West Ham: Bilic targets 5 signings; ex-Newcastle star to sign; Sakho deal collapses
After the Hammers made their Olympic Stadium debut last night with an impressive 3-0 Europa League victory to put them through to the next qualification round, Slaven Bilic insisted that his squad is far from complete, and he wants at least five more signings before the window slams shut at the end of the month. Speaking to the Evening Standard, he insisted that the Europa League would not be a hindrance to his squad’s chances, but they do need more depth.
It is highly likely that at least two of those additions will be strikers. With Jonathan Calleri’s loan move still not official, he could be one, whilst if a £20 million bid for Swansea striker Andre Ayew is successful, that will make up another of the five.
With a left-back on the way, it remains a mystery where else Bilic is looking to strengthen, though another central defender may be on the cards and a midfielder would not be out of the question. The Hammers have been frustrated in their attempts to bring a striker to London and have been disappointed that it has taken so long without success.
The left-back in question is likely to be Davide Santon, the former Newcastle man who now plays for Inter Milan. He is now believed to be in London to undergo a medical before his loan move is confirmed in the next few days. There are concerns over the medical though, as the Standard point out, after the 25-year-old failed such an examination at Napoli earlier this summer over concerns regarding a recurring knee injury.
Santon has figured extensively in pre-season for Inter though, which may suggest that Napoli were being excessively cautious in pulling out of the deal, and with the Irons set to sign him on a loan deal, the gamble would not be quite as expensive. That said, the Hammers will not want their new signing to pick up a long term injury when he has only signed to replace another injured player.
On the topic of failed medicals, West Ham now face an uphill struggle in their battle to shift forward Diafra Sakho, after a £15 million move to West Brom was called off at the last minute after failing his medical with the Baggies. The Telegraph claim that the club were reluctant to break their club transfer record for a player with such little fitness so close to the season, after the Senegal forward refused to go on tour with the Hammers to force through a move.
The news is a blow for West Ham, who will now struggle to sell the player, after Sunderland’s interest has died down following Sam Allardyce’s departure and concerns over the players fitness cast doubt over his attitude. With a valuation of £15 million, if Sakho is to move on that price may have to be lowered, and his stubbornness may end up costing the club dearly if they can manage to get rid of the want-away forward this summer to make room for other targets.
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