MAITLAND-NILES SET FOR ARSENAL EXIT
West Ham appear set for a busy weekend. Aside from hosting Liverpool on Sunday, they could wrap up the signings of a couple of England internationals.
Jesse Lingard is due in London today to put the finishing touches on a loan move from Manchester United. The Hammers will pay £1.5million to borrow the 28-year-old.
In addition to Lingard, it seems they are positioning themselves to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The Mirror reports that the versatile Arsenal star is keen to get away from the Emirates in the coming days for a loan period which will help him cement a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the European Championships.
The Athletic puts a little more meat on the bones. West Brom have registered a firm interest and, according to their story from last night, so too have ‘a current top-four side’ but that club would ‘need to do other business before stepping up a move’.
Before Liverpool moved up into fourth by beating Spurs, the top four was made up of Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester and West Ham.
Of that selection, the Hammers seem by far the most likely destination. David Moyes was keen on Maitland-Niles last summer. Their other business, presumably, would be to create room in their allocation of domestic loan players. To sign Lingard, they had to bring forward Said Benrahma’s permanent move, something they would have to do with Craig Dawson to free up space to secure Maitland-Niles.
West Ham also need a striker, but it seems Moyes might be content to continue with Andriy Yarmolenko acting as back-up for Michail Antonio.
DZEKO SEEKING MANCHESTER RETURN
One striker West Ham have been linked with is Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian has fallen out with Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and an exit this weekend appears likely.
Dzeko, though, would appear to prefer a return to Manchester. Corriere Dello Sport says the striker’s agent Alessandro Lucci has been working on a deal to take the 34-year-old back to City where he won five trophies between 2011 and 2015.
Gaezzetta dello Sport reckons Lucci has also been dangling Dzeko in front of Manchester United’s nose as a possible replacement – as if one were needed – for Odion Ighalo.
Neither United or City, though, are interested in bringing Dzeko back to the Premier League. A more likely destination is Inter Milan, who have reportedly offered Alexis Sanchez in a swap deal.