West Ham boss claims striker wanted Arsenal switch

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that his side missed out on signing Carlos Bacca in the summer because the South American was holding out for a move to Arsenal.

The Hammers were busy in the summer window reinforcing Bilic’s squad and made no bones about their desire to land a reputable new number nine.

Simone Zaza joined the London club’s ranks late in the window, signing a year-long loan deal from Italian champions Juventus.

The Italy international may well get his Premier League debut this weekend as West Ham face Watford, but according to Bilic, it could all have been so different.

The Croatian manager has confessed that his side had a host of targets to fill their striking berth this season.

“On our list were [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Simone] Zaza, Bacca and [Michy] Batshuayi, but I knew it would be difficult to buy them,” Bilic told MilanNews.

“We wanted Zaza in September of last year, but Juventus had no intention of selling him, then we turned our attention to Lacazette and then Bacca, but we weren’t the Colombian’s first choice.

“He was waiting for Arsenal or Atletico Madrid and then ultimately decided to stay at Milan, but we’re very happy because we got Zaza, who was our first choice a year ago.”

Arsenal opted to sign Lucas Perez this summer to reinforce their options in the final third, while Bacca has stayed at Milan despite being linked with a San Siro exit.