Premier League

Slaven Bilic: West Ham United “close” to signing left-back replacement

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that he is looking to bring in a new left-back this summer following the loss of Aaron Cresswell to injury.

The 26-year-old has been ruled out of action for up to four months with a knee ligament damage sustained in the pre-season win over Karlsruher SC last week.

West Ham have been linked with an array of replacement options at the back, including both Kieran Gibbs and Ludwig Augustinsson in recent days, but both approaches were said to have been unsuccessful.

Bilic claims that the Hammers have been on the lookout for a left-back all summer, although he is expecting the search to end shortly with a move said to be “close” for an unnamed player.

“We were looking to strengthen our squad in that area, even before Aaron got injured as it was the only position that we didn’t have options,” he told reporters. “Aaron is a very fit player and since he joined the club a couple of seasons ago, he has only missed one game and Carl Jenkinson had to play on the left side.

 “We were looking to bring someone in to have competition with Cressy. We like to have two good players in every position. We are not the only ones looking for a new left back and it is hard to find a good player who we like. With Cressy get inured it has now become a priority and we have a few options there.

“Players like Sam Byram, Angelo Ogbonna and Havard Nordtveit can play there but it is not their natural position. We are close to getting one of the new players.”

West Ham are in action on Thursday evening when taking on NK Domzale in their first competitive fixture at their new Olympic Stadium home.

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