Rumour reel: West Ham finally get Arnautovic
Frank Monkhouse | 19 July 2017
East Londoners have enjoyed a busy week
Liverpool have freed up a bit of space in their midfield by flogging Lucas to Lazio. The 30-year-old, who was the longest-serving member of The Reds squad, moved to the Serie A giants in a £5m deal, and that’ll go down as a decent bit of business, with the English side paying the same amount for him back in 2007.
Thanking fans for their support over the years before packing his bags, the man who turned out 345 times for the side said it was an honour to play for the club, and it was his intention to finish his career there, but a lack of games forced his hand. He’ll go with the best wishes of everyone connected to Anfield. Let’s see what else is newsworthy on Wednesday.
Hammers continue to build
West Ham swooped to sign Joe Hart on Tuesday, getting the England keeper in on a season-long loan. The 30-year-old, who was told he wasn’t part of City’s plans for the coming season, will be delighted to get some much-needed game time in the run up to next year’s World Cup, with his parent club believed to be paying part of his wages. In return, West Ham get a goalkeeper of the highest quality, without putting a dent in their transfer budget. That shrewd piece of business freed up cash to finally get the Marko Arnautovic deal over the line. The Hammers had a couple of previous bids for the 28-year-old rejected by Stoke, but £24m seems to work for both parties. Arnautovic scored seven goals last season for The Potters, Stratford regulars will demand more.
Newcastle close to Murphy deal
Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy looks set for another season in the Premier League, with Norwich City accepting a £12m bid from Newcastle United, who see the England U21 star as a perfect addition to their squad as they look to make an impression in their first year back in the top-flight. With both clubs agreeing a deal, it’s now up to The Magpies and Murphy to thrash out the finer details, but sources close to the club believe that’ll be done sooner rather than later. 22-year-old Murphy got his goals into double-figures last season, and the step-up in grade will excite him. Sticking at St James Park and Newcastle are keen on Bordeaux striker Diego Roland. The Uruguayan has been priced up at £5m.
Hands off Benteke
Chelsea and Everton are said to be interested in signing Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke, but Eagles new boy Frank de Boer told the press this week that it’s his intention to talk the 26-year-old into staying at the club and helping with the Dutchman’s rebuilding project. Benteke had a decent season last time, firing in 15 goals, but followers of the London side know if they can keep him focussed and away from the drama he seems to attract, he will be worth his weight in gold. Will the player have his head turned and leave Selhurst Park? Palace paid a huge amount of money for him, so we doubt he’ll be let go without a fight, and a sizeable profit.