Thursday 18 January 2018

West Ham closing in on signing of Simone Zaza

Simone Zaza is set for a move to West Ham
Simone Zaza is set for a move to West Ham

West Ham expect to complete the signing of Simone Zaza from Juventus later on Friday.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed the 25-year-old Italy striker has agreed personal terms over a switch to east London.

"With the Zaza situation, it looks very likely to happen and should happen today," Bilic said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Manchester City.

"As far as I know the deal is agreed between clubs. The personal terms are also agreed and he is due in London today, so we hope it will be done.

"It's very positive and it's a boost. We've been trying for a long time now to get a top-quality striker and he was always mentioned."

Bilic has been in the market for some firepower after losing Andy Carroll and club-record summer signing Andre Ayew to injuries.

The shortage in attack was clear as West Ham crashed out of the Europa League to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu at the London Stadium on Thursday night.

Bilic added: "With strikers, we are short now because of injuries but those players will come back - some of them very soon.

"Andre Ayew is due back at the end of November, so there is no point in adding too many players in that position."

Bilic has also been without his main creative threats, Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini, but hopes at least one of them will be fit to face City.

Skipper Mark Noble should be available after he rested a minor knock against Astra, but fellow midfielder Havard Nordtveit is set to miss out.

"Nordtveit got a kick on his foot again last night after he got a kick against Chelsea," said Bilic. "He's very likely to be out on Sunday."

"Mark Noble should be all right. With Payet and Lanzini we'll also know tomorrow. Maybe one of them.

"After this game we have an international break for a couple of weeks and we need them. If there is no risk, we'll use them."

Press Association

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