Bilic warns trans­fer hopes for Bony, Zaza & Mi­lan star Car­los de­pend on vic­tory over As­tra


SLAVEN BILIC knows tonight’s Europa League show­down against As­tra Gi­urgiu could have a big im­pact on West Ham’s trans­fer deal­ings.

The Croa­t­ian has al­ready con­firmed a loan move for Manch­ester City’s Wil­fried Bony and an in­ter­est in Ju­ven­tus and Italy front­man Si­mone Zaza.

The con­tin­u­ing saga of striker Car­los Bacca, how­ever, has yet to reach a con­clu­sion.

The Ham­mers still want the 29-year-old Colom­bian, who in­sisted this week he now wants to stay at AC Mi­lan, but could yet be tempted if West Ham reach the Europa League group stages.

An of­fer of around £96,000 a week plus bonuses – dou­ble his salary at Mi­lan – has been on the ta­ble for weeks.

But Bacca has been stalling for a bet­ter of­fer from a big­ger club. That has not been forth­com­ing.

And, af­ter see­ing Bacca start his sea­son with a hat-trick against Torino last week­end, Ham­mers chair­man David Sul­li­van – mak­ing calls from his hospi­tal bed af­ter a mi­nor heart op – re­mains hope­ful. But Bilic says he will not beg the for­ward to solve their cri­sis up front.

“We’ve tried,” he said. “It’s be­come a lit­tle bit of a saga. I was the one who called it off three weeks ago in Aus­tria.

“I wanted him, of course, but I don’t want to have to drag play­ers to West Ham.

“We are not Real Madrid or Manch­ester United, but we are a good club and a proud club with play­ers who are proud to play for us.

“Lots of play­ers want to come to West Ham, believe me. They are call­ing me ev­ery day.

“So, I was the one who said there was no point con­tin­u­ing with Bacca. We are not go­ing to beg any­one to play for us.” City are happy for Bony, 27, to leave be­cause the Ivory Coast striker has no fu­ture un­der Pep Guardi­ola. Bilic (be­low) said: “He’s a good player, he’s an op­tion be­cause we tried to sign a cen­tre-for­ward even be­fore the cur­rent in­juries.” Zaza scored five times in Serie A for Ju­ven­tus last sea­son and was part of Italy’s Euro 2016 squad.

Bilic con­firmed an ap­proach to Ju­ven­tus for Zaza, with the 25-year-old keen on a move to the Lon­don Sta­dium.

Bilic added: “I’m not go­ing to tell you the de­tails, but we have been linked with Zaza since last year. He’s a top player and I like him. I was here last year, so it tells you ev­ery­thing.

“We will see if it hap­pens this year in the next few days.”

Chelsea’s Loic Remy (left) may be a fall­back loan op­tion for the Ham­mers – if they fail to land their pri­mary tar­gets.

Remy, 29, is avail­able af­ter fail­ing to fea­ture in any of An­to­nio Conte’s Premier League squads this sea­son.

LON­DON CALL­ING Bacca, Bony and Zaza are on the Slaven Bilic wanted list, but West Ham must de­liver tonight

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.