Obiang signs new deal
Our Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang has put pen to paper on a new 5-year-deal at The London Stadium this week. The former Sampdoria man is following in the footsteps of defender Angelo Ogbonna who signed on the dotted line for a similar deal last week. Obiang was one of Slaven Bilic’s first signings as manager in summer 2015 and has got better and better ever since, gradually working his way up to being a permanent fixture in the first team at the end of last season.
As well as being a graceful performer on the pitch, the former Spain U21 international’s stats back him up too. Out of the 46 Premier League games that Obiang has donned the Claret and Blue shirt in, we have only lost 11 times, winning 20 and drawing the other 15. The 25-year-old also bagged his first goal as a West Ham player in the form of the winner against Southampton back in February.
The new contract news will come as a huge relief to Hammers fans, after the midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool towards the end of the season when he was side-lined with injury. However, Obiang is here to stay for another five years and his solid midfield performances will continue to dazzle The London Stadium for the foreseeable future.
Bilic pulls the plug on deal for City star
It has been widely reported across the media in the last few days that Slaven Bilic has pulled out of the deal to sign Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian international burst onto the scene in the 2015/2016 season where he bagged 14 goals in all competitions under Manuel Pellegrini.
However, the 20-year-old was given limited first-team opportunities last season under new manager Pep Guardiola and with the signing of Gabriel Jesus, the Spaniard is understood to not have Iheanacho in his future plans. David Gold and David Sullivan reportedly had a deal in place with The Citizens to sign the young star for a fee of £25 million, but Bilic was rumoured not to be keen on the forward and wants to keep the money for a striker of higher quality.
However, the rumours have angered many Hammers fans who disagree with Bilic and believe that the former League Cup winner is exactly the calibre of player that we need to be signing. Nevertheless, the Croat has now been placed under huge pressure to deliver in finding the “20 goal a season striker” that we have been being promised for seasons.
Fulham announce summer clash in Austria
EFL Championship side Fulham have announced a summer friendly with us on our tour of Austria this month. The West London club announced the news on their Social Media platforms on Friday afternoon, to which the official West Ham United Twitter account replied: “Looking forward to it”. The game is due to take place on Thursday 20th July at 6pm BST. The tie is also believed to be the first friendly of our tour of Austria, but it is unclear as the club are yet to formally announce who we else we will be facing.
Last summer we faced the likes of Rubin Kazan, Karlsruher and Slovacko in the country after a tour of the USA. After the tour of Austria, we will travel to Germany and then Iceland, facing Werder Bremen, Altona 93 and Manchester City in the process. So, what other tests will await on the first stop of our summer tour?
Transfer gossip: Hammers meet stumbling blocks in pursuit of strikers
It has been reported this week by The Mirror that our summer target Javier Hernandez is demanding wages in excess of £140 K a week to play at The London Stadium. The audacious demands are understood to be the only stumbling block in the deal, after Slaven Bilic reportedly activated his Bayer Leverkusen release clause of £13 million. However, we may need to act quickly on agreeing personal terms with the former Manchester United forward amid rumours of interest from LA Galaxy and Tottenham Hotspur. So, will Gold and Sullivan take a risk on “The Little Pea”?
It has been rumoured in the last few days by various France based newspapers that Middlesbrough could be set to sign our target Toulouse striker Martin Braithwaite. The Danish international has impressed in his time in Ligue One and is also tempting the likes of Brighton and Bournemouth. However, the 26-year-old is understood to be keen on a move to London over any other location in England. So, with the race for the former Midtjylland man set to go down to the wire, will we miss out on the pacey forward?
Sky live fixtures announced
The Sky Sports live fixtures for the upcoming 2017/2018 Premier League season have been announced with early London Stadium action to be rescheduled. The opening fixture of the new campaign at Old Trafford has also been moved back 24 hours to feature as part of the first Super Sunday of the season. A duo of home Premier League games in the month of September are among the other games to be rescheduled. The home visit of Huddersfield Town has been switched to a Monday night kick-off for MNF and the derby day clash with Spurs at The London Stadium has been pushed forward to a 12:30 PM kick-off from 3PM. In relation to Arsenal’s Europa League group stage fixtures, the trip to The Emirates Stadium will now take place on Wednesday 13 December as appose to Tuesday 12 December.