Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette was one of West Ham’s early targets of the summer – but no longer.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has called off the hunt – leaving Arsenal to attempt to prise the frontman away from a club which keeps bumping up the price to ensure the 25-year-old stays put. Latest figure – around £60million.
However, that doesn’t signal the end of the supermarket sweep by Slaven with Argentine Jonathan Calleri heading to the club and “one more player” to bolster a squad facing a legion of world-class opposition in the season ahead.
Bilic said: “100 per cent we will not go for Lacazette. We will sign Calleri and he will be with us pretty soon depending on the work permit.
“He is a top striker and we have a good balance in the squad. We have a big couple of weeks in front of us with five big games.”
Along with £20million Andre Ayew from Swansea , West Ham signed left-back Arthur Masuaku from Olympiakos this week, providing vital cover for Aaron Cresswell who will miss much of the early season with a knee injury.
“I said we would add five players to the squad,” Bilic added. “We were expecting a few to come back from injury and it was planned to sign a left-back.
“We were lacking options there and we really wanted to do it. I spoke to the chairman and maybe we need one more player.”
West Ham can watch the opening games on Saturday in relative comfort before they begin their own challenge with a formidable match-up against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a club not likely to implode like last time. Chelsea are 4/6 favourites with West Ham 9/2 for the win.