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West Ham facing headache in bid to bring in two top Shakhtar Donetsk forwards

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West Ham are reportedly facing potential headaches in their bid to sign Shakhtar Donetsk pair David Neres and Lassina Traore.

The Ukrainian club are willing to let their stop stars leave for now, including the two forwards, after a special transfer window opened to allow those caught up in the war with Russia to move clubs.

That has sparked plenty of interest from across the rest of football world, with clubs in France, Spain and Brazil also keen.

But according to a report in The Sun, Shakhtar fear the Hammers could minimise the players’ opportunities and risk lowering their value due to the fact that they already have a settled squad.

That makes interest from Lyon, Marseille, Real Sociedad and Corinthians more appealing to the Ukranian outfit.

Neres only joined Shakhtar from Dutch giants Ajax in January for a reported £11million. However, the current conflict means the Brazilian has still to feature for the club.

 

Traore also signed from Ajax in 2021 and has proved a back hit so far, scoring nine goals in 14 games.

Sheff Utd take advantage of new ruling

 

Sheffield United became the first English club to take advantage of the new ruling Friday when they landed Filip Uremovic.

Fifa announced that Russia-based players could suspend their contracts, initially until the end of the season, in order to let them leave the country.

The Championship promotion-chasers swooped for the Croatian defender on a free deal until June.

The 25-year-old had played 21 matches this term for Rubin Kazan in Russias’ top-flight.

As for the Hammers, they are continuing to monitor the situation of the Shakhtar pair.

Another stumbling block for West Ham is the Premier League’s current stance on the Ukraine situation.

They have already blocked Burnley’s bid to bring in Victor Moses from Spartak Moscow. However, it’s currently unclear if they will take the same stance with clubs from Ukraine.

READ MORE: Arsenal, West Ham sense opportunity as Everton make ruthless forward transfer decision

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Wolves and Tottenham expected to make ‘initial offers’ for player soon – PL battle on for signing

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Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Notícias today writes about the hard task Sporting have by trying to keep João Palhinha in their squad for one more season.

Even though manager Ruben Amorim has asked the club to keep the player, the Lions know the transfer market is coming strong for him, with several interested clubs.

Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers are two of the sides who’ve been strongly linked, and it’s no different in today’s story.

Jornal de Notícias writes that despite drawing interest from many European countries, it’s the Premier League which is the ‘most attractive’ destination for him, and that’s where Spurs and Wolves show up.

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According to the report, Tottenham have watched Palhinha ‘for a long time’ and Wolverhampton ‘want to reinforce their midfield’.

The two clubs are expected to advance with ‘initial offers’ soon.

Sporting’s intention is to demand at least €30m for the transfer. Even though the player it’s protected by a release clause worth €60m, it’s said it’s ‘practically impossible’ that any club triggers it.

Besides Spurs and Wolves, the likes of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have been reported to be in the race as well.

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Paul Ince outlines key Reading FC transfer aim ahead of the 2022/23 campaign

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Reading boss Paul Ince believes his side must recruit enough players to form a functioning squad before the start of pre-season, speaking to the Championship side’s media team.

The Royals have endured slow starts to their summer in recent seasons, with the club failing to recruit a single player until August last year because of their transfer embargo, meaning they started the 2021/22 campaign without a senior left-back in their squad.

Ince’s side should be able to move more swiftly in the coming days and weeks though with the Berkshire outfit finding out the budget they needed to work within last November as part of a business plan they agreed with the EFL.

Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC sold these 23 players to from the last decade?

Although they will need to reduce their wage bill to avoid a further six-point deduction, several key first-teamers are on course to leave in less than two months on the expiration of their current contracts.

The second-tier side have moved to try and tie some of these players down to fresh terms, offering John Swift, Junior Hoilett, Femi Azeez, Josh Laurent, Andy Rinomhota and Tom Holmes new contracts and are close to agreeing a deal with Andy Yiadom.

Regardless of whether they sign on the dotted line or not, Ince wants to have some form of squad ready for pre-season as the Royals look to remain afloat in the second tier once again next term.

He said: “Firstly, we need to try to get some players signed up and some new players in.

“Last summer half of the lads who were playing for us didn’t have a pre-season – there were only about seven or eight senior players here for the pre-season weeks. We can’t have that again.

“So I’ll be working hard to make sure we have some sort of squad available to us at the start of pre-season.”

The Verdict:

You could tell that late transfer business hampered the Royals during the 2019/20 and 2021/22 seasons, with the second-tier side bringing in several impressive additions during the former campaign.

However, the likes of Pele, George Puscas and Lucas Joao all had to adapt to life in Berkshire very quickly because of this and although they managed to stabilise themselves after a tricky first couple of months under Jose Gomes, you just feel that group of players would have benefitted from having a pre-season with each other.

Fast forward to now – and the situation is even more uncertain with so many key players out of contract. If every player that’s out of contract this summer leaves, they are in desperate trouble and this is why they will be working around the clock to get as many of these players tied down as quickly as possible.

The fact they seem to be closing in on an agreement with Yiadom is a big plus and Holmes is another player that could potentially stay considering his ties with the Royals – but it remains to be seen whether others put pen to paper.

They should be almost resigned to losing Swift though – because he could easily secure a move to a team higher in the second tier following an impressive season – recording 11 goals and 13 assists this term.

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