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Chelsea rejects Real’s $78m Hazard offer; Anderson back-up plan

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Chelsea wants more than $150 million for Eden Hazard which could lead Real Madrid to look to a different part of London for its next playmaker, according to Sky Sports.

A Thursday report says Chelsea has shot down a $78 million bid for Hazard and is expecting at least twice that amount as desperate Real Madrid looks to revolutionize its team after a European trophy-free 2018-19 season.

[ MORE: Man Utd stars set for exit? ]

The Blues may not sell at all because of its impending transfer ban, despite Hazard being able to walk away for free after the 2019-20 season.

And Hazard isn’t exactly shying away from his long-held interest in a move to Real in this sly exchange with Belgian outlet HLN:

Interviewer: “Look, I have a friend who has been playing in the Premier League for seven years. At a club that plays in blue. He has won everything there and he is ready for a new challenge. He is now in the interest of another club, one in a white outfit. What would you recommend to that boy?”

Smiling, Hazard replied: “Well, buy that friend a white shirt.”

So Real is training its eyes on West Ham United’s Felipe Anderson to the tune of an $85 million bid, a figure which would see the Irons profit in a big way following a $48 million purchase just last summer.

Anderson, who turns 26 in April, has been very good as the Irons bid for seventh place and a possible Europa League spot next season. The Brazilian has nine goals and five assists across all competitions for Manuel Pellegrini.

Hazard is two years older than Anderson, and has produced at a world class level dating back to his 20-goal, 18-assist Ligue 1 season at Lille in 2011-12.

Although, even with the transfer ban, maybe Chelsea will take the money and its medicine without Hazard, who is one of the only players who have been a part of the Blues teams to quit on Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte (and possibly tried to do the same to Maurizio Sarri).

Do you want the bitter Belgian playing out the string? West Ham fans probably hope the answer is, “Nope.”

Get ready for a summer of speculating that Real might buy any player on Earth outside of Lionel Messi, given chairman Florentino Perez’s penchant for hunting Galacticos; In the past week alone, Real has been linked with Neymar, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Hazard, and Anderson. Wow.

Declan Rice apologizes for pro-IRA comments on social media

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Ahead of his potential debut for the England national team on Friday, Declan Rice has had to apologize for his past comments on social media. 

Rice, 20, switched his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England last month after his rise to stardom in the Premier League over the past 12 months.

The West Ham academy produce made three friendly appearances for the Ireland senior team, as well as playing for their U17 side, but was born in England and FIFA approved his switch to represent the Three Lions.

Rice has apologized for the comments he made on social media in 2015 in response to his Irish teammates as he responded “up the RA” which is short for the IRA and “Wait until we get England” on Instagram.

“I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media,” Rice said. “I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team-mates at the time could be negatively interpreted. While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologize for any offence caused.”

Rice was called up to the England national team for the first time on Mar. 13 and is in line to play against the Czech Republic on Friday and against Montenegro next Monday in the Three Lions’ EURO 2020 qualifiers.

ICYMI: Everything from Premier League matchweek 31 (video)

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Five Premier League games took place during Matchweek 31, with the FA Cup quarterfinals seeing five games postponed.

But in the five games we had, boy, was there drama.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Below are recaps of all five games, while above you can watch every single goal scored on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle – RECAP
  • Burnley 1-2 Leicester – RECAP
  • West Ham 4-3 Huddersfield – RECAP
  • Fulham 1-2 Liverpool – RECAP
  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea – RECAP

ICYMI, we have you covered.

WATCH: Praise for West Ham’s hero, Chicharito

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez came on at half time with West Ham trailing Huddersfield 2-1 on Saturday.

The Hammers would fall 3-1 behind, but then Hernandez did what he does best.

Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer scored two headers late on to seal an amazing comeback 4-3 win, as West Ham’s hopes of qualifying Europe received a huge boost.

Hernandez now has 52 goals in the Premier League, and all 52 have come from inside the box…

Speaking after the game, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was far from happy with the performance from his players, but he was very happy with Hernandez.

“Javier played well in the past games but he was maybe under pressure to score. Now he has come off the bench and done well and scored two goals,” Pellegrini said. “Lucas Perez was also dangerous. I think the three substitutes did well and that’s why we have a big squad… For our team it is really important to have a big squad. As a substitute you can turn the game as Samir Nasri, Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez did today.”

Take a look at Hernandez’s first goal in the video below, while his dramatic winner is in the video above.

After losing his starting spot to Marko Arnautovic for this game, Hernandez responded in the best way possible.

He has scored seven goals in 22 Premier League appearances this season which is a decent return considering he has come off the bench in plenty of games, and he has three goals in his last four PL appearances and is finishing the season strongly.

The Mexican star may well look to head elsewhere in the summer, but days like this will see clubs lining up to sign him.

Chicharito leads West Ham’s incredible comeback (video)

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  • Javier Hernandez scores twice late on
  • Huddersfield led West Ham 3-1 after 75 minutes
  • Hammers two points off seventh place

West Ham United fought back from 3-1 down to beat Huddersfield Towmn 4-3 at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Substitute Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was the hero as he scored twice late on to grab a huge win for the Hammers. Huddersfield’s Karlan Grant scored a double and Juninho Bacuna also scored after Mark Noble had given West Ham the lead.

Angelo Ogbonna started West Ham’s comeback, and Hernandez then delivered the Hammer blows as Huddersfield missed some big chances of their own late on. With the win West Ham are in ninth on 41 points, while Huddersfield remain bottom of the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Huddersfield started brightly but the first big chance of the game went West Ham’s way. A corner from the right was kept alive by Delan Rice and his deflected cross found Michail Antonio who hit the crossbar with a header.

The Hammers took the lead after teenager Aaron Rowe, making his full Huddersfield debut, clumsily took down Manuel Lanzini in the box to give away a penalty kick.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Noble dinked the spot kick down the middle to put West Ham 1-0 up. But soon after Huddersfield were level, as Bacuna sent home a wonderful header from a corner to net his first goal for the Terriers. Game on.

Huddersfield deservedly took the lead before the break as Alex Prtichard started a clever routine from a free kick which set up Chris Lowe to cross and ended in Grant slotting home his second goal for Huddersfield since his January move from Charlton.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Lukasz Fabianski made a wonderful stop as Bacuna smashed a shot from distance towards the top corner, as West Ham had brought on Hernandez to try and turn the game in their favor.

West Ham dominated play in the final stages as Huddersfield sat back deeper and deeper. After good work from Anderson, Arnautovic scuffed a shot on goal which Jonas Lossl saved.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Grant then scored a magnificent individual goal, as the Huddersfield striker turned, weaved past two challenges and curled a beauty into the top corner to make it 3-1.

West Ham kept battling away, and Ogbonna nodded home from a corner to set up a grandstand finish with 15 minutes to go.

Hernandez then made it 3-3 as he nodded home at the back post, with the Mexican striker left unmarked to finish Nasri’s cross after a corner was only half-cleared. Huddersfield almost won it late on, as Jason Puncheon and Terrence Kongolo went close with Philip Billing also involved but then came the moment they were dreading.

Hernandez was the hero in stoppage time as he flicked home another header, this time from Anderson’s cross, to make it 4-3 and spark wild celebrations at the London Stadium.