The reliable club source claim that a central defender is the most likely arrival at the London Stadium, with Sky Sports reporting that Hammers’ target New York Red Bull’s Aaron Long is hopeful of obtaining a work permit.
Claret and Hugh report that should any player leave the club, there is room to add another fresh face to the squad on top of a defender that Pellegrini desperately wants.
With what Pellegrini has seen from his West Ham side in pre-season it comes as no shock to see that he still wants to add a defender to his ranks. The surprise comes from the decision not to strengthen in midfield, an area that has been weakened since the departure of Pedro Obiang. There isn’t a lot of depth in terms of holding midfielders who can anchor the whole team, with Carlos Sanchez the most likely candidate left. The Colombian is not really the player you would look too to come on and affect a game in a positive manner, with his injury problems constantly plaguing his Hammers career. The 33-year-old missed 34 games last season in 215 days of last season [Transfermarkt] and should that happen once again, Pellegrini will be left looking around with no options left. As for another striker, they should be covered, with Sebastien Haller likely to lead the line alone, and have Javier Hernandez and Michail Antonio as back-up options – all three capable of scoring goals with ease. With less than a week left, it looks like it will be a period of stress and hard work, which they will be hoping will end with smiles and a new face at the club.