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Watch Live: West Ham vs. Brighton and Hove Albion

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West Ham and Brighton kick off the weekend’s Premier League action at the London Stadium on Friday afternoon. (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN an online via NBCSports.com).

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Both teams have just eight points from eight games, and are looking to move up in the table with a win.

Manuel Lanzini makes his second consecutive start, playing behind Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in West Ham’s 4-2-3-1 formation. On the other side, Tomer Hemed sits his final match of his three-match suspension, with Glen Murray playing atop the 4-4-1-1 Brighton formation.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Hart; Zabaleta, Fonte, Reid, Masuaku; Kouate, Obiang; Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic; Chicharito Hernandez. Subs: Adrian, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Byram, Ayew, Noble, Fernandes

Brighton and Hove Albion: Ryan; Bong, Duffy, Dunk, Saltor; Izquierdo, Propper, Stephens, Knockaert; Gross; Murray. Subs: Krul, Goldson, Suttner, Schelotto, Molumby, March, Brown.

Transfer Rumor Wrap: Tottenham chasing after Ajax’s Sanchez, West Ham in for Carvalho

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The 2017-2018 Premier League season is underway, and Tottenham have yet to make any signings this summer. But that may be changing soon.

According to the Guardian, Spurs officials are in Amsterdam to negotiate a transfer for Ajax’s highly-rated centerback Davinson Sanchez. The 21-year-old Colombian international signed for Ajax last summer and quickly became a star in the club’s backline, leading the team to the UEFA Europa League final.

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But with four years left on his contract, Ajax are reportedly asking Tottenham to pay nearly $52 million. Tottenham’s initial offer, the report says, is closer to $32 million.

Sanchez reportedly has his heart set on moving to North London and if he joins Tottenham, he’d be a terrific partner in a back three alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. Sanchez’s unique combination of speed, strength and aerial ability should make him a standout once he adjusts to the pace of the Premier League, should he join Tottenham.

One possible issue with a proposed deal is that because Sanchez featured for Ajax in the UEFA Champions League qualification rounds this year, he could be cup-tied for Tottenham’s Champions League matches come the group stage and beyond.

Here’s a look at more transfer rumors and reports around Europe:

(more…)

West Ham displays classic look in new home kit

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After an away jersey that came out of left field, West Ham United assured fans Wednesday that the club will be staying close to its roots for home games next season.

West Ham and Umbro revealed the new home kit for the 2017-2018 season, featuring the classic claret and blue design as well as a chevron stripe angled down the chest of the jersey.

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“Everyone knows that West Ham United is claret and blue, it’s who we are. This season’s kit is a really nice take on that theme and I think the Claret and Blue Army will really like it,” club captain Mark Noble said in a statement. “It’s the material that is the most important for us players and when we tried it on at the photoshoot the boys were all really impressed with how it felt, and we are really looking forward to playing in it next season.”

In late May West Ham released its away jersey for the upcoming season, a sharp black design with a striking sky blue outline on the collar as well as crest.

West Ham’s Slaven Bilic appears to confirm return for next season

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic came under fire from the fans after an up and down season, but it seems that Bilic will be around next season to try and improve the Hammers’ fortunes.

Speaking to West Ham’s website, Bilic thanked the club’s fans for their support during the season and said that the fans deserve better from his players.

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“They are tremendous fans and I can only promise them that I’m going to give my best and the team is going to do its best to do better next season and to give them more enjoyable games and moments because they definitely deserve it,” Bilic said.

“I have two heads because I need to rest but the other part of me can’t wait for the season to start because I really feel we will benefit from this [2016/17] season large.”

In the club’s first season in the London Stadium, West Ham struggled mightily to build off its seventh-place Premier League finish and 62 points from its last year at the Boelyn Ground at Upton Park.

West Ham lost star Dimitri Payet midway through the season and were never truly able to replace his goal-scoring and chance creating talent, while the defense conceded 64 goals, sixth-worst in the league.

Bilic will have to spend wisely to bolster his backline as well as improving his attack for next season if West Ham wants to make it back into European competition.

Payet: “I was bored” with West Ham game plan

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Dimitri Payet is opening up about his West Ham wrong turn.

A Hammers hero last season, Payet engineered his exit from the club this year. Refusing to play for the club led to derision in the media and — allegedly — amongst teammates, and reports came out that his family wanted to be closer to home.

[ MORE: Mings angry at suspension ]

Now back with Marseille, where he has three goals in eight appearances, Payet says that family played a role in his decision to leave London. But, in a bit of honesty, the playmaker says there were bigger issues at play.

Payet claims he told them he wanted to leave in August. He respected their decision to keep him around, but he did not enjoy the way the club played moving forward.

The player said, “You could say I was bored.”

Sky Sports has the translation of a L’Equipe interview:

“The choice was quick. If I waited six months I would lose six months.

“With West Ham at home against Hull, we won 1-0 and they hit the post four times, In the changing room everyone was happy, but the the man of the match that day was the post.

“I thought that I would not have room for improvement. On the contrary, I risked regressing. I need another challenge.”

The Payet situation was a problem, and you can see how a player so talented has at times worn out his welcome at clubs and his national team.

Of course, it’s easy to see why he keeps getting chances. We’re sure this interview isn’t going to do anything to endear Payet to his former fans at West Ham.