West Ham have confirmed the permanent signing of Alphonse Areola from Paris Saint-Germain after the goalkeeper impressed during a loan spell at the London Stadium last season.

Areola kept eight clean sheets in 18 games for West Ham during the 2021-22 campaign, including 11 appearances during the Irons' run to the Europa League semi-finals.

David Moyes' side will play in Europe again next term, having qualified for the Europa Conference League by finishing seventh in the Premier League, and have moved to consolidate their goalkeeping options with the permanent acquisition of the 29-year-old.

Having signed a five-year contract with an option for a further season, Areola told the club's website: "I feel good, I feel great, I'm happy to sign and happy to stay here permanently, and I can't wait to start to train and to do the job.

"The main thing is that I felt the love of the supporters last season. Something for me that is really important is to feel that I'm loved. 

"I know that I have to do my job and to do everything to make them happy, and obviously also the team, my team-mates, the staff and [goalkeeping coach] Xavi Valero as well. The vibe of last season was great, so I just wanted to do everything to stay here.

"When I'm signing with a club, I want to feel that it's like my second family. Obviously, we're here every day and we are sharing lots of time together, so I have to feel comfortable with everyone and feel them comfortable with me as well, so I just feel comfortable here."

Meanwhile, Moyes hopes the experience of Areola, who has three senior caps for France and was part of Les Blues' 2018 World Cup-winning squad, will prove invaluable for the Hammers.

"Alphonse made a huge contribution to the club during his loan spell last season. His performances backed up why we see him as a top goalkeeper," Moyes said.

"He brings proven quality and experience at the highest level, both on the domestic and international scene. We're delighted he's with us permanently and look forward to welcoming him back for pre-season."

West Ham, who also signed Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd last week, kick off their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to defending champions Manchester City on August 7.

Liverpool have reportedly placed a £60million price tag on star Mohamed Salah after it became clear he is unlikely to remain with the club when his contract expires at the end of the upcoming season.

Salah arrived at Anfield in 2017 in a £36.5m move from Roma and during his time with the Reds he has become one of the best players in the world.

In his five Premier League seasons, Salah has tallied 118 goals and 50 assists in 180 games, been named PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, collected three Premier League Golden Boots and won the Puskas Award in 2018.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL LOOK TO CASH IN BEFORE SALAH WALKS FOR NOTHING

Liverpool have long since been in contract talks with the Egypt superstar, but recent developments have caused the club to investigate what they could get in return for him entering the final year of his deal.

The Mirror is reporting Liverpool have decided that £60m is the number they would be comfortable with, but it remains to be seen if there is interest from rival clubs given he could leave Anfield for nothing next year.

Meanwhile, The Sun claims Liverpool are confident they can land Borussia Dortmund's England midfielder Jude Bellingham at the end of next season.

Liverpool have already seen Sadio Mane depart for Bayern Munich.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Sky Sports, West Ham are exploring a potential move for Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, who is said to have a £40m release clause in his contract.

– Sky Sports also claim  West Ham are interested in signing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse .

Manchester United are hoping to sell young defender Brandon Williams for £10m, according to the Daily Mail, while The Sun claims the club have made around £100m available for Erik ten Hag to rebuild the team.

– United have declined Barcelona 's request for the Red Devils to include Harry Maguire in their bid for Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to The Sun.

– The Athletic say  Crystal Palace are confident they will land 22-year-old Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure .

Gabriel Jesus could be set for a move to Arsenal after the club came to a £45million agreement with Manchester City to pry away the 25-year-old striker, according to reports.

It had previously been claimed the Gunners were offering £30m – well short of City's £50m asking price – but were given some added motivation when Tottenham apparently entered the race.

The Brazil international ended the season in fine form at City, scoring four times in the 5-1 win against Watford in April, but could he be on his way to the Emirates Stadium?

TOP STORY – ARSENAL RAISE OFFER AND AGREE TO JESUS FEE

According to The Athletic, Gabriel Jesus is on the verge of a big money move to Arsenal.

The striker's relationship with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta dates back to the Spaniard's days as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at City, giving him a unique insight into Jesus' progression since arriving in the Premier League.

The Athletic's report includes that the arrivals of both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to City in this transfer period would have significantly hindered Jesus' playing time if he were to stay.

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports report that Chelsea have offered Timo Werner to Juventus as part of negotiations for Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, with the Blues unwilling to meet his release clause, said to be set at €120m.

