West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has revealed that he is interested in signing both Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony and Juventus’ Simone Zaza in order to combat the club’s current injury crisis, according to reports from 90min.
Summer signing Andre Ayew, who joined in a £20.5m deal from Swansea, has been ruled out until December with a thigh injury, while Andy Carroll is also set to miss six weeks through a knee injury.
Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho is also working his way back to full-fitness, after refusing to train with the Hammers during pre-season.
The lengthy injury list meant that the ineffectual Enner Valencia had to lead the line as a sole striker against Bournemouth on Sunday, with youngsters Ashley Fletcher and Jonathan Calleri acting as cover from the bench.
Speaking to reporters before West Ham’s Europa League 2nd leg tie with Astra Giurgiu on Thursday, as quoted by West Ham’s official website, Bilic said:
“We have a couple of players we are trying to do a deal with. We are in a period where we are missing a number of our offensive players. We are short of numbers, but after the international break some of them should be back.”
“In terms of signing someone we are not panicking but if something good comes up for us quality-wise, long-term-wise and financial-wise, we are going to act.”
When questioned about the prospect of signing Simone Zaza, Bilic replied:
“I am not going to tell you the details, but we were linked with him last year also. He’s a top player, I like him, and I was here last year so it tells you everything. We were in contact with him last year, it didn’t happen, we will see this year.”
The Hammers boss went on to reveal that out-of-favour Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony is also an option, as he aims to bolster his squad before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month.
“He [Bony] is an option, because he plays the position that we’ve tried to sign a player, even before the injuries. I don’t negotiate, I just say to the Chairman and Tony Henry, we talk and then they do it!” Bilic concluded.