|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
Hammers join Boro ace chase
West Ham are said to be in the hunt to sign Middlesbrough midfielder Mathew Bates but face a battle with Everton and Wigan.
The 22-year-old was one of the few shining lights at the Riverside last season as Boro battled vainly against the drop and was offered a new deal at the end of the campaign.
Bates has refused the new deal as he does not want to play in the Championship and now the race is on for a player who would cost no more than a compensation package.
"I don't know whether I'll not be playing Premier League football. Maybe I will be playing in the Premier League. There's decisions to be made," said Bates.
"I'm a professional footballer and I've missed a lot of football despite being just 22. The last thing I really want to do is play in the Championship.
"I want to play Premier League football and progress in my career as far as I can but I'm also a massive Boro supporter and I want to help them get back
Birmingham continue into the Premier League.
"Whether I'm there or not next season is another story."West Ham talks for Bowyer
Birmingham City are continuing talks with West Ham United over midfielder Lee Bowyer.
Brum boss Alex McLeish hopes to sign Bowyer after his successful loan at St Andrews last season.
Manchester United will make major changes after losing the Champions League final with Carlos Tevez, Nani, Park Ji-Sung and Tomasz Kuszczak leaving and Karim Benzema and Antonio Valencia possible transfer targets.
Sven-Goran Eriksson is involved in a three-way fight with Slaven Bilic and Avram Grant to become the new Portsmouth manager.
Alan Shearer hopes to strike a deal with Mike Ashley to become Newcastle boss today.
Steve Bruce will set a target of a top 10 Premier League finish if he becomes Sunderland boss.
Sylvain Distin has called on Portsmouth's new owner to splash the cash and tie down the stars that have kept the clubs in the Premier League.
West Brom are fighting to keep manager Tony Mowbray from joining Celtic.
Fulham are hoping to sign defender Digao, the younger brother of AC Milan playmaker Kaka.
Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh claims Arsenal have made an enquiry about him.
Burnley want to sign Middlesbrough right-back Rhys Williams.
Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates wants to leave the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo is set to throw Manchester United into turmoil and demand a move away from Old Trafford.
England's World Cup games are sold out - more than a year before the tournament kicks off in South Africa.
Stephen Ireland has signed a five-year Manchester City contract worth £19million.
Peter Kenyon's position at Chelsea is becoming increasingly unclear as the club begins to restructure.
Frank Lampard insists Chelsea cannot afford another season without a trophy.
Carlos Tevez said a tearful farewell to his Manchester United team-mates before leaving Rome.
Fernando Torres has landed a bumper pay rise with a £30million deal which will keep him at Liverpool for another five years.
Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry is holding out for a summer move to Arsenal.
Ryan Giggs admitted Barcelona made Manchester United look "silly" during their Champions League final no-show.
Slaven Bilic has told managerless Sunderland: I'm your man.
Birmingham are set to step up their pursuit of Middlesbrough defender David Wheater.
Paul Scholes must decide if the Champions League final is to be his last game for Manchester United, following an offer from ambitious Stoke City.
Manchester United's chances of holding on to Cristiano Ronaldo received a massive boost last night when it emerged Real Madrid are close to a £40million deal for Franck Ribery.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is working through Alan Shearer's list of demands and is hoping to clinch the deal which will secure him as manager this weekend.
West Brom winger Chris Brunt is wanted by Rangers in a player-plus-cash swap deal that could see Barry Ferguson move to The Hawthorns.
Bolton are lining up a fresh £6million bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Veloso.
Cristiano Ronaldo is officially off Real Madrid's radar as Manchester United received a welcome lift after the Champions League final defeat.
Alex is ready to play through the pain barrier to help Chelsea win the FA Cup.
Sheffield United have rejected a bid of £2million from Aston Villa for defender Kyle Naughton.
Stoke are set to make a £2million offer for Manchester City striker Ched Evans.
Celtic insist they will not be rushed into appointing a new manager.
Dundee have made a £100,000 take-it-or-leave-it offer for Partick thistle midfielder Gary Harkins. (Daily Record)
Former England and Mexico boss Sven-Goran Eriksson is favourite to become the new Portsmouth manager.
Alan Shearer is expected to discover today if he will become the permanent manager of Newcastle United.
Wigan manager Steve Bruce will be named Sunderland boss in the next 48 hours.
The Premier League will test out its strengthened fit-and-proper-persons rules on Portsmouth's new owner Sulaiman Al Fahim.
