Robert Snodgrass

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Transfer Rumor Wrap: Tottenham set to make Ajax’s Sanchez its record signing

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Tottenham look set to break the bank on one of the world’s most exciting defensive prospects.

According to a report in the Guardian, Tottenham and Ajax have agreed on a $54.1 million transfer fee for centerback Davinson Sanchez. The Colombian international only joined Ajax a year ago but led the backline to the Europa League final, where Ajax fell to Manchester United.

Spurs officials reportedly traveled to Amsterdam earlier this week to sort out a deal to bring Sanchez back to London. It’s believed to be a $36 million transfer with add-on clauses worth around $18 million.

Sanchez will add more speed and strength to one of the Premier League’s best backlines, giving Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen a partner to play with in a back three.

Update: Later Friday, Tottenham made the signing official, subject to passing a medical and the acquisition of a work permit.

Here’s some more news from around the Premier League:

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Premier League 2017-18 preview – West Ham United

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West Ham truly, truly struggled at times last season. Injuries were abound. There were questions asked of Slaven Bilic.

And yet through all that, they finished 11th. That seems to speak to the depth of the roster and the fantastic, sometimes underappreciated managerial job Bilic did to keep the Hammers afloat despite all the struggles.

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This year, the bad luck should turn around. West Ham shedded the excess fat on the squad and brought in a pair of impact players who should step right into the starting lineup. Marko Arnautovic especially is a fantastic addition, who along with Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli, and Michail Antonio should provide plenty for new signing Chicharito to feast on.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best case, this is a Europa League team. With all the new attacking talent for Bilic to play with, he can rotate players to avoid or deal with injuries. At the back, Bilic will have to find his preferred formation, because the depth will give him headaches – a good problem to have.

Through all the problems last season, the team still finished strong and away from the relegation battle, proving they are not a relegation candidate this season, even if the injury troubles return. Worst-case is probably another early flirt with the bottom third, but ultimately they pull out of it for a 13th place spot.


Best possible XI is…

Hart

Fonte — Reid — Ogbonna

Antonio — Noble — Lanzini  — Kouyate — Arnautovic

Carroll — Hernandez

This is tough, and you can be sure Bilic will rotate plenty. Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell will get time in a typical 4-man defensive line, while Robert Snodgrass and Sofiane Feghouli will rotate through on the wings. Diafra Sakho provides striker depth.


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City, $27 million), Chicharito (Bayer Leverkusen, $21 million), Joe Hart (Manchester City, Loan), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, Free).

Transfers Out: Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough, $9 million), Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim, $8.5 million), Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough, $6.6 million), Raphael Spiegel (Boavista, Free), Stephen Hendrie (Southend United, Free Transfer).

Last season: 

— 11th place in Premier League
— FA Cup 3rd Round (lost to Manchester City)
— League Cup quarterfinals (lost to Manchester United)

Star Player: Chicharito — Last season, West Ham seriously missed a player who could finish chances with Andy Carroll either out or misfiring. Now, they have a guy who can provide that final touch. Chicharito is a top-class striker who will eat up the goals where last season the Hammers failed to find the back of the net.

Last year, West Ham was ninth in the Premier League in chances created. Add Arnautovic to that mix, plus a healthy Snodgrass and Lanzini, and this season could be a big return to England for the Little Pea.

Coach’s Corner: Slaven Bilic — If it wasn’t clear after his first season in charge at West Ham, last season should prove how valuable the 48-year-old Croatian is to the Hammers. Bilic is able to mix and match his tactics to fit who is available and on the field, such an important trait last season when players were dropping like flies. Now, with good squad depth, he’ll need to channel that ability again to get everyone’s best.

PST Predicts: With the creative talent and steadiness at the back, West Ham should seriously improve on last season. They’ll finish more chances, and with Bilic in charge, this should be a top-half team with a shot at a Europa League spot.

West Ham 1-2 Chelsea: Blues suffocate Irons

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  • Hazard opens scoring
  • Costa scores 49th PL goal
  • Table lead grows to 10

Compact and unbreakable until stoppage time, Chelsea gave West Ham little opportunity to score in a 2-1 derby win at the London Stadium on Monday.

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa scored the Blues goals, as Chelsea went 10 points clear of second-place Spurs with the win.

Manuel Lanzini scored as West Ham stayed 11th with 33 points.

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The most notable moments in the early stages were derby-typical enough; One confrontation left Gary Cahill in need of a new shirt, while Andy Carroll was bloodied in a 50/50 challenge with Victor Moses.

Chelsea scored on the first real moment of danger for either side, with Eden Hazard’s razor-thin onside run meeting Pedro‘s through ball. The Belgian then walked around a charging Darren Randolph to side-foot an offering inside the near post.

Mark Noble set Manuel Lanzini up for West Ham’s best chance of the half, but the Argentine attacker lifted his 18-yard attempt a bit over the bar.

It should’ve been 2-0 when Diego Costa couldn’t adjust to Hazard’s square ball, Aaron Cresswell blocked Victor Moses shot, and Randolph did away with a Pedro blast.

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Costa didn’t miss his next best chance, and it came via set piece. Pedro Obiang missed his attempted clearance of a corner, which turned into a flick to Costa.

Cesc Fabregas shouldered a ball out of the 18 moments later, though Andre Marriner wasn’t ready to call a handball.

West Ham had some promising moments as the match approached the hour mark, with Robert Snodgrass chipping a shot over Thibaut Courtois but also missing the far corner. Jose Fonte then headed a Winston Reid cross over the bar.

The chances didn’t all go the way of West Ham the Irons fought to drag a goal back, with Randolph slapping a strong Costa effort wide in the 67th minute.

West Ham was regularly forced to take shots from poor or low-success positions, as Lanzini and Obiang both belted speculative efforts from distance when confounded by compact Chelsea.

Lanzini did score late in stoppage time, besting Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill to a loose ball after David Luiz forced Andre Ayew into traffic.

Warrant issued for West Ham’s Snodgrass after missed court appearance

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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of West Ham striker Robert Snodgrass after he failed to attend his court appearance over a pending case.

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Snodgrass was allegedly charged with operating a car in Glasgow while a baby was being held by a passenger back on April 17, 2016.

The player’s lawyer, Martin Black, didn’t believe his client needed to attend the hearing, thus telling the judge that when asked about Snodgrass being absent.

The 29-year-old is originally from Scotland and has previously made 21 appearances for the Scottish national team.

Snodgrass joined West Ham in late-January from fellow Premier League side Hull City.

West Ham sign Snodgrass from Hull for $13 million

Photo credit: West Ham United / Twitter: @WestHamUtd
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LONDON (AP) West Ham has made forward Robert Snodgrass its second signing of the January transfer window.

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The 29-year-old Scot joined for $13 million from Premier League rival Sunderland on a contract through June 2020.

Defender Jose Fonte has also signed this month for Slaven Bilic‘s West Ham, which is 10th in the standings in its first season at London’s Olympic Stadium.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday | Monday ]

Snodgrass says “the owners and the manager are trying to build something here and I just can’t wait to get started. I feel this is a club with real ambition, with the new stadium, great players and a manager of his caliber.”

Ahead of the transfer window closing on Tuesday, there is still uncertainty over the future of midfielder Dimitri Payet, who wants to return to Marseille.