Gossip: Morata to West Ham, Prem trio given Barca boost

Matt Stead
Alvaro Morata Chelsea

We tend to avoid rumours from the likes of TRANSFER market WEB, what with their weird capitalisation and frankly appalling track record. But football has returned, and so the need for transfer speculation has dissipated somewhat. They carry the can while others hold off until the next international break.

Their latest claim is a doozy. They report that Alvaro Morata ‘might still be loaned out’ in January, as Maurizio Sarri ‘is not thrilled’ with his performances. The Spaniard started Chelsea’s first four Premier League games, scoring one goal. Olivier Giroud was given the nod against Cardiff, and was wonderful.

That might have actually annoyed Morata a bit, as our friends at TMW add that Chelsea will consider a loan due to the striker’s ‘own will’. The four clubs they mention as holding an interest in the summer are Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and…West Ham.



“For this campaign, we will not be able to go through with the gesture that Rakitic is asking of us. Next season we can look at it in relation to our new revenue.”

It is these quotes from Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu that have been packaged into transfer news. According to talkSPORT, they ‘will be of great interest to the Premier League heavyweights’ of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United. Why? Because they were interested in him before.

They ‘now seemingly have a chance’ of signing the Croatian, who wanted a pay rise and contract extension at the Nou Camp ever so dearly.

The only problem? His current deal expires in 2021. It *feels* like the ball is still firmly entrenched in Barcelona’s court.

It has long felt as though Christian Benteke has needed either a rest or to be dropped, but the problem was always the lack of a viable replacement. Alexander Sorloth is beautiful and tall and Scandinavian, but not yet a Premier League striker. So Benteke soldiered on, scoring once in his last 1,059 minutes of league football.

That all changed on Saturday, when he was left out of the matchday squad entirely. Jordan Ayew took his place, and while Palace perhaps did not deserve their win against Huddersfield, three points is three points.

It leaves Benteke ‘facing a fight to revive’ his career at Selhurst Park. Roy Hodgson was happy with Ayew’s performance, and ‘is likely to persist’ with his summer signing in the centre-forward role.

The Daily Mail add that ‘Palace are now preparing to turn their attention to identifying targets who could replace Benteke in the long term ahead of the next two transfer windows.’ Eesh.


Manchester City have not yet started contract negotiations with 23-year-old winger Raheem Sterling, but they are now keen to hold talks over extending a deal that ends in summer 2020… Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been mentioned as a possible next chairman of the Premier League during informal discussions at the most recent clubs’ meeting.