Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Transfer rumor roundup: West Ham want Rashford or Martial

Leave a comment

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.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

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.

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Watford

Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Chelsea are without N'Golo Kante, Victor Moses (both hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still absent.
  • Watford remain without Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl (both thigh), plus long-term absentees Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success (all knee).
  • Watford have not won against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1986, but the Hornets have won 10 points of a possible 12 on the road. 
  • Chelsea have lost three of their first eight matches this season. No team has ever lost this many of their opening eight matches and still won the Premier League title.

Watford heads south for another London derby with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Hornets have had an amazing start to the season and currently occupy fourth place on 15 points, two points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, which has lost two-straight Premier League games. The Blues have struggled without N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata and there have been reports of grumbles from the squad about dissatisfaction with Antonio Conte‘s training methods, but the Chelsea coach has brushed those rumors off.

Meanwhile Watford is coming off a confidence-boosting win last weekend against fellow Londoners Arsenal, and the club is looking to take down another big club for a second-straight week.

What they’re saying

Watford manager Marco Silva on his team’s start“I want everybody to be really calm. We did really in the first eight matches but it’s too early. We want to continue to work hard every day. Everything changes fast and you need to keep going and treat the next game as the most important. But of course I feel proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on being under pressure: “‘Do I feel the pressure? Every manager feels pressure, but I try to give all of myself into my job, so I’m happy when I go home because I know in every moment I give all of myself for the fans, the players and the club. In football you know anything can happen, but the most important thing is to work.”

Video Preview

Prediction

Chelsea has its back against the wall but the team’s overall quality should be enough to see them through with all three points against Watford. The Hornets luck runs out in Stamford Bridge as Chelsea hold on for a late win. Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Leicester City record massive earnings from UEFA Champions League

Getty Images
2 Comments

Leicester City’s UEFA Champions League campaign may have ended without a trophy, but the Premier League side pipped the European champions in the bank account.

UEFA announced on Friday that Leicester City earned $96,167,125 during the Champions League run that ended in the quarterfinals, the farthest of any Premier League club. Real Madrid, the back-to-back champions, earned a slightly less $95,385,679. Much of the difference comes from TV rights deals in England, which pays out more to teams compared to the TV rights deal in Spain.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Juventus, the Italian giant, earned the most of any club in last year’s Champions League, making a whopping $129,965,357, mostly thanks to the TV rights again.

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic could return in December

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dare to Zlatan? It could be only a couple of months away.

That’s according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who said the veteran striker could return from his torn ACL before the end of the calendar year.

[ LIVE: Stream every Premier League game ]

“Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control,” Mourinho told reporters. “He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

The big Swede scored 28 goals for Man United last year in all competitions, proving that he’s still got it at the age of 36, but it’s going to be tough for him to find his old form coming off an ACL injury at such an old age. After suffering the injury last April, it’s been a long road to recovery for Ibrahimovic.

However, with the play of Romelu Lukaku up top, Ibrahimovic would only play from time to time, which could help in his recovery both from the knee injury and just the general recovery between games.

Manchester City quartet called up by Brazil for friendlies

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brazilian National Team coach Tite has decided on calling up a full-strength squad for November’s upcoming friendly matches in Europe, including four Manchester City players in his 25-man squad.

Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Danilo and Ederson all made the squad as Tite looks to develop more chemistry among his side ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which Brazil breezed into after Tite took over in 2016.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Luckily for Manchester City and the other European-based players in the squad, Brazil’s friendly matches will be played in Western Europe. The Selecao first faces Japan in Lille, France on November 10 before taking on England at Wembley Stadium on November 14.

The call-ups may be a tough pill for Guardiola to swallow though. As of Friday, Manchester City has 17 games remaining in the calendar year, and surely he would prefer for some of his starters to get a two-week break in November to preserve some energy instead of play in friendly matches.