West Ham United chief Slaven Bilic says he wants to bring in at least two new players before the transfer window closes in 11 days.
One of those is likely to be a goalkeeper with Manchester United’s Anders Lindegaard and Irons old boy Rob Green heavily linked with a move to Upton Park.
Above all, Bilic is desperate to land a forward to complement Senegalese frontman Diafra Sakho and former Sochaux striker Modibo Maiga.
Bilic said: “Half of the world is trying to get a striker. Some clubs have a limited budget and some have money to spend but can’t find what they’re looking for. We are trying very hard because we are short in that position. Andy Carroll is still out, Valencia is still out for another 10 weeks and Zarate is injured.”
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Carroll has been out of frontline action for seven months but Bilic says he’s not willing to bring him back prematurely.
“He [Carroll] is not match fit but we are not panicking because we are only two games into the season,” said the 46-year-old. “We are not going to panic buy a striker that we are only going to use for two games. We need someone who is going to play an entire season.
“We are trying hard. We have our standards. We are not going to get someone in that we don’t like just because we have not got enough numbers. We are trying every hour of every day to get someone that we really like.”
Tottenham Hotpsur’s Emmanuel Adebayor is one name that could ease the problem. However, the process of making a transfer is a very difficult one, according to Bilic.
He said: “I watch the player personally because it’s a major part of the job. It’s not only me – I have friends, coaches, managers and journalists who I would contact to tell me about a player that I want and is he good enough. We are trying to get as much information as we possibly can.”
However, a second target, QPR striker Charlie Austin, looks less likely after a heated spat between the striker and West Ham co-owner David Sullivan.
When asked about the striker, Sullivan told a fans’ podcast: “Firstly, we haven’t got £15million to spend under the fair play rules. Secondly, he failed a medical at Hull a couple of years ago.
“They say he has no ligaments in his knee, who knows? To sign a £15million player is a big risk. He could go on for years, but knowing our luck his knee will go in his first game and that’s the end of it.”
Austin hit back at the “outrageous slur” say Sullivan’s comments were uninformed and inaccurate.
In a statement Austin said: “For the record, there is nothing wrong with my ligaments, as has been suggested.
“My strength and performance in pre-season has been excellent and with two goals in my last two games I don’t think there is any doubt that my match sharpness is as good as ever. I scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which would not be possible were I feeling discomfort or pain.”