Christian Eriksen is deciding between staying at Brentford or accepting a larger contract offer to move to Manchester United, with Sky Sports reporting he may be unwilling to move from the Bees for family reasons.

Everton, Wolves and West Ham are keeping a close eye on former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum as the 31-year-old has been told he can leave Paris Saint-Germain this transfer period, according to 90min.

– Spanish publication Sport say Leeds United winger Raphinha has shunned other Premier League clubs in an effort to push his way to Barcelona.

Manchester United are reportedly preparing a second offer for 22-year-old Porto striker Evanilson after they had a bid of €65million rejected by the Portuguese champions.

The Brazilian was purchased by Porto in 2020 for €8.8m out of Fluminense, and after scoring four goals from 24 appearances in his first season in the Primeira Liga, he exploded in his second campaign with 21 goals in 46 outings.

He had 14 goals and four assists in 30 league games, and seven goals in seven Taca de Portugal fixtures on the way to winning Portugal's top domestic cup.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS PLAN BIG-MONEY MOVE FOR LITTLE-KNOWN BRAZILIAN

The report out of Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claims Porto has already fought off interest from both Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves by raising their asking price to €80m.

Porto are said to be desperate to retain the striker's services for one more season – even labelling him 'untouchable' – but could have their hand forced if the Old Trafford side is willing to go all-in.

It would be a shock for United to fork out such a large sum for a striker while also trying to push Barcelona's asking price for Frenkie de Jong down to a more palatable number.

The Sun is also reporting Ajax winger Antony is a serious target for former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, Goal claims that they are hoping to convince Christian Eriksen to sign on as well, and Corriere dello Sport believe they are investigating the possibility of landing Tammy Abraham.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal have reportedly become the favourites to land Leeds United winger Raphinha as Barcelona's interest in the Brazilian cools off, according to Goal.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Chelsea have joined the race for Everton striker Richarlison, with Tottenham also in the bidding for the £50m man.

– According to Sky Sports, West Ham are planning a £30m bid for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja, who scored nine goals for Southampton last season while on loan from Chelsea.

Nottingham Forest are trying to break their club-record transfer fee to sign 24-year-old Nigerian striker Taiyo Awoniyi for £17.5m from German side Union Berlin, per the Telegraph, although Football Insider claims Awoniyi will turn them down in favour of other offers.

– Calciomercato is reporting Kalidou Koulibaly will not join Juventus because he does not want to be considered a "traitor" like Gonzalo Higuain after his move to Turin – instead favouring a move to Barcelona.

West Ham have completed the signing of Nayef Aguerd from Rennes for a reported fee of £30million including add-ons (€34.9m).

The Morocco international joins on a five-year deal as Hammers manager David Moyes strengthens his backline ahead of next season.

The defender featured in 66 Ligue 1 games for Rennes after joining in 2020, while also helping his country to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar after overcoming DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate over two play-off matches.

West Ham struggled with injuries last season, especially at centre-back, but Aguerd provides much-needed depth ahead of another challenge for the European qualification spots next season.

"I am delighted to welcome Nayef to West Ham United. We have tracked his progress for some time and I'm very pleased that we have been able to complete the signing," Moyes told the club's official website.

"He's a great addition that will add to our defensive options."

Aguerd pinpointed the interest of Moyes as a crucial factor for him joining the 2021-22 Europa League semi-finalists.

"I was really excited when I heard about West Ham United's interest," Aguerd said after penning his contract with the Hammers.

"I talked with the manager and he showed me that he was very interested, so it was easy to choose to come to West Ham."

Manchester City will start their Premier League title defence at West Ham, while Frank Lampard will host his former club Chelsea with Everton on the opening weekend.

City pipped Liverpool to their fourth English top-flight crown under Pep Guardiola and there will be significant interest around their August 7 opener at London Stadium, where new signing Erling Haaland could make his debut after arriving from Borussia Dortmund.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool will aim to mount another title charge in the 2022-23 campaign and they go to newly promoted Fulham for their first game.

Chelsea eased into third place last term and their first league game of the Todd Boehly era sees them travel to face Blues great Lampard at Everton, who narrowly avoided relegation to maintain their top-flight status.

Manchester United finished in a disappointing sixth last campaign, with a 4-0 thrashing at Brighton and Hove Albion a low point, and they host the Seagulls in what will be Erik ten Hag's first game in charge.

