As we head into our final match of the season with another top 6 finish a real possibility, I once again catch up with our man-in-the-know ExWHUemployee, ahead of a hopefully very busy summer transfer window.
So Ex it’s almost our final game of yet another brilliant season, and I have to ask again on our defender situation and rumours surrounding the future of Craig Dawson, what can you tell us?
Well I’ll start with Dawson, now there was talk from a decent source of mine that he may well be looking to relocate back up north to be with his family. I must stress that I haven’t had this confirmed though, and whenever I release news I have it verified by a number of people. Now sadly in this case this was just something I mentioned on the podcast and unfortunately this was then put out as fact by others.
In my honest opinion Mark I would be very surprised if he moved on from West Ham now, especially after again qualifying for Europe and having such a fantastic season for us.
With regards to Issa Diop, it’s my understanding that if a decent replacement can be found, then I believe the club will look to move him on. It is thought he would still command a decent fee and there are a number of clubs interested including some serious interest already displayed from France, including our Europa league opponents Lyon.
Another defender making some headlines is our former player and Academy graduate, Reece Oxford. What are your thoughts on him and the chances of a possible return to East London?
Firstly I have been really impressed with Oxford, he’s done very well in Germany this season and has been receiving some very good reviews. There is definitely talk of him wanting to return to England, potentially with us. Whilst there are people at West Ham who still rate him very highly at this stage I don’t believe he would be prepared to return at this point.
Moving onto contracts Ex, I have read that the club are now in talks to offer Jarrod Bowen a deserved new deal. What can you tell us on that?
Yes the club are very keen to offer Bowen a new deal and get him signed up, like they are with others. Now at this stage there isn’t much to report as I don’t believe the negotiations have progressed but the talks will continue over the summer.
Another item many fans have asked me to put to you is regarding the London Stadium, and the possibility of UK Athletics leaving us to be the sole tenants. What are your thoughts on the situation and do you think this is positive news?
Yes Mark I think this is very good news. I believe as the years go by West Ham will have more and more sole use and ownership of the stadium, allowing us to make changes more easily. I know that there are already plans in place to do this.
That’s very good to hear! Finally Ex, I wanted to get your thoughts on the final game and mainly our chances of a top 6 finish this season.
For me I think the main difficulty is for us to beat our bogey side Brighton, who have a great manager and have hit a real good bit of form.
I think Palace, who still have league positions to play for and are managed by a nemesis of Manchester United in Patrick Viera, will beat what has to be the worst Manchester United team I can actually remember! I just think we will have to be at our very best to beat Brighton, but if we can then top 6 should be ours.
Ex, finally with lots of rumours constantly ongoing, can you give us an update on the striker hunt situation?
Well Mark with Dennis of Watford, we’ve reported on the podcast this is a target that we have looked at for a while after being impressed with him in for Watford this year.
A transfer fee has not been agreed so like the other targets we are testing the water to see what the expectations are.
Although not a striker, I can say the club are showing an interest in Piotr Zielinkski who is a Polish midfielder. However Liverpool are also said to be interested in his signature.