By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 25/05/17 6:58pm
Slaven Bilic wants to add “game-changers” to his West Ham squad this summer as he attempts to mastermind a push for the top-six next season.
The Hammers ended the 2016-17 Premier League campaign in 11th place after enduring a difficult first season at London Stadium.
Sky Sports News HQ understands West Ham are close to completing their first deal of the summer with Pablo Zabaleta in final negotiations to join the club, while they are also interested in signing Manchester City’s £20m-rated forward Kelechi Iheanacho.
Bilic has previously suggested West Ham could be capable of securing a top-six finish next season if they are successful in the transfer market this summer and the Croatian has once again stressed the need for fresh quality in his squad.
“We need quality players. Of course you always need quality players, but sometimes you are buying players for the future, sometimes you are buying players for the squad to be back-ups and all that, but we are good in that department,” he told West Ham TV.
“Okay, we can talk about, if some of the players go, we can refresh the team with new players, but mainly we need the players who are going to improve the quality and be the game-changers.
“There are no guarantees in football, but we need starting XI players in certain positions. We want it all, but those players are very hard to get and they cost a bit.
“They are pretty much the privilege of the big, big, big guns. We have to close our eyes on some things. We can’t expect them to tick all the boxes with a mark 10.”
Bilic added: “We are not (just) starting now, we have been talking for the whole season, monitoring and now it is about time to do it, not necessarily in a couple of weeks but until the finish, until the end of the transfer window.
“We know what positions we want to improve the team. We have a list of the players but it’s not very easy to get them, you know. It looks very positive so far.”