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Arsenal are moving ‘a step closer’ to signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in a club-record deal, The Telegraph claim.

The Gunners have identified the England international as their main midfield target, and they are now preparing a formal bid following the Hammers’ victory in the Europa Conference League final.

The Telegraph report that the club will make a structured offer worth £92 million, and they are in pole position to sign him ahead of the likes of Manchester United as well as Bayern Munich.

Hammers owner David Sullivan recently confirmed that Rice will leave the club this summer, and the club are planning to make three signings from the money recouped from his departure.

Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse and Ajax’s Edson Alvarez are top of their wishlist.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is aiming to complete most of the club’s transfer business before pre-season.

With Granit Xhaka likely on his way to Bayer Leverkusen, a replacement is required. It appears Rice could be his successor. The 24-year-old is a defensive midfielder by trade, but Arteta could play him from the number eight role.

The West Ham captain has the potential to quickly adapt, considering his brilliant distribution and ball retention ability. He has a pass accuracy of 90 per cent throughout his career and would be an upgrade in that department.

Rice is also more composed with his ground challenges, but could improve creativity wise. Last season, he managed nine goal contributions. Arsenal will be anticipating more with better technical players around him.

The Gunners will have to pay a premium price to secure his services, but it could be worth it. Rice is one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League. He is also very versatile and can comfortably play in central defence too.


Prague Police Detain 16 Following Attack by Fiorentina Fans on West Ham Rivals

Czech police detained 16 suspects after a group of black-clad Fiorentina fans attacked West Ham supporters in a bar in central Prague on Wednesday before the Europa Conference League final, injuring three patrons, authorities said.

Video on Twitter showed fans setting off flares and throwing tables at the bar located off Prague’s Old Town Square.
A police officer was also attacked.

Police said it was an isolated incident and the fans had minor injuries of cuts on their hands.

“Italy fans attacked West Ham fans in a bar on Rytirska street, injuring three,” Czech police said on Twitter. “A police officer was also attacked. We have restricted the personal liberty of 16 people.”

One West Ham fan, who did not want to be named, said “a large group” of Italian fans attacked the bar.

“About eight Italians walked past, swinging bands and chains,” he said. He added: “Five minutes later there was a big group that come down the road and attacked us.”

Outside the Tek’ila Tek’ila bar in the city centre, a burnt-out chair and broken glass were seen littered across the ground.

He said: “Three of our mates (were injured), out of all of this lot there were five. Three of them were our mates. They’ve gone to hospital.”

He added that one of his friends was “quite badly” injured with a “massive cut” on his head.

Prague police have called in several hundred extra officers to patrol the event.

An estimated 20,000 West Ham supporters, many without match tickets, are planning to attend the fan zone in the Czech capital, revelling in their team’s first European final in nearly half a century.


A message to the West Ham United family from Sporting Director Mark Noble…

who never got to see this day…but would be so hugely proud that we are here.

Whatever tomorrow night means to you personally, and wherever in the world you are watching it from, we all have one thing in common: We are West Ham.To everyone travelling out to Prague, have fun, look after each other and stay safe. Enjoy yourselves, but also make sure we respect our Czech hosts…and remember that we are all there as ambassadors of West Ham United Football Club.

Tomorrow night is our opportunity to show the world what a unique and special club this is. Whatever happens on the pitch, let’s make sure we come back to London with pride. Pride in our performance, pride in our support, and pride in how we have all represented our Club.

We’ve all waited so long for this moment. Let’s savour every minute.


West Ham ready to swoop for ‘most underrated player in the Premier League’ – report

The latest reports suggest that West Ham United are expecting to make the first move in the race for midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

According to FootballTransfers, West Ham are very keen on signing the Southampton midfielder. They are apparently likely to put a bid in soon this summer.

Other reports suggest that Southampton, who were relegated from the Premier League this season, suggest that they want £40million for the player.

No doubt many will believe Ward-Prowse is too good for the Championship and a move back to the top flight seems very likely.