Arsenal will visit Crystal Palace on August 5 as the season's opening game, while promoted side Bournemouth are at home to Aston Villa.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham sneaked into the Champions League last season and open their campaign at home to Southampton, with Nottingham Forest playing their first top-flight fixture in 23 years away at Newcastle United, who climbed out the relegation zone under Eddie Howe in the previous term.

Testing opening for Liverpool, Guardiola faces late Blues clash

Liverpool were in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple for much of the 2021-22 season, but fell short and ended up with just the EFL Cup and FA Cup crowns to their name.

Klopp's side will be tested in the opening weeks of the season, facing four – United, Chelsea, City and Arsenal – of the traditional 'big six' sides in the first 11 games, alongside a Merseyside derby at Everton on September 9.

The first clash between United and Liverpool will come just three matchdays into the season, with the Reds visiting Old Trafford on August 20.

Liverpool then head Chelsea and Arsenal either side of the late September international break, with champions City travelling to Anfield just a week after the Gunners trip.

Supporters in Manchester will eagerly await October 1 for the first meeting between United and City at Etihad Stadium, while the first north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal comes on the same day.

The Premier League title race went down to the wire last campaign, and City could face a tough task if it does so again as they host Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea in an enticing clash on the penultimate weekend.

Premier League opening weekend fixtures:

Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Bournemouth v Aston Villa
Everton v Chelsea
Fulham v Liverpool
Leeds United v Wolves
Leicester City v Brentford
Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest
Tottenham v Southampton
Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion
West Ham v Manchester City

Richarlison has reportedly informed Everton of his desire to leave the club, naming a top side from each of England, Spain and France as his preferred landing spots.

The Brazil striker arrived from Watford in 2018 and, after scoring 10 Premier League goals this campaign, he has now scored at least 10 league goals in three of the past four seasons.

He closed this term with six goals in his last nine appearances, helping Everton avoid relegation, but he now has his sights set on Champions League football.

 

TOP STORY – RICHARLISON DESIRES CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MOVE 

The 25-year-old has reportedly narrowed his list down to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, and he is expected to command a fee of around £65million.

Also mentioned in The Sun's report is Everton majority owner Farhad Moshiri's plan to balance the books after recording losses significant enough to jeopardise the club's financial fair play status, which will likely see both Richarlison and fellow striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin leave Goodison Park for more than a combined £100m.

Once considered a front-runner to land the star forward, Arsenal are no longer said to be in play after finishing fifth, missing out on Champions League qualification.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror claims in-demand Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is hesitant to join Manchester United due to his desire for Champions League football, while the Daily Star insists Liverpool are now his preferred English club.

– According to RMC Sport, United and Chelsea will compete for Leicester City's 21-year-old defender Wesley Fofana.

– La Repubblica is reporting that Chelsea are not against allowing Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter, but they want either Lautaro Martinez or Alessandro Bastoni in return.

West Ham are open to the idea of selling Said Benrahma, with hopes of bringing Jesse Lingard to the club after a successful loan stint in 2020-21, according to The Sun.

– The Times is reporting Manchester City have offered Gabriel Jesus to Tottenham, after strong interest was shown by Arsenal.

With Marcus Rashford reportedly drawing interest from Italy, Spain and even Tottenham, Manchester United are trying to keep him at Old Trafford by placing a price-tag on him "between £70million and £80m".

In a disappointing campaign, the 24-year-old scored just five goals from 32 games in all club competition, and he did not play a full 90 minutes in any of the five Champions League fixtures he was healthy for (subbed on twice, subbed off three times).

His Premier League season also did not go to plan, missing the first seven games due to a shoulder injury, and finishing with 12 of his 25 appearances coming off the bench.

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS LOOK TO KEEP RIVALS AWAY FROM RASHFORD

The exact figures of "between £70m and £80m" came from Italian super-agent Roberto De Fanti during an exclusive interview with CaughtOffside, where he said he expected United to ask for "around £40m, maybe £50m."

De Fanti mentioned he was aware of interest from "all the top sides in Spain and Italy" and that Rashford's management had met with Tottenham about a potential deal, but Spurs "feel negotiating a deal for Rashford is virtually impossible" due to the asking price.

