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Hammers hope to keep Song


Midfielder Alex Song impressed during his loan spell at West Ham last season

Midfielder Alex Song impressed during his loan spell at West Ham last season

Midfielder Alex Song impressed during his loan spell at West Ham last season

West Ham hope to strike a deal with Barcelona to keep midfielder Alex Song at the club next season.

On Wednesday the Irons confirmed the signing of Spain Under-21 midfielder Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria, the f irst player to join since the announcement of Slaven Bilic as the east London club's new manager.

The West Ham board remain committed to further strengthening the squad ahead of a campaign which will kick off at the start of July with the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

Co-chairman David Sullivan told the club's official website, www.whufc.com, they remain very much on the case to retain 27-year-old former Arsenal player Song, who impressed on a loan spell last season.

"I can assure you we have not given up on Alex Song yet. Before Christmas Alex was outstanding and if we believe we can get him back to that sort of form and maybe with a new manager we can, we would very much like Alex to come," Sullivan said.

"We are very thin on the ground with midfielders. You do get injuries and you need back-up. We have got Europe and other games that we want to win.

"There was not enough competition for places last season and this year we don't want the same again. If the players have a bad game they will have to fight for their position back."

West Ham have been linked with the likes of Besiktas winger Olcay Sahan, Chelsea striker Loic Remy and French International Yohan Cabaye.

Co-chairman David Gold, meanwhile, believes stepping up the calibre within the Irons' squad will send a strong signal to the rest of the Barclays Premier League that they mean business as they look towards a move to the Olympic Stadium for 2016/2017.

"We are showing our intent and we want just want to put a bit of fear into the top teams who have remained unchallenged," Gold said.

"We want them to start looking over their shoulder and see a club like West Ham who want to challenge."

Bilic's appointment is expected to be rubber-stamped next week after a work permit hearing for the Croatian, who will soon confirm his backroom staff, which could include some former West Ham players.

Meanwhile, despite already being a firm favourite with the Hammers' fans following a spell at the club in the late 1990s, Bilic has been warned by ex-boss Sam Allardyce, who left the club in the summer, to prepare for a backlash should results not go to plan.

PA Media