Hammers fans will be waking up happy this morning with Dimitri Payet stating that he will be staying at West Ham and will be starring in the Olympic Stadium throughout next season. He told the Sun,
“I love West Ham. We had a fantastic season and I can’t wait to play in the Olympic Stadium. I’m 100 per cent staying at West Ham, I love the club. I can tell the Hammers fans that.”
After a superb debut season, the playmaker impressed at the Euros and was said to be attracting attention from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona but looks set to stay. The news is the best that Slaven Bilic could get, with the Frenchman vital to his plans for next season. At 29, he may be reaching his last chance for a big move, but he seems keen to remain in East London and co-owner David Sullivan has also spoken of hopes to offer him a new deal should he maintain his form this season.
Bilic has suffered a major setback though with AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca said to be desperate to play Champions League football this season with West Ham facing Spanish competition for his signature. The Standard claim that whilst the Hammers have had a £26 million bid accepted by the Italian giants, the Colombian is holding out for other offers with Atletico Madrid tracking his situation.
Having scored 16 goals in a struggling team last season, and won the Europa League the year before at Sevilla, Bacca undoubtedly has the quality that the London club are looking for. That said, Bacca is in no hurry to complete a move and West Ham will be hoping to get a quality striker in before they kick off their Europa League campaign to give them time to adapt, and Bacca could well wait himself out of a move.
One player who is said to be desperate for a move to the Premier League is Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen. The injury prone Belgian has made just 21 appearances over 2 seasons at the Camp Nou, and the Catalan club are keen to cut their losses after signing Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti. The Express claim that West Ham are making a move for the left sided central defender, but he is waiting out for a potential return to the Emirates.
Whilst Vermaelen is a quality and experienced option for the Hammers, his injury record speaks for itself, and he is unlikely to come cheap to the Olympic Stadium. Such a signing could prove a major gamble, which would be a great success if it pays off, but an expensive mistake if not.
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