Emphasising that it is not a case of United trying to scrounge every possible dollar out of a sale, De Fanti said "United are confident a club is unlikely to pay that [figure]", and that he is not on the list of players Erik ten Hag is planning on selling to fund up to six new signings.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to The Sun, Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has been contacting Inter since Christmas in an attempt to expedite a transfer away from Stamford Bridge.

– Todofichajes is reporting Liverpool view Chelsea's Christian Pulisic as a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, with the American's price-tag said to be in the range of £42m.

West Ham United sent scouts to watch Denmark's recent Nations League fixture, with the Daily Star reporting they are interested in both Christian Eriksen and Atalanta right-back Joakim Maehle.

– According to De Telegraaf, Barcelona are willing to part ways with Frenkie de Jong if they receive what they perceive to be a fair offer, with Manchester United leading the race.

– The Express is reporting that Newcastle United have set their sights on Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin after missing out on Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby.

Carlos Tevez has confirmed his retirement from football at the age of 38, citing the death of his father as the reason why he turned down offers to continue playing.

Tevez enjoyed a glittering career, particularly in England where he played for both Manchester United and Manchester City.

As well as three separate spells at boyhood club Boca Juniors, he also spent time at Corinthians, West Ham United, Juventus and Shanghai Shenhua.

Tevez played his final game for Boca Juniors in 2021 before saying goodbye, though at the time he left the door open for a move to another team.

However, in quotes relayed by Mundo Albiceleste, Tevez said on Friday that even though he had received offers from Major League Soccer in the United States, he had stopped playing because he no longer had his "number one fan" after the passing of his father.

"I have retired, it's confirmed," he said. "They offered me many things, including from the United States. But that's it, I have given everything.

"Playing the last year was very difficult but I was able to see my old man. I stopped playing because I lost my number one fan."

Tevez won a remarkable 26 titles in his career and is among only four Argentine players to win both the CONMEBOL Libertadores Cup and the Champions League, lifting the biggest prize in European club football with United in 2008.

He also played at two World Cups for Argentina, in 2006 and 2010.

Kurt Zouma has pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping his pet cat.

Zouma has been charged with three animal welfare offences after the West Ham defender was alleged to have harmed one of his two cats.

A video came to light in February showing the France international appearing to kick and slap the animal.

The 27-year-old and his brother Yoan arrived at Thames Magistrates' Court on Tuesday for a first hearing, where Kurt pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act.

Yoan filmed the video and shared it on social media, and has himself been charged with two alleged offences in relation to the incident that took place on February 6.

In the video, Kurt Zouma was seen to kick the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing shoes at it and slapping it on the head.

Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court the former Chelsea player could be heard saying: "I swear I'll kill it, I swear I'll kill it."

Kurt Zouma admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, while Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Kurt to commit an offence.

The RSPCA took both of the footballer's cats into care and started a process of bringing a prosecution case against both men in March.

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: "It's never acceptable to treat an animal in this way and we were shocked when the video was first brought to our attention.

"What makes this case even more sad is the way the video was filmed and shared, making light of such cruelty.

"We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect, and that we will not tolerate cruelty."

Sentencing has been adjourned until June 1.

Kurt Zouma has been charged with three animal welfare offences after the West Ham defender was alleged to have harmed his cat.

A video came to light in February showing the France international appearing to kick and slap one of his pets.

Zouma's younger brother Yoan filmed the video and shared it on social media, and has himself been charged with two alleged offences.

The RSPCA took both of Kurt Zouma's cats into care and started a process of bringing a prosecution case against the 27-year-old in March.

Both brothers will have to attend Thames Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Kurt Zouma is accused of two counts of causing "unnecessary suffering" to the cat, by kicking it in the abdomen and slapping it in the head, and a further count of failing to protect the cat from "pain suffering, injury or disease".

Yoan Zouma has been charged with aiding or abetting his brother to commit two of the above offences.

Speculation over Declan Rice's future has long centred on an apparently inevitable departure from West Ham United.

The Hammers run to the Europa League semi-final has amplified talk around the England international midfielder, with Chelsea and Manchester United linked.

According to reports, though, the 23-year-old appears content at London Stadium with a World Cup on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – DECLAN RICE TO STICK WITH WEST HAM    

Declan Rice will not leave West Ham despite interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, according to The Mirror.

The 23-year-old has been reticent to sign a new deal at the club, but he is reportedly in no hurry to leave yet either, seemingly wanted to stay settled ahead of November's World Cup in Qatar.