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic wants to be considered for the vacant managerial post at Sunderland. (Daily Star)
Everton's Marouane Fellaini believes his lucky hairstyle will help the Toffees defeat Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
The 21-year-old, who cost Everton £15m from Standard Liege last summer, has scored nine goals this season and he's hoping that his Afro-style hair will inspire him to add to that tally on Saturday at Wembley.
Paul Scholes may have played his last game for Manchester United following an ambitious offer from Stoke City.
According to the Mail, Stoke could be a route into management for Scholes. It seems Potters boss Tony Pulis is ready to hand him a playing contract with 'the promise of a coaching role on top'.
The Mail suggests United will receive a nominal fee for the 34-year-old and Stoke expect an answer from Scholes within the next few days.
Meanwhile, Manchester United's hopes of keeping Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford have reportedly been handed a massive boost with news that Real Madrid don't want him any more.
The Express reports that Florentino Perez, who will now run unopposed for the Real presidency, has dropped Ronaldo down his shopping list, which is now headed by Kaka and Franck Ribery.
The Mail, too, suggests United's chances of clinging on to Ronaldo have improved, with rumours that Real are close to a £40 million deal with Bayern Munich for Ribery. The Times also backs up this story.
Apparently, Bayern were originally demanding £50m for the France international, which would break the world record transfer fee of £45.6m that Real paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane in 2001, but the Spanish club are hopeful of concluding the deal for less.
The Times suggests Chelsea, who are loath to spend £40m on one player, will be kicking themselves because they were offered Ribery by Marseille two years ago for half that fee but chose to move for Florent Malouda instead.
With Ribery now seemingly out of the picture, Chelsea are turning their attentions elsewhere. The Times claims Ashley Young could be the subject of a £20m bid, while Gareth Barry, Yuri Zhirkov, Sergio Aguero, Karim Benzema and Carlos Tevez have also been mentioned.
Two of those players - Barry and Benzema - have been linked with other Premier League club's this morning. According to the Daily Star, Barry is holding out for a summer move to Arsenal.
Villa are reportedly keen for Barry to see out the remaining year of his contract at Villa Park but the Star claims Barry wants out now, and Arsenal are said to be considering a £12m bid.
Benzema, meanwhile, has been linked with a £30m move to United. According to the Mirror, Sir Alex Ferguson will reshape his side over the summer following their Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.
It seems Tevez is definitely on his way out - the United manager believing Benzema offers better value for money - while Nani, Park Ji-Sung and Tomasz Kuszcak may also be shown the door. Along with Benzema, the Mirror believes United will sign Antonio Valencia.
The Mirror also reports that one man certainly staying at Old Trafford is Ronaldo, again backing up reports that Real have lost interest. However, the Sun suggests the Portuguese winger is 'set to throw Manchester United into turmoil and demand a move'.
Unlike most of today's papers, the Sun feels Real are still very much in the hunt, with a £50m swoop on the cards. Ronaldo himself has not helped matters by being very vague about his future, saying: "I don't want to talk about clubs, I want to rest, go on holiday because I am very tired."
The 24-year-old has even had yet another pop at Ferguson's management in the wake of the Barca humiliation in Rome, telling the Sun: "Ferguson did not tell me anything. Nothing. I didn't realise I was to play as a striker. Against Arsenal in the semi second leg I played and played well but that is all."
Whether Ronaldo stays or goes, one thing all today's papers agree on, Ferguson need to strengthen. As the Mirror puts it, 'his squad is the best but his team aren't fit to be kings'.
The Mail agrees, adding 'compared to Andres Iniesta and Xavi, Michael Carrick, Anderson and Park Ji-Sung were every bit the second class citizens in Rome'.
The Mail suggests United should try to sign Yaya Toure or Xabi Alonso - in other words a midfield general in the Roy Keane mould - while also proposing that 'it might still be worth trying to get Tevez at a knockdown price and then sell (Dimitar) Berbatov'.
On the subject of Tevez, the Sun reports that the Argentine made a 'tearful farewell' to his team-mates before leaving Rome alone. Apparently, he was not on the plane with the rest of the United squad as they returned home.
The Times, meanwhile, reveals that Manchester City and Liverpool are among five clubs ready to meet Tevez's £25.5m valuation.
In other news, the Sun claims Newcastle have told Villa, Arsenal and Spurs they will not take anything less than £15m for defender Sebastien Bassong, while Sven Goran Eriksson has told Portsmouth he wants to fill the vacant manager's position at Fratton Park.
