West Ham boss Slaven Bilic keen to add quality in midfield

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he will only buy to improve his starting XI

Slaven Bilic says West Ham have offloaded players this summer in order to make room for a “quality” central midfielder.

West Ham are in talks with Sporting Lisbon for Portugal international William Carvalho. The 25-year-old midfielder has scored nine goals in 137 appearances for the club in four seasons and has a £40m release clause in his contract.

When asked if the club were any closer to signing the Euro 2016 winner, Bilic said: "Nothing new. I am not frustrated. It is a position we have been trying to do that (strengthen) for a couple of seasons now. We need someone to boost our team, quality and everything.

Carvalho was a key part of the Portugal team which won the European Championships last season
Image: William Carvalho was a key part of the Portugal team which won Euro 2016

"We need that position and that is why we have offloaded some players to get the budget for him. I am not talking about the player (Carvalho), I am talking about the player for that position. The quality player not the quantity one. It is not easy to get them but we are doing our best."

This summer West Ham have already brought in Javier Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta who have all gone straight into the starting XI.

Bilic says he wants to bring quality into his squad rather than quantity and will not look elsewhere if he is unable to secure his first choice target.

"I think you say OK, no problem we have good players," Bilic added. "We are not talking about the quantity, we are not talking about boosting our squad. We are talking about boosting our game. It is impossible to find many of them in our case."

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Angola-born Carvalho was an integral part of the Portugal team which won the European Championships in France last summer and has previously been linked with moves to Arsenal and Manchester United.

West Ham go to Newcastle on Saturday looking for their first win of the Premier League season.

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