Slaven Bilic makes emphatic decision on future of West Ham 25-year-old
By Matt Farr
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Italy international flop Simone Zaza has already played his final game for the club.
The 25-year-old joined the Hammers on loan from Juventus in the summer, but has failed to impress since arriving at the Olympic Stadium, failing to score in 11 appearances.
The Mirror understands that West Ham will be obligated to pay Juventus a £17million fee to sign him on a permanent basis, should he make a certain number of appearances for the club in his loan period.
Zaza has not featured for the club since the EFL Cup defeat to Manchester United on November 30, and that is thought to be because of the clause in his contract.
The 16-time capped Italy international is expected to leave West Ham this month, with Slaven Bilic admitting that his time at the club was up.
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He told the Mirror: “He is still our player until he goes somewhere, but mainly because of the situation with his contract he is finished here.
“Unfortunately, we had to judge him on six, seven, eight games which is not a big pattern to judge a player in general.”
Zaza is not likely to remain at Juventus for much longer either, and Sky Sports reported at the end of last month that the striker could be joining Valencia on loan until the end of the season when his West Ham deal is cut short.
Slaven Bilic has already begun his search for Zaza’s replacement, lining up the likes of Jermain Defoe, Moussa Dembele and Scott Hogan as potential targets.
The Daily Mail claim that the Hammers have already made bids for both Defoe and Hogan, while Celtic are demanding as much as £30million for premier goalscorer Dembele.
In other West Ham news, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has made his prediction for the Hammers’ FA Cup clash with Manchester City.