Fulham make move for West Ham defensive target, president confirms

West Ham United are expected to have competition for the signature of Serdar Aziz this summer, with Fanatik claiming that the London rivals are going toe-to-toe for his hand this summer.

The 25-year-old centre-half currently plays for Bursaspor and has been capped nine times by Turkey.

Aziz is being tipped to move away from his current employers this summer and to embark on a  new professional challenge.

Slaven Bilic knows the defender well from his time managing in Turkey with Besiktas and is said to be a suitor of the enforcer.

However, Bursaspor club president Ali Ay has revealed that there are two offers on the table for Aziz, but West Ham are yet to show their hand.

“We have two serious offers one from Fulham and the other from Besiktas, we are considering both bids,” he said.

West Ham have prioritised signing a new centre forward, with a revamped attack on the cards for next season.

However, an extra centre-half in Bilic’s squad would be a welcome addition ahead of 2016-17, which would allow him to play three at the back more regularly if desired.

Payet ‘fourth best in Europe?’

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Payet has been ranked fourth best player in Europe in 2016 by UEFA ‘barometer’, a player rankings tool.

BBC Sport posted the rankings, which have Cristiano Ronaldo topping the list, followed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antoine Griezmann. Payet follows in fourth, in a list that is based on both club and country form since January 1st 2016.

“The barometer runs official player statistics through a specially designed algorithm to create rankings based on player performances,” according to UEFA.

Uefa added: “The data considered for each player is specific to the position type.

“For example, tackles and interceptions are considered to be key statistics for defensive midfielders, while successful dribbles and crosses are core stats for wingers.”

Payet and James Milner are the only Premier League based players in the top 10, whilst there is a surprise inclusion for Robbie Brady at number 53.

Payet has had an outstanding 2016 for both West Ham and France and is well in contention to start for France this summer. According to the London Evening Standard, Didier Deschamps said yesterday, “Everytime Payet touches the ball something happens”, which is a complete turnaround after the France manager was considering dropping Payet altogether before his outstanding form in recent months.

The full rankings are available here.

6 reasons why Carlos Bacca would be a fantastic signing for West Ham

West Ham have been strongly linked with Carlos Bacca over the past few days.

West Ham have reportedly bid around £15 million for the AC Milan forward, according to The Daily Mail. The Columbian has been one of the most prolific strikers in Europe over the past few seasons, but there are worries about him being 29 and possibly struggling to adapt to the Premier League.

On the contrary, he could be a fantastic signing for West Ham United.

Click here to see the reasons why…

This French International is the latest on West Ham’s radar

Football - Tottenham Hotspur v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Europa League Second Round First Leg - White Hart Lane, London, England - 12/13 - 14/2/13
Samuel Umtiti celebrates after scoring the first goal for Lyon
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

According to Sky Sources, West Ham are leading the chase for Lyon Centre Back Samuel Umtiti.

The 22 year old has been watched by Barcelona, PSG, Spurs and Chelsea this season, but Sky believe that Slaven Bilic’s side are the favourites to land the highly sought after defender at the moment.

So how much would Umtiti cost?

The defender is currently going to Euro 2016 with France, and could find himself in with a chance of starting if he impresses before the tournament. Bilic would need to finalise any deal before Euro 2016 kicks off, because if Umtiti features for France his price tag would go through the roof after any significant performance.

Umtiti at the moment could cost around £15-20 million, which is expensive for a centre back, but he could have 10 years at the top level, and would likely be worth more than this after a few years.

Can we afford him?

If Reece Oxford leaves the club, it would be no surprise to see him replaced with someone similar. Using the £10-15 million that is currently being reported from Oxford’s move could fund a deal for Samuel Umtiti, but it remains to be seen if Oxford actually does leave the club this summer. Central defence isn’t a priority for us this summer, but a player of Umtiti’s potential would be hard to refuse.

Would he join West Ham?

This could be a stumbling block in the deal. Champions League is a massive attraction for players, and with so many big clubs circling around Umtiti, it would be a massive coup if we could secure a deal for the defender.

We will have to wait and see if there is any progress in the deal, but at the moment it seems unlikely that he would join us.

What West Ham can learn from Payet in their pursuit for a new striker

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Another day, another striker linked with the Hammers. This time, Colombian scoring sensation Carlos Bacca is the latest name that has attracted interest from West Ham, with the striker rumoured to be available for a fee of around €25 million (£19 million).

The AC Milan forward has been in fine form this season, scoring 18 league goals for the Rossoneri in a disappointing campaign for the club as they could only finish 7th despite having higher aspirations.

It’s no secret that West Ham are in the market for a prolific goal scorer and Bacca is a forward that has scored goals at every club he has played for. The only issue for some fans is his age; he will turn 30 at the beginning of the new Premier League season.

Although it can sometimes be a bit of a gamble paying big money for an older player, West Ham are now in a position where they don’t necessarily need to purchase a player that has a good resale value. Dimitri Payet is 29-years-old and is by far one of West Ham’s best ever signings. Therefore, surely it’s better to invest in an older player that is going to produce the goods straight away rather than always worrying about snapping up younger players?

