West Ham have made an undeniably slow start to the transfer market this summer, with free agent Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart on a season-long loan from Manchester City the sole two additions.
With players such as Nordviet being sold and Oxford going out on loan, many others are also rumoured to be on the way out, including Sakho, Carroll, Snodgrass, Collins, Valencia and Feghouli – the latter reportedly close to a £5 million move to Galatasaray.
This is much to the anger of fans that have been venting their frustration on social media, though I do believe the board will honour their word in purchasing some quality players from the market.
However, promising moves have already been halted- a move for Kelechi Iheanacho has stumbled due to City’s insistence on a buy-back clause, which has made Leicester his likely destination. Likewise, a move for Anthony Modeste has collapsed due to Koln’s demand of £40 million for the 29 year old, and now the player has completed a big money move to China.
The news of Arsenal’s purchase of Lacazette from Lyon will be music to the ears of Hammers fans as this could speed up the capture of Giroud. Arsenals interest in Riyad Mahrez would also free up winger Theo Walcott who is another reported target.
One move I would expect West Ham to make is the signing of former Manchester United hit man Javier Hernández who has been told he can leave Bayern Leverkusen for £13 million due to his release cause. He has been a target of the Hammers since his time at United and is now available for a bargain price, Gold and Sullivan would be mad not to go after him to bolster the attack for Bilic.
The list goes on of reported striker targets for West Ham from Burnley’s Andre Gray to Villereal’s Bakumbu. For West Ham to truly succeed next season two of these players need to be signed. Ideally it would be Giroud and Hernandez they would bring great experience and quality in leading the West Ham line next season. However Hernandez seems the most likely at the moment as his wages are being negotiated.
However Bilic has set his sights on a couple of midfielders to strengthen his deck. A tricky fast winger is wanted at the club to help fill the hole left by Dimitri Payet. Adama Traore and Theo Walcott have been linked and have appeared close. Another target of the Hammers is City’s Fabian Delph to replace the departed Nordviet. This could be a good move for all parties if Delph is able to recapture his Aston Villa form in a new Claret and Blue.
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However the attentions of West Ham have turned towards Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City who has handed in a transfer request at the club as he tries to force a move away. The Hammers have reportedly agreed a £24m deal for the Austrian ace – so could this deal spark a spending spree for Bilic and co?
West Ham appear to have moved quickly having had a reported £28m bid accepted for Lazio star Kieta Balde Daio – leaving the Senegalese player to choose between them and Inter Milan. Signing Keita would be a massive signing for the Hammers and a club-record fee. The winger who can also play upfront has finished a great season in Rome scoring 16 goals and registering three assists.
Could this be the West Ham team to push for European football next season?
Hart, Zabaleta, Reid (C), Ogbonna, Cresswell, Obiang, Kouyate, Kieta Balde, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Hernandez.
Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Fonte, Noble, Antonio, Ayew and Carroll
Written by Henry Tomlinson.