Revealed: West Ham three-man shortlist amid Pellegrini alarm

By Wayne Veysey

West Ham have compiled a three-man centre-back shortlist after Manuel Pellegrini expressed his alarm at some of the club’s pre-season performances, Football Insider can reveal.

The two players who figure most prominently in the thoughts of Pellegrini and director of football Mario Husillos are Alaves’ Guillermo Maripan and New York Red Bulls’ Aaron Long.

Football Insider revealed this week that the Hammers have also added Cahill to their list of centre-back targets as they look to add reinforcements before next Thursday’s deadline.

A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Pellegrini has made it clear to the club hierarchy he wants an additional proven option to senior men Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena.

Winston Reid is also available but he has been ravaged by injuries in recent years and was omitted from the squad for last night’s 5-3 friendly win against Hertha Berlin.

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West Ham have tabled bids this summer for Maripan and Long but they have yet to finalise a deal and their pursuit of the American is not expected to succeed because of his difficulty in getting a work permit.

A deal for Maripan remains on the cards but, if that does not succeed, the club could turn their attention to landing Cahill, who is available as a free agent after being released by Chelsea in June.

In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club are sweating over the fitness of four senior stars ahead of their Premier League opener.