Declan Rice

Nathan Ake Manchester United
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Transfer news: Ake to Man United; Rice to Chelsea

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In the latest transfer news Nathan Ake has been linked with a move to Manchester United, while Declan Rice could be heading back to Chelsea.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Starting in Manchester, a post-game chat between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nathan Ake has turned heads following Man United’s 5-2 win against Bournemouth at the weekend.

Apparently Solskjaer told Ake: “We need a left-footed centre-back, so keep going.”

Ake, 25, has been linked with a return to Chelsea (who have a $48 million buy-back clause) and Manchester City, but it appears Nathan Ake to Manchester United has some legs. Solskjaer has been looking for a new center back with Kalidou Koulibaly, Dayot Upamecano and others linked to line up alongside Harry Maguire.

Victor Lindelof has struggled at times and is ahead of Eric Bailly in the pecking order and Man United do need to strengthen their defense slightly as they have plenty of options in midfield and attack, although a new true holding midfield could be a must in the next few windows.

If Bournemouth are relegated from the Premier League, Ake will surely leave and Man United could pick him up for a lot less than $48 million.

Declan Rice to Chelsea
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Switching to west London, Declan Rice could be heading back to Chelsea this summer.

A report from The Times states that Chelsea want Rice, 21, to return and become a ball-playing center back to shore up their defensive unit.

The report goes on to state that the boyhood Chelsea fan is seen as the perfect successor to John Terry at the heart of the Chelsea defense.

Rice has shone in recent weeks and is the one player in West Ham’s team who has been consistent despite their struggles at the wrong end of the Premier League table this season.

Chelsea have been searching high and low for defensive reinforcements and want more power and strength at center back. Rice can play at center back and in a three he would be prefect. His main position is in holding midfield and his flexibility to strengthen Chelsea’s shaky defense would be key. Rice is close friends with Mason Mount and after leaving Chelsea’s academy as a 14-year-old he has forged out a very good career for himself as a regular for West Ham and England.

Rice would cost a huge sum and this move to Chelsea may hinge on whether or not West Ham are relegated in the final weeks of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Newcastle comes back twice to draw West Ham

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Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron each scored equalizers as Newcastle continued its unbeaten Premier League run with a 2-2 draw against West Ham United at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio scored for the Irons, who move four points clear of the drop zone after its midweek win over Chelsea.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

The Newcastle point hampers its top eight hopes but runs its unbeaten league run to seven matches. The Magpies are 12th with 43 points.

NEWCASTLE – WEST HAM FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Almiron finds a home: Atlanta United fans will offer a “Well, duh?” when told that Newcastle playmaker Almiron is having a much better time finding goals and assists since a move from the wing to attack midfielder. The Paraguayan showed his nose for goal from close range in the first half on Sunday, giving him two goals and an assist since the restart. He also was often a left wing under Rafa Benitez last season, bright but without finish, and has been on the right an awful lot this season.

2. Few standouts for visitors: There’s no doubting the effort levels of West Ham’s opening scorer, and Antonio hassled the Magpies plenty on Sunday. The 30-year-old scored for the third time in his last six PL matches, his 30th goal in five Premier League seasons since a 2015 move from Nottingham Forest.

As for Soucek, the 25-year-old Slavia Prague loanee cleaned up a rebound off a corner kick when Declan Rice headed the service off the bar. Soucek’s been quite good, scoring against Chelsea at midweek and adding his second PL goal. Much of the Irons’ back line, however, was absent as were the three playmakers underneath Antonio (though that’s a bit harsh on Jarrod Bowen, who was dangerous very early in the match, and Aaron Cresswell grew into the game late).

3. Big Jonj delivers again: Forgetting for a moment that West Ham’s center backs allowed Shelvey and Gayle to work the 18 like a training routine on the second Newcastle goal, Shelvey is about to lead Newcastle in goals as a center midfielder. It’s Shelvey’s most productive offensive season in the PL since his first year at Swansea City and his six goals match a career-high despite

Man of the Match

Shelvey — The Magpies leading scorer (?!?) passed at 86 percent with three key passes and 8-of-15 long passes completed.

