The 2016-17 Premier League season has been anything but ideal for West Ham United, which means big changes could be on the cards come January 1.
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Wednesday’s biggest transfer rumor involves Slaven Bilic‘s side and a pair of Manchester United youngsters, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. While Jose Mourinho may be hesitant to let either player leave on loan, the 19- and 21-year-olds, respectively, have made just 15 PL starts (24 total appearances) and scored just four goals between them. Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge are also on the Hammers’ pie-in-the-sky wish list, according to the Telegraph. Perhaps it’s the Hammers’ defense, which has conceded the fourth-most goals in the PL, that they should consider addressing in January instead/as well.
As for potential new arrivals at Old Trafford, Mourinho reportedly seeks another center back. With Eric Bailly currently unavailable due to injury, followed by departure for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Mourinho has just three natural central defenders — Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo — from which to pick.
Victor Lindelof, a 22-year-old Swedish international who currently plies his trade for Benfica, is said to top Mourinho’s shopping list in the new year. Lindelof has a $47-million release clause in his current contract, but Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believe they can do a deal for far less, according to the Guardian.
Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler has for years now been linked with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea, but the 23-year-old German international is reportedly on the verge of signing for four-time defending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain instead.
Draxler is reportedly being shopped for $42 million, according to the Daily Mail. An agreement is said to be in place between player and prospective new club, but a fee is yet to be agreed with his current employers.
As for the managerial merry-go-round, Alan Pardew remains on the hot seat at Crystal Palace, and the Mirror believes Sam Allardyce tops the Eagles’ list of candidates to become Pardew’s replacement, should he be fired in the coming weeks or months.
Pardew has publicly clashed with the club’s new American owners, which will surely have done little to lift the pressure, especially with just a single point to show for their three games since.