West Ham ready to bid for James Ward-Prowse

As we all known, the player is a huge threat from set-pieces and he also helps out when it comes to defending. With the possible reported departure of Declan Rice, Ward-Prowse would definitely bring some quality back to the squad.

To replace Rice, the Hammers will no doubt need a couple of players to replace him, but no doubt Ward-Prowse, who is in and out of the England squad, is a great place to start.

West Ham were battling relegation this season and will not want to do it again.

West Ham players make David Moyes look bad by raving about ‘magician’ who’s made just 2 Premier League starts this season

West Ham players make David Moyes look bad by raving about ‘magician’ who’s made just two Premier League starts this season.

David Moyes has been criticised for his poor man management of certain West Ham players this summer.

The Hammers boss clearly has his favourites, whilst others have struggled for minutes all season long.

One of those players is Manuel Lanzini. The Argentinian, 30, has made only two Premier League starts this season, whilst playing a total of just 246 minutes in the league (Who Scored).

His lack of action this season in the Premier League baffled me at times, and judging by some of the West Ham players’ comments, Moyes should have played him more…

West Ham players rave about star David Moyes has left out in the cold
The Hammers players took part in a Q&A session with UEFA, and left no doubts as to how they feel about Lanzini.

Jarrod Bowen labelled him as a ‘magician’, Said Benrahma and Aaron Cresswell called him a ‘diamond’ and Tomas Soucek described him as the ‘Argentinian special one’:

It’s clear to see just how highly rated Manuel Lanzini is at West Ham amongst his peers, it’s just a shame that David Moyes doesn’t share the same level of admiration.

Lanzini is out of contract at the London Stadium this summer, although the Hammers do have the option to extend that deal by a further two years.

After David Moyes barely used him for West Ham this season though, it’s highly unlikely than Manu will remain at the club beyond the end of the summer transfer window as far as I’m concerned.

Impossible’: UEFA issues West Ham fans warning as 20,000 travel to Prague for Europa Conference League final
West Ham United play Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday but were only alloated 5,780 tickets in the stadium.

West Ham United fans have been warned that it is ‘impossible’ that ticket resale sites have the number of tickets being listed ahead of the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina on Wednesday night.

The Hammers were allocated 5,780 tickets for the final at the Fortuna Arena, which is a little over a quarter of the stadium’s 19,370 capacity.
With such a measly allocation, it is reported that as many as 20,000 West Ham fans are planning on travelling to Prague, some to soak up the atmosphere and some in hope of scoring a last-minute ticket.

Over the weekend, it emerged that one resale site had 1,500 tickets for sale ahead of Wednesday’s match, which was a cause of concern for fans given the rising prevalence of ticket scams.

The West Ham United Supporters’ Trust and Football Supporters Europe raised the issue with UEFA and have now issued a warning to fans looking to buy online. UEFA told the groups that it was “impossible that website has 1200 tickets since more or less the total number of tickets which available on general sites” and that the site was “definitely a scam

PC Andy Sheldon of the Met Police added: “As I have said before and will again, please be mindful when buying tickets on the secondary market as people make a lot out of others’ desperation for a ticket… and sometimes the tickets don’t even exist.”

Czech police are putting an extra 250 officers in place in Prague ahead of the meeting between West Ham and Fiorentina with one officer reportedly telling PA there had already been “a couple of incidents” involving Hammers fans and that they are “prepared for trouble”.

Fan parks are being set up in the city centre to host the thousands of fans travelling without a ticket with shuttle buses running straight from the airports to these areas.

UEFA has described the host city and stadium as ‘compact’ and has raised the minimum capacity for the Europa Conference League final stadium to 30,000 from next year as a result.

Former West Ham star Joe Cole has spoken out about the situation. He told the i: “You’d like common sense to prevail on these types of things. I think last year when Roma and Feyenoord played that should have made Uefa think about how much football means to people. People want to be there to watch their team play

The only sad thing [about the final] is that there is not going to be more than 6,000 fans getting tickets. It should be at a place like Wembley. This game would have filled out Wembley, the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu, anywhere, it really could.”

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