As England get set to face France in the World Cup Quarter Finals, I catch up with ExWHUEmployee to discuss the latest goings on in East London.

Ex, there has been a lot of talk this week that the club have agreed a deal for Sao Paulo defender Luizao. What can you share on this move? 

It is a strange one this. We have been in discussions with Sao Paulo for a long time, as we reported back in November. These discussions seem to be around us not wanting to pay a compensation fee and rather his Brazilian team taking a sell on percentage instead and preventing the fee being decided by a tribunal.

The player is out of contract at the end of January but at 20 years of age his Brazilian club would be entitled to compensation, agreed by a tribunal, with West Ham preferring to avoid that and offer a percentage of future sales.

These negotiations have been going on for a while now and reports out of Brazil appeared to suggested that it is a done deal to West Ham and we have beaten a host of other teams to the signature. As far as I am aware there are a few conflicting reports in the club but we expect to sign him although the deal is not fully agreed yet.

The player is officially contracted until the end of January and could still accept a contract from his Brazilian team in that time (despite turning down many offers already) and he needs to obtain a work permit.

So whilst West Ham expect the transfer to happen, following a successful scouting period in Brazil by Rob Newman, the deal isn’t completely done as of writing this (Friday 9th December).

With January fast approaching Ex can you see the club exploring the loan market to help bolster the ranks? 

The club have stated that due to the summer spending we will not have a large budget to spend. The loan market is one we expect to explore and we have space for the maximum allocated loans having not taken any this summer.

It is thought that the right-back situation could be a main focus. Harrison Ashby is expected to leave and join Newcastle and Coufal’s future is unclear. We were firmly in for Torino’s Ola Aina in the summer and this could be revisited.

We also like Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Manchester United and a possible loan move could be explored there. Celtic’s Josip Juranović has caught the eye this World Cup with his performances, alongside West Ham player (currently on loan at Torino) Nikola Vlasic for Croatia and might be considered a “bargain”.

I have been told that the board could find money for players that both they and Moyes agree is a “bargain” and that players whose contracts are expiring may be explored too. The centre back situation could be interesting and will depend on whether Craig Dawson stays for the remainder of the season and the fitness of Kurt Zouma (unknown return date) and now Aguerd.

There has also been talk of another forward potentially moving to the club. How much we have to spend will also depend on whether we can agree some player sales: Coufal, Lanzini, Vlasic, Masuaku and Randolph all potentially available to generate some cash.

A player who seems to be heading to the exit id Harrison Ashby. What is the latest on his situation?

As far as I am aware the club will look to cash in on him in January because he can leave for free in the summer. Newcastle are very keen on the player and have dropped interest in other young right backs (including one at Leeds) to finalise Ashby’s terms. Unless we can agree a new contract with him (which seems very unlikely) I would expect him to move to the Geordies.

One player who has caught the eye in Qatar is Lucas Paqueta, who is utilised in a deeper role for Brazil. What are you thoughts and do you think this should be the same role at West Ham?  

I thought Lucas had a very good World Cup and obviously his last major contribution was a great assist for Neymar’s goal against Croatia. He seems much more suited to a deeper more central midfield role and this is what I hope Moyes tries to do with him now that he is returning to the squad.

I would possibly like to see hind and Soucek swap positions with the Czech further forward to try and recapture his scoring form.

Finally Ex can I ask what you want for Christmas this year? Also is there any gift you didn’t receive when you was younger that you wish you’d got? 

The perfect Christmas and birthday (as oddly mine and Dave’s birthdays are both Xmas eve) would be the Boxing Day 3 points at The Emirates and then a great remainder of the season after that!

Now that my family members are returning to health after a very difficult 2 years for me there isn’t much that I want. In terms of perfect presents for others I can recommended a year long Patreon Subscription or a copy of our book “High, Lows and Di Canio’s”.
I can’t think of a present I have always wanted and yet to receive! Perhaps West Ham actually winning something but then they has affected us all rather than just me.