Newcastle - West Ham recap
Shelvey (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Newcastle – West Ham recap

A head-scratching play from Jamaal Lascelles allowed Antonio a back post goal in the fourth minute, West Ham getting off to a flying start from Jarrod Bowen’s cross.

Dwight Gayle stung a low free kick under the leaping wall that Lukasz Fabianski stifled in the 10th minute.

The Irons’ Declan Rice picked out Antonio at the back post a minute later, but Martin Dubravka caught the off-balance volley.

Almiron leveled the score line in the 17th minute, darting to the front post to convert an Emil Krafth pass following a dribble from Allan Saint-Maximin.

Fabianski was busy twice more in the next few minutes, a reaction save on a direct corner kick and a far less troubling effort from Saint-Maximin.

Bowen swept a great free kick into the mixer in front of Dubravka after the half-hour mark before forcing the keeper into a terrific save moments later.

Antonio put another header into Dubravka’s hands before halftime, Saint-Maximin answering with a shot saved by Fabianski.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Little used, Krafth was busy again at the restart as Newcastle earned a corner.

The second half was sleepy, perhaps both sides ready to accept the point.

It sprung to life moments after we typed those words, West Ham taking a lead for barely over a minute through Soucek’s finish of a Rice rebound.

Newcastle needed even less time to answer the second Irons goal, Shelvey working a 1-2 with Gayle in the middle of the Irons box before calmly slotting home.

West Ham – Chelsea stream: How to watch, start time, odds, prediction

West Ham - Chelsea preview
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West Ham – Chelsea preview: Chelsea continues its top three push with a visit to London rivals West Ham United at the London Stadium on Wednesday (Watch live at 3:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)

The hosts remain above the drop zone on goal differential alone and are in dire need of points.

STREAM WEST HAM – CHELSEA LIVE ONLINE

Can West Ham do the double over Chelsea in a campaign where the clubs are located at opposite ends of the table?

Team news

Frank Lampard gets good news as Christian Pulisic and Andreas Christensen pass fitness tests.

For West Ham, Angelo Ogbonna passes his fitness test and starts next to Issa Diop. Sebastian Haller and Arthur Masuaku remain out.

What they’re saying

Lampard on his connection to West Ham, reported interest in Declan Rice: “In terms of being a special game, it’s certainly a special game in the fact that we want three points, nothing more than that, particularly for myself, even with the West Ham connection this is all about what we can do to keep pushing for the Champions League spots. Declan Rice is a good player you’re right, and I’ve known DC for a long time, he was in the Chelsea academy. But there’s no talk, I keep saying, about every player we’ll be asked about. Until these games and this season is finished, there’s nothing to say.”

Moyes on the Chelsea challenge despite West Ham beating the Blues recently“Well I hope the team can take comfort from it, we’re looking for positives, we’re looking for things to keep us nice and high. When I was here last time we beat Chelsea at home and as you rightly said the players had a good result against them this season so we have to look at it as a real positive. But I was one of the fortunate ones that went to see Chelsea against Manchester City in midweek and undoubtedly we saw two very very good teams, two technically gifted teams and obviously a real good game as well.”

Odds and ends

Chelsea is the heaviest away favorite of any team in the Premier League this match week at -139. The hosts are +365 to boost all three points.

West Ham beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in November as goalkeeper David Martin was the star of the show, if not that week.

Prediction

West Ham is rested and desperate but Chelsea is eyeing third in the table. This West Ham team doesn’t seem the type to do the double on the Blues. Chelsea 2-0.

Report: Chelsea eyeing Declan Rice signing next window

Photo by James Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images
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A number of top Premier League clubs are almost certain to line up for Declan Rice‘s services during the next transfer window — whenever that may be, whether this summer or closer to fall — with Chelsea the first known suitors, according to a report from Sky Sports.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi “feeling fine and back to his usual self” ]

According to the report, defensive midfield is high on Frank Lampard‘s list of priorities when the Blues participate in their first transfer window since January 2019. Chelsea were handed a two-window ban which prevented them from making any signings last summer, and though the ban was reduced by half they still signed no one in January.

