West Ham Utd boss Slaven Bilic is currently earning praise for his insightful TV punditry while in France for the European Championship – but he’s another mission while he’s out there.
West Ham’s pre-tournament shopping spree ended in frustration. The club failed to landing the frontman they seek – so Bilic is using his opportunity to scout for talent.
Dinamo Zagreb teenager – and fellow countryman – Ante Coric, an attacking midfielder, may be one of the purchases Bilic brings back through customs. It is understood there’s a £10million deal to be made – although his home club want more.
Bilic told ITV Sport: “We aren’t going to judge the players just based on their performances at the European Championships, but it will definitely help us to make our decision.
“We tried to do some business before the Euros, but it was impossible; it didn’t happen.
“But we are not panicking. We have a good team - if we can add something to that team to make us better than OK. If we don’t, we have a good team.”
His assertion was underscored by the man of the match performance by Dimitri Payet in France’s curtain raiser against Romania. Payet’s inch perfect free kick that secured the win for the host team left the player in tears.
Bilic told him before the tournament he would be the best player there. “I wasn’t wrong, was I?” he said afterwards.
Meanwhile, back at home, co-chairman David Sullivan continues to track those players not involved in the championship – with Theo Walcott still a person of interest depending on whether Jamie Vardy pushes him further down the pecking order with a shock move to Arsenal.
His fellow co-chairman David Gold told the club's website : "I want to assure our fans that we are continuing to work hard behind the scenes as we look to bring in new players.
"There is a lot of hard work involved, but David Sullivan and Slaven Bilic will be doing everything to bring in the players we need to help us grow even stronger."