Manuel Pellegrini is still seeking to bolster West Ham’s squad despite the London club having already signed seven players in pre-season.
Pellegrini made his intentions clear on Tuesday in his first press conference since being appointed as manager of the Hammers last month.
The 64-year-old Chilean was flanked by Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson and former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, two of the new players who’ve arrived at the London Stadium ahead of the Premier League campaign for a combined total of some £100 million ($131 million, 112 million euros).
“We are trying to build a strong squad. We know the Premier League is not easy and you don’t just need a team, you need a squad,” said Pellegrini.
“We have seven new players but we have three important players injured, so until the last day to bring in players we will try to build as strong squad as possible,” the former Manchester City manager added in a thinly-veiled message to Hammers co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to keep spending, especially as Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid are all currently sidelined.
Pellegrini, who guided City to the Premier League title in 2014, quit his post at Chinese side Hebei China Fortune to return to England, where his task now will be to oversee a West Ham revival after the club flirted with relegation from the top flight under Slaven Bilic and David Moyes last season.
“There are lots of reasons why I accepted the offer of West Ham. I know what West Ham is in English football,” said Pellegrini.
“I know that they need to improve so it’s a challenge for me also, and in the first conversation I had with David Sullivan and (vice-chairman) Karren Brady, they convinced me they had a very good project here and they wanted me to be in front.
“That’s when I decide to take it.
“I know West Ham fans always like attractive, offensive football so maybe that was one of the reasons why the owner brought me in to manage the team.”
Wilshere, 26, moved across the capital from Arsenal to join West Ham, the club he supported as a boy, on a free transfer.
“Whenever I left Arsenal before on loan I would always ask my agent if West Ham were interested,” said Wilshere.
“This time, West Ham were interested and when I spoke with Manuel, it was an easy decision,” the England international added.
Meanwhile Anderson, who joined from Rome club Lazio, said he had been well aware of West Ham before joining the club.
“I have watched a lot of the Premier League before and have been following (former) players at West Ham like Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez for a while,” he explained.
“When the offer came I was very interested in it. Also to have a manager such as Manuel, someone like him to be interested in me, it seemed like a perfect place to come.”