United have looked to Rice as one of their primary transfer targets as Erik ten Hag looks to overhaul the squad, but Rice appears set for one more season at West Ham following their run to the Europa League semi-final this term.

Hammers management had previously advised that Rice is not for sale, and strong performances at the World Cup with England would likely only increase his already lofty market value.

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid are showing interest in Milan's Rafael Leao after Kylian Mbappe opted to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, according to Marca.

– Los Blancos are also looking to scupper Liverpool's move for Aurelien Tchouameni, despite the player having already agreed terms with the Reds so say The Mirror.

Barcelona are discussing personal terms with Marcos Alonso, who is set to leave Chelsea, Fabrizio Romano reports.

– Arsenal defender William Saliba wants to stay at Marseille, where he has been on loan, per Goal.

Ralf Rangnick lamented another abject away showing from Manchester United at Crystal Palace, while he thanked Brighton and Hove Albion for helping the Red Devils to Europa League qualification.

United lost six consecutive away league matches for the first time since March 1981 after Wilfried Zaha's strike proved decisive in the 1-0 win for Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Erik ten Hag was in attendance at Selhurst Park and has much to ponder after United finished the Premier League season with a record-low points tally (58).

It was also the first time United did not end a league campaign with a positive goal difference (zero in 2021-22) for the first time since the 1989-90 season (minus-one).

However, Brighton came from behind to defeat top-six hopefuls West Ham, which meant United will be playing Europa League football next term under Ten Hag after finishing sixth in the league.

Rangnick, who will move into a consultancy role alongside his managerial job at Austria, expressed his gratitude to Graham Potter's side for overcoming David Moyes' West Ham.

"Yes, I think Brighton did us the favour to turn the game around because they were losing at half-time," he told reporters. 

"They scored three times in the second half and that was the good thing about the weekend and about this fixture.

"We would have loved to take care of ourselves but in a way the game was indicative of last couple of weeks, especially when we played away from home.

"It was a new experience for me, not necessarily coming in the middle of the season, but knowing that it would be an interim role. Unfortunately, we didn't have any pre-season and unfortunately, we couldn't strengthen the squad.

"These things happen and in hindsight, it was a little bit bittersweet or sweet bitter rather because in the first couple of weeks and months we did well.

"We collected enough points with an average of 2.1 until the game against Atletico [Madrid] but I think that defeat in the Champions League was in a way like somebody popped the balloon."

Rangnick also bemoaned United's away performance as they failed to capitalise on chances and allowed Palace to impose themselves on the contest.

"I think we had three good opportunities to score ourselves in the first half but we didn't and, especially in the first half, we had too many unforced errors and bad giveaways, that is the way we conceded the goal," he continued.

"In fact, it was our assist, the goalscorer, in the end, was Zaha but the ones who gave the assist were ourselves.

"There was a throw-in – just keep the ball into our own half – and the way we defended that shot was also not the way that you have to defend in this league and that's why we were trailing again 1-0.

"At half-time, we were trying to bring on all the young strikers we had on the bench. We had some opportunities in the second half but it was not clinical enough and that's why we lost again away from home."

Declan Rice and Christopher Nkunku have joined victorious Eintracht Frankfurt stars in headlining the Europa League's team of the season.

The selections for the competition's end-of-season awards were announced by UEFA on Friday, two days after Eintracht's final shootout triumph against Rangers.

Wing-backs Filip Kostic and Ansgar Knauff earned individual recognition, the former the player of the season and the latter the young player of the season.

But there was no room for Knauff in the best XI, with Rangers captain James Tavernier, the competition's leading scorer, preferred.

Tavernier had two Rangers colleagues in the team in Calvin Bassey and Ryan Kent, yet Kostic was one of four Eintracht players.

Penalty heroes Kevin Trapp and Rafael Borre made the cut, alongside defender Martin Hinteregger.

Perhaps the two biggest names included were beaten semi-finalists, however, with Rice and Nkunku – both set to be the subject of close-season transfer speculation – recognised.

Departing Napoli great Lorenzo Insigne did not make the side but was awarded the goal of the season his stunning strike against Legia Warsaw.

Europa League team of the season:

Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt); Craig Dawson (West Ham), Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt), Calvin Bassey (Rangers); James Tavernier (Rangers), Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig), Declan Rice (West Ham), Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt); Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Rafael Borre (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ryan Kent (Rangers).

Page 1 of 24
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.