Rice, a player who Chelsea had in their youth academy from ages 7-14, would likely cost north of $60 million, if not significantly higher. He also remains close friends with Chelsea first-teamer and academy graduate Mason Mount. At just 21 years old, Rice has quickly become West Ham United’s most important, if not also their best, player.

[ MORE: Transfer rumors: Aubameyang to Man United, Skriniar to Man City ]

Playing alongside the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mount, Rice would seem to fit right into Lampard’s team from day one. Not only would he fill out perhaps the thinnest area of the squad, but he would add immense quality to a perennial top-four contender and PL title hopeful.

Liverpool find another way to win in West Ham comeback

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Sadio Mane punched in a back-post winner as poor Liverpool found a way to keep its unbeaten Premier League season alive with a 3-2 defeat of West Ham United at Anfield.

The Reds improve their record to 26-1, leading second-place Manchester City by 22 points.

[ MORE: Klopp reacts to comeback ]

West Ham threw away a 2-1 lead when star goalkeeper Lukasz Fabinaksi fumbled an easy save, and Mane made the most of the disorganized Irons defense late in the match.

The Irons remain a point off safety with 24 points.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]


Three things we learned

1. Team of destiny Liverpool again wins while miles off its best: Liverpool center back Joe Gomez and to a lesser extent his partner Virgil Van Dijk had poor days, and Jurgen Klopp‘s attackers’ finishing touches were largely absent. Still, the defiant league leaders found their way to three points are now 11 matches from history.

When you can play way off your standard and still out-attempt a Premier League side 25-7, well, you’re pretty good.

2. Fabianski gifts Reds equalizer: Lukasz Fabianski has saved West Ham so, so many times, and he made some nice saves on the day including a wonderful stop on Trent Alexander-Arnold. But his howler of the highest variety on Salah’s tepid low shot is about as bad as it gets for a keeper short of turning and firing into your own goal.

3. Amazing Alexander-Arnold: The right back was again phenomenal an easy Man of the Match in assisting two goals. He would’ve had three if Mane stayed onside in a late lapse of judgment.


If a game had the makings of a 4-4, it was this one; Liverpool has quality players, obviously, but has been prone to lapses. There are fewer of the former and more of the latter for West Ham, but the attackers have high potential.

Liverpool took the leader when Wijnaldum turned a header inside the near post, but Issa Diop answered with a header of his own off a corner kick. The West Ham center back started in the six and darted back in front of Joe Gomez to nod home.

Chances for Sadio Mane after fooling Robert Snodgrass with a dribble and Trent Alexander-Arnold from the right led to near misses.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Roberto Firmino was sent through by Trent Alexander-Arnold and missed a chance badly to start the second half, and Mohamed Salah soon saw a shot blocked by West Ham.

West Ham was stout at the back and looked prepared on the counter, but Liverpool can only blame itself for the second goal. Fornals hung out between Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, with Fabinho also in the vicinity of Declan Rice‘s cross.

Lukasz Fabianski made a wonderful flying save on an Alexander-Arnold knuckler outside the box, and Liverpool move into the final half-hour up one.

The keeper made a huge error to allow to Liverpool 2-2, a Salah shot squirting through the player’s hands and legs.

Michail Antonio flubbed a 72nd-minute point blank chance.

Liverpool blew chances to make it 3-2 through Van Dijk and Salah as the match reached the final quarter-hour.

Alisson collected a low drive from Sebastian Haller.

Alexander-Arnold set Mane up for a back post finish to put Liverpool ahead, and the same pair saw a fourth goal chalked offside as the Senegalese lazily lost his focus.

Substitute attacker Jarrod Bowen was saved by Alisson when Antonio played him through in the 88th minute.

West Ham had a few more big chances, Noble seeing a rip deflect wide for a final corner. It was cleared by Andy Robertson.