The Mirror claims Burnley want to sign Middlesbrough right-back Rhys Williams, Roy Hodgson will bolster his Fulham defence by moving for Digao - the younger brother of Kaka, West Brom are fighting to keep Tony Mowbray from joining Celtic, Sunderland have released Dwight Yorke and Elano and Djibril Cisse have been linked with Portsmouth.
The Mail believes Bolton are lining up a fresh £6m bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Veloso and that West Brom winger Chris Brunt is wanted by Rangers in a player-plus-cash swap deal that could see Barry Ferguson move to the Hawthorns.
And finally, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has reportedly told Sunderland he wants to replace Ricky Sbragia in the hot seat. According to the Star, Bilic is ready to quit Croatia and would be Sunderland's prefered option after their pursuit of Steve Bruce hit a snag - Wigan are supposedly demanding £5m compensation.
Bilic's agent, Rudi Vata, is quoted as saying: "Sure he would be interested in talking to Sunderland. He'd be open-minded about any discussions."
- A British Olympic football team has taken a step closer to reality, albeit in the form of an all-English line-up at London 2012, after the FA's of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland agreed to withdraw their opposition to a GB team, but will not participate themselves. (Mail)
- Sheffield United have rejected a £2m bid from Aston Villa for defender Kyle Naughton. (Star)
- Defender Nuno Valente has said he will leave Everton this summer, but hopes to play one more season before he retires. (Times)
- The Premier League is to use Sulaiman Al-Fahim's takeover at Portsmouth as a test case for its strengthened fit-and-proper-persons rule that is due for introduction next week. (Guardian)
Quote of the day:
Spanish reaction to Man United's humbling by Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo's inferiority to Lionel Messi: "The champion has hit the canvas. Cristiano, its symbol, was a king without a head or crown. Messi made Ronaldo disappear, he is the new king of the world."
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sp ... offer.html
MARIO BALOTELLI has hinted he would be interested in a move to West Ham.
The Inter Milan wonderkid was linked with a switch to the Hammers in January.
He has sinced failed to nail down a starting spot and admits he is frustrated at the San Siro.
Balotelli played under West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola when he was assistant boss of Italy Under-21s.
Although a permanent deal for the striker is unlikely, a loan deal could be on the cards for next season.
Balotelli, 18, said: "There were times when I wanted to play and I would have joined a smaller side in a foreign league rather than sitting around on the bench here.
"But that's just normal and it's part of who I am. If I don't get to play then I want to leave.
"If the club agrees and a big team want me in the future then I would be happy to move abroad and try something different."
I think fergie would rather get rid of nani than park..park has shown he's an ideal supersub.
nani on the other hand, what has he shown?heard rumours that his attitude stinks and ferguson has had it with him.
What a haircut...
[quote="Julian's Dick"]Why would Fergie want to get rid of Park? A player he put in his starting line-up in a champions league final only two days ago ahead of Tevez and Berbatov.[/qu
Park, more to do with marketing than anything else, World Brand A1st for player from that part of world.
Still he does have a great engine,works bloody hard the type of player that i believe would fit in. Big marketing chance for us in that part of world.
would do wonders if the preseason is in asia for the hammers
Why is it that all we ever seemed to get linked with is more midfielders or strikers who dont score much or dont get picked to play?
Our priority is to get at least one if not two, regularly playing goalscoring strikers.
We have a dearth of midfielders who i expect we would like to keep - behrami, parker, noble, collison, stanislas.
Dyer and Savio and many more.
We just don't attract big names, rather we attract (or at least seem to) who are on the last chance saloon circuit,
just one more big payday...
Even Di Canio was in this catagory when no one else was willing to take a chance on him.
Clubs like Man U can shell out £30 million on Berbatov, not us tho',,, thats for sure
As a player, I think he`s past it, but he could certainly teach our young ones a thing or two.
I don`t think he`d move south, though.
We seem to be linked with this Matthew Bates on a daily basis now...is he any good?? Has anyone seen him much? As he is young and a free agent, I suppose he could be a decent replacement for Kovac as backup for Parker. Opinions?
Fergie forced to play Park in the CL final to strengthen the brand in Asia? Utter, utter rubbish.
I'm not saying his presence in the squad and team doesn't help the initiative, but too suggest he only plays for that purpose is ludicrous and not only does do a disservice to very good player, it implies that Fergie would be complicit in a plan to build players into his teams he didn't want.
Scholes was a cracking player but he is probably 5 years past his prime,
as for Park, look at brand Beckham...
Don't tell me the MLS wanted Beckham for his footballing skills...
Park appears on billboards in Asia along side Ronaldo & Rooney that's all about marketing.
And I forgot my manners Cheers CH.
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