Friday, May 25, 2018

Hammers fear Diame exit in January; Berlusconi cools Balotelli rumours

Premier League newboys West Ham United are fully aware they may lose midfielder Mohamed Diame in the January transfer window, but only if the price is right, Sky Sports understands.

Diame, 25, joined West Ham on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic following the expiration of his contract at the DW Stadium last season.

According to reports, the Senegal international is attracting interest from a bevy of clubs, fueling speculation that he could be on his way out of Upton Park come January.

Hammers co-chairman David Gold revealed on Twitter that Diame has a release clause in his current three-year contract, which will surely just garner more interest in the 25-year-old midfielder.

Meanwhile, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce insisted that a big-money bid for Diame would make the club ‘powerless’ due to the size of the price.

“I don’t disclose players’ contracts publicly. There’s always a situation where you’re powerless to keep a player because of the size of the price,” said Allardyce.

“You can’t turn it down. The chairman says, ‘Look, we can’t turn that down, Sam – we’ve got to move him on’.”

Diame, who represented Senegal at the London 2012 Olympics, has featured in every Premier League match for the Hammers this season, starting 15 of 16 league fixtures and finding the back of the net on not one, but two occasions.

Berlusconi cools Balotelli rumours

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has played down reports linking the Rossoneri with a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli in January, while clarifying that he does not dream about the Italy international at night, Sky Sports reports.

“My words have been misinterpreted. I do not dream about Balotelli at night,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“There are no negotiations going on because he will cost too much and we cannot afford him.”

According to various Italian media outlets, Balotelli is wanted by Serie A trio AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, but City have repeatedly insisted that the 22-year-old is not for sale.

Balotelli has struggled to find his goal-scoring form in the English Premier League this term. As a consequence, he’s bagged just one goal in 13 league appearances for the defending league champions in 2012-13.

The Italian striker is by no means lighting it up in other competitions, with just two goals to his name in six combined apperances in the Capital One Cup and UEFA Champions League.

To make matters worse for Balotelli, he was substituted after 52 minutes against Manchester United on Sunday, with City scoring both of their goals in a 3-2 defeat to United after the Italian joined compatriot Roberto Mancini on the bench.

Is Balotelli set to leave the Etihad Stadium in January?


Shawn Etemadi



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