Good evening.
Here is a round-up of West Ham related stories gathered from newspapers and the internet on Thursday 22/12/16.

Sakho ruled out for considerable period.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Diafra Sakho will be ruled out of action for a considerable period after he underwent surgery on a back injury. Bilic said: “He (Sakho) has a back problem and it will rule him out, six-eight weeks, maybe 10 weeks, we are talking about even March for him to be back.

What do the club do now that Sakho is injured again?

Bilic confident on Payet future.

Slaven Bilic says West Ham United will be doing everything to keep Dimitri Payet at the Club and insists he is a crucial part of the first-team squad. Bilic said: “That is our statement. We don’t want to sell him. He is our top player and like with any other player, especially great ones, there is speculation. He has a long contract and we will do everything we can to ensure he stays with us. “West Ham are showing a strong statement that we want to keep our best player but you can’t stop the speculation.

“We all knew it would happen – stories, rumours in the media. That’s why it was important the board said they wanted to keep him. “I spoke to him a few times of course. He plays every game for us and has a long contract. We treat him the best possible way, he knows we want him to stay.

What do you think will happen with Payet? Will he stay or go?

Antonio – Performances are picking up.

Michail Antonio insists the Christmas spirit is well and truly alive in the West Ham United dressing room as the players prepare to head to Swansea City on Boxing Day. There is definitely a feel-good factor around the place at the moment,” says Antonio. “We’ve started to get results when we feel we should be getting them, and the performances are picking up.

“We’ve got to keep it going now and build the confidence, hopefully with another three points at Swansea. “It’s been a great year for me personally but I’ve got to keep performing,” he added. “That’s one thing I’ve always told myself, that I’ve got to keep working hard, and keep up those levels.”

What do you think about our latest performances?

Report suggests that West Ham are closely monitoring 21-year-old Ghanaian.

Reports emanating from France today suggest that the Hammers are interested in signing AIK Fotboll midfielder Ebenezer Ofori. And, according to Mercato365, the highly-rated Ghanaian is being closely monitored by the East Londoners, whilst French Ligue 1 clubs Caen and Lorient have made enquiries as to the availability of the midfielder.

He is an accomplished central midfielder, with discipline and the ability to snuff out any kind of threat from the opposition being his two main strengths.

West Ham have expressed interest in Brentford striker Scott Hogan.

The 24-year-old has been impressing with his performances and goals at Griffin Park and Brentford will sell for around £10million. Reading, Brighton, Norwich and Derby have all shown keen interest in the former Rochdale forward but Hogan is eager to step up a level should he leave Brentford, saying: ‘I think the teams I’ve been linked with are Championship teams. I don’t want to play Championship football all my career.

‘I wouldn’t leave for a Championship club unless Brentford do it. That’s not my problem.’ Hogan is understood to have already checked out accommodation closer to West Ham’s training ground with a move to the London Stadium appealing to him.

Is this the kind of deal we should be looking for? Should we be looking for British players from lower leagues?

West Ham keeping tabs on 21-year-old midfielder.

Ebenezer Ofori has become a stalwart at AIK over the past couple of seasons, and at 21 years of age, still has a lot of time to improve. This is why, after his second full season, a few clubs around Europe are taking an interest in his services, according to Mercato 365, including Slaven Bilic’s West Ham.

The French website report that both Caen and Lorient in Ligue 1 have enquired about the player’s availability, while the Hammers, Hamburg and FC Krasnodar are also said to be following Ofori’s development. The versatile defensive midfielder, who can also play on either side of midfield, and even at left-back if needs be, has made 101 appearances for the Swedish side since his arrival, and Mercato 365 claim a move away is expected this winter.

West Ham United consider Darijo Srna swoop.

West Ham United are reportedly prepared to battle Manchester City and Barcelona for the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk full-back Darijo Srna. Srna, who represented Croatia on 134 occasions between 2002 and 2016, has spent the last 13 years with Shakhtar, winning eight Ukrainian titles in the process.

His current deal will expire at the end of the season, however, and it is understood that Shakhtar will accept a cut-price bid for the experienced right-back when the January transfer window opens for business. Man City and Barcelona were said to be going head-to-head for the 34-year-old, but according to the Daily Star, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, who made Srna captain of Croatia in 2009, will attempt to use his close relationship with the defender to bring him to the London Stadium.