West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has revealed that summer transfer target Carlos Bacca turned his back on the Hammers because he was waiting for an offer from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The London Stadium outfit had a busy summer in the transfer market, signing a host of new players to bolster their push to become a regular top-six Premier League side.
A new centre forward was one of the priorities and West Ham were unsuccessful in landing a number of high-profile numbers nine – mostly due to a lack of Champions League football.
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In the end a loan deal that has seen Simone Zaza move from Juventus to the Premier League side has given the London club an extra option in the final third.
AC Milan accepted an offer from the Hammers for Bacca, but in the end the Colombia international opted to stay with the Rossoneri instead of joining Bilic’s men in the Premier League.
The Croatian trainer has stated that the former Sevilla frontman was eager to join the Gunners and when an offer did not arrive he decided to stay at the San Siro.
“On our list were [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Simone] Zaza, Bacca and [Michy] Batshuayi, but I knew it would be difficult to buy them,” Bilic told Italian outlet 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 signed Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna over the summer in a bid to bolster their own weaponry in the final third.