West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that he was interested in signing Christian Benteke over the summer before the star striker joined Crystal Palace.

The Hammers were in the market for a new centre forward to fire the club into a new era at the London Stadium, but had their fair share of disappointments in the recruitment market.

In the end, Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri were brought to the Premier League side on loan deals to bolster the London club’s options in the final third.

Benteke was out of favour at Liverpool and ended up moving to Selhurst Park for a club-record £32 million deal.

The Belgium international has started life with Alan Pardew’s men in blistering fashion and will be hoping to add to his rising goals tally when Palace face West Ham in the Premier League this weekend.

Ahead of taking on Benteke this weekend, Bilic has confessed that the powerhouse number nine was a player that was in consideration by the Irons during the summer.

“He was one of the players that was on our list but he was on the list of many clubs and he went to Palace,” Essex Live quote the Croat as saying.

“We got our strikers. I didn’t talk to him. We just wanted to know the situation and we couldn’t get him. It was hard to get him.”

Benteke has hit three Premier League goals in five outings for Palace so far, with Zaza and Calleri yet to open their accounts for West Ham.


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