By Will Butcher
Slaven Bilic has revealed that West Ham are weighing up a decision to sign striker Jonathan Calleri on a permanent deal, despite a difficult loan spell.
Calleri, 23, is currently on a season-long loan from Uruguayan second division side Deportivo Maldonado.
The news will come as a shock to West ham fans after he’s been seen as a flop this season. In 11 Premier League appearances he’s scored just one goal and hasn’t started once, and it was expected that he would leave the club after his loan spell.
However, speaking ahead of West Ham’s clash against Sunderland on Saturday, Bilic told his press conference that the club are considering signing the Argentinian permanently.
“We’re going to see about Jonathan Calleri [keeping him long term]. He’s a very good professional. He is not a regular but he never dropped 1% of energy,” Bilic told West Ham’s official Twitter account.
BILIC: "We're going to see about @Jocalleri. He's a very good professional. He is not a regular but he never dropped 1% of energy."
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 13, 2017
Making 16 league and cup appearances for the Hammers this season, Calleri could be in line to start against David Moyes’ side on Sunday after Michail Antonio was ruled out.
It remains to be seen if there was a clause in Calleri’s contract that would give him the option to stay in east London on a permanent basis, after reportedly interesting other clubs in January.
Following their win against Swansea last weekend, the Hammers will be looking to make it two from two against rock bottom Sunderland as they look to push themselves away from a relegation battle.
Three points for Calleri’s side could see the Hammer climb to a much safer 10th place, if Watford, Leicester, Burnley and Stoke all drop points.
In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers and Everton have received a boost in their pursuit of this £15million-rated goalkeeper.