Bacca has performed on big European stages, scoring a penalty in the shootout victory over Benfica in the 2014 Europa League final and then scoring a double against Dnipro to clinch the cup once again the following year.

The likes of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have been linked with the exit door, with the latest rumour suggesting that Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland are willing to pay £10 million for Sakho. If both strikers depart the club, £19 million for one of Europe’s most reliable goalscorers is really not a lot of money these days.

Some fans may recall David Sullivan telling Sky Sports in West Ham’s final home game that he was looking for players to deliver the goods right here right now, as football is a business where results and improvements are needed quickly. If you allow too much time to develop or improve, you can end up being left behind.

As a result of this, the Hammers won’t shy away from a player if he is over a particular age. If he is good enough and not too expensive, the club will have a striker that will deliver goals which is something the Hammers desperately need. West Ham really hit the jackpot with Dimitri Payet, there’s no reason why the Hammers cannot repeat a similar feat with an experienced and gifted striker.

Tottenham make bid for playmaker West Ham want

Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly made the opening offer for Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra, with Tutto Mercato Web stating that West Ham have competition for the Argentine’s signature.

The versatile midfielder has been linked with the Hammers over recent weeks, with it believed that Slaven Bilic’s men were ready to bring the South American to the Olympic Stadium for a fee of more than £10 million.

However, a delay in securing Pereyra’s signature has seen others enter the fight for his hand, with Spurs thought to hold an interest in him.

Mauricio Pochettino has got the best out of Erik Lamela at White Hart Lane and as such signing another of his compatriots would not be a surprise.

Should West Ham land Gokhan Tore, as expectedly in the short term future, there may not be room in Bilic’s squad for Pereyra anyway.

Pereyra has played a part in Juventus’ domestic success in recent years and would be an exciting signing for West Ham however.

West Ham battle Southampton for Bundesliga free-kick specialist – Payet has competition?

West Ham United and Southampton are reportedly looked in a tug-of-war to sign Werder Bremen playmaker Zlatko Junuzovic this summer, according to Bild.

The Austria international is renowned for his ability to score from direct free-kicks, which has seen him receive rave reviews in the Bundesliga.

Junuzovic’s future at the German club is up in the air according to the latest report, with the 28-year-old keen to try out life in the Premier League and angling for a move to England.

West Ham are in the market for attacking players and the arrival of the goalscoring midfielder could well be another boost for Slaven Bilic’s squad.

Should Junuzovic become a Hammer he may well have to concede superiority in dead ball situations, with Dimitri Payet already proving himself as one of the best in the world game at scoring direct free-kicks.

The report does not mention a fee that would be needed to sign the Austrian, who will be on show at Euro 2016.

West Ham set to allow attacker to join Sunderland

West Ham United are set to sanction a move that will facilitate Diafra Sakho to leave the club and join Sunderland for £10 million this summer, according to The Daily Mail.

Talk of Sam Allardyce’s reported interest in the versatile forward has been in the press this week, with the former Hammers boss reportedly keen to reunite with the African hitman in the North East.

Sunderland are seemingly set to benefit from West Ham’s expansive recruitment plans this summer, with a high-profile number nine the club’s main priority before a move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016-17.

Given the constant rumours of Slaven Bilic’s men signing a host of new strikers, Sakho’s role at the London club is up in the air.

As such, the latest report suggests that West Ham are willing to allow him to leave this summer and will accept a £10 million bid for the Wearsiders this week.

Watch Dimitri Payet net another amazing free kick for France

West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet has given the world another example of his sublime ability from dead balls, scoring an amazing match-winning free-kick for France last night.

The artisan playmaker was selected for his nation in their pre-Euro 2016 international friendly against Cameroon, with the game looking like it was heading to a 2-2 draw.

However, Payet struck in the 90th minutes to send the crowd in Nantes into rapture, as can be seen below.

Payet’s goal here adds to a number of outrageous direct free-kicks he scored during the 2015-16 campaign, with a strike against Manchester United specifically sticking out in the memory.

With the West Ham man starting the clash against Cameroon and playing the full 90 minutes, it looks like there is every chance he will play a major role for France in the upcoming Euro 2016 tournament in home soil.

West Ham refuse £10m offer from Man United

West Ham United have rejected a £10 million offer from Manchester United for wonderkid Reece Oxford and will let all the teenager’s suitors know that he is not for sale this summer, according to The Mirror.

The Hammers have put a lot of credence in their youth ranks and have another exciting generation of young players coming through at the London club.

Oxford is arguably the most gifted, with the versatile defender making a number of cameos in midfield for the first team last season.

However, the 17-year-old is said to be stalling on a new contract with Slaven Bilic’s men, which has open a window to a host of Premier League suitors.

United are believed to have started the bidding for the superbly talented youngster, but the Hammers are set to dig their heels in and refuse any approach for the star this summer.

The club have stated previously that no players would leave that Bilic wanted to keep.