on to discuss Reading, who are far more pleasing on the eye.
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