By Alex Taylor
Slaven Bilic has ruled himself West Ham of the running for French striker Alexandre Lacazette but has stated the club will clinch the signing of Argentine forward Jonathan Calleri.
The Hammers have been linked with a move for Lacazette all summer, with Sky Sports reporting that Bilic has previously lodged a £31million bid for the forward.
The Croatian boss has now turned his attentions towards Calleri, who told told ESPN last week that he was close to completing a loan move to West Ham.
“100 per cent we will not go for Lacazette,” Bilic said on Thursday morning, as quoted by the official West Ham Twitter account. “We will sign Calleri and he will be with us pretty soon depending on the work permit.”
SB: “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.
— West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) August 11, 2016
The 22-year-old Argentine attacker was most recently at Sao Paulo, where he finished as top scorer in the 2016 Copa Libertadores with nine goals.
The youngster is currently in Rio de Janeiro, competing in the Olympic Games as part of Argentina’s Under-23 team.
Calleri, who is yet to make any Argentina appearances, has attracted Premier League interest since scoring 21 goals in 53 matches for former club Boca Juniors.
He has since been loaned to Sao Paulo for six months via Uruguayan club Deportivo Maldonado and 10 matches for the Brazilian side in 2016 yielded an impressive eight goals.
Bilic has been in the hunt for a proven goalscorer all summer, and has been linked with the likes of Carlos Bacca, Mario Gomes, Andre Ayew, Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi, , Theo Walcott as well as a sensational east London return for Carlos Tevez.
On Monday evening they announced the signing of Swansea striker Andre Ayew for £20.5million.
That breaks London club’s transfer record by £5million, as it usurps the £15.5million spent on signing Andy Carroll from Liverpool in 2013.
In other West Ham transfer news, they have revived their move for a Serie A goals ace and have a £21million bid lined up.