Manuel Pellegrini ‘not frustrated’ by West Ham’s transfer business

Manuel Pellegrini declared himself satisfied with West Ham’s transfer activity – or lack of it – in the January window.

After bringing in Samir Nasri on a free transfer on New Year’s Eve, the Hammers did not make a single addition to their first-team squad.

That was despite strong interest in, among others, Besiktas midfielder Gary Medel, Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi.

However, Marko Arnautovic’s decision to stay – and potential moves away for Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez failing to materialise – means Pellegrini has to stick with what he has got for the remainder of the season.

Batshuayi’s apparent decision