The 2016/17 season is only just over but there is no time to waste as the club prepares for next year. This campaign had some disappointing moments and a number of injury problems so getting the right transfers this summer is vital. It is also crucial that the club hold on to its important players who have impressed and can help improve on this year’s league position. So what early business can we expect from the club?
Pablo Zabaleta has reportedly been given two weeks to make his final decision on whether to join the Hammers from next season. The former Premier League winning right back will leave Manchester City once his contract expires in June and is expected to join West Ham in the summer having agreeed a deal in principle. It is thought to be a two year deal bringing the Argentinians’ experience to the London Stadium and filling a troubled position for the club.
The reported bid of £120,000 for Lincoln City’s Sean Raggett may need to be increased if West Ham are to lure the defender away. The recently crowned National Game’s Young Player of the Year has been the subject of interest from West Brom, Peterborough and Oxford United following his hand in Lincoln’s return to the Football League. When questioned on a reported £100,000 bid from West Brom, Lincoln’s manager Danny Cowley said that it fell below their valuation of the player.
Jonathon Calleri’s year-long loan has come to an end and the 23 year-old will return to Argentina. Although he got minutes in the Hammers attack towards the end of the season the striker failed to impress. Scoring once in January’s 3-1 win at Middlesbrough Calleri continued to be a bit part player until Andy Carroll’s injury late in the season. He then featured heavily in four of the final five games but failed to impress with West Ham scoring just once during that time.
Reports from France suggest that Marseille are keen to bring Andre Ayew to the club as part of their owners latest squad overhaul. After taking Payet off West Ham’s hands in January, the former French champions are looking to bring Ayew back to help challenge for Champions League football next season. The Ghanaian international moved to London after impressing at Swansea but missed a chunk of the early season through injury. Scoring three and assisting twice in his 10 games during the late season shows what he can bring to the side of fit for a full campaign. The forward scored 40 goals in his five seasons with Marseille before moving to the Premier League in 2015.
And one that got away
Former Hammer Jermain Defoe will not be re-joining the club when his contract with Sunderland ends this summer having agreed terms with Bournemouth. The 34 year-old England striker is thought to have agreed to join the south coast club for £130,000 a week. Scoring 17 in 37 appearances for the leagues bottom side this season has shown that he can still cut it at this level but it appears West Ham will have to look at other options. Slaven Bilic was thought to still have interest in Defoe after a failed January bid.