West Bromwich Albion are working on a number of deals to bring new players to The Hawthorns in the summer transfer window.
In recent comments cited by the Express & Star, the 45-year-old Albion manager revealed that he and his team are still currently active in the summer market, with the Frenchman hoping to bring in at least one more signing prior to the transfer deadline at the end of the month.
The report goes on to state that Ismael is thought to be primarily targeting the signing of a new centre-forward, with Orlando City’s Daryl Dike and Manchester City’s Liam Delap reported to be on his shortlist, however, the Baggies boss claimed he will not be rushed into making any further additions to his side.
He said: “We are still observing the market. We have an idea. We have names on our list. We need to see all the aspects we need to make a transfer.
“The first thing, is it the right player? Does he have the right quality for us? Can we afford to pay for him? There are so many topics involved before we make the decision. But we have time at the minute. We are working on all fronts but there is no rush.”
The Frenchman continued: “I want to stay fair to the guys, they have worked really hard, all the players. I feel that the players want to be part of the process. As long as I have got that feeling, we can wait – we are in no rush.
“Unless there is an injury or something unexpected happens, but at the minute we need to find the right balance. For sure we are looking in [the] market, we are looking at what is going on and what we can afford.”
While two of Ismael’s current options at centre-forward, Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant, have already scored Championship goals this season, both players appear more suited to operating from the wider attacking positions, with Kenneth Zohore being the 45-year-old’s only real candidate as an out-and-out number nine.
As such, the fact that the Frenchman appears to be keen on bringing in a fresh face in this position before the transfer window closes is sure to have fans of the club buzzing.
And, considering how much promise both Dike and Delap appear to possess, the argument that the addition of either player being a very impressive signing for Albion this summer is easy to make.
Indeed, over Delap’s 20 Premier League 2 appearances for Manchester City’s U23 side last season, the £5k-per-week centre-forward scored 24 goals and registered five assists, with the 18-year-old playing a key role in his side winning the Premier League 2 title.
Meanwhile, Dike is a player Ismael already knows extremely well, with the 21-year-old having spent a spell on loan at Barnsley last term, where, over his 19 Championship appearances, the £7.2m-rated striker scored an impressive nine goals.
As such, if it is indeed either of these players that the 45-year-old brings to The Hawthorns this summer, Albion’s chances of securing an immediate return to the top flight of English football would appear to receive a rather significant boost, something that would go down extremely well with the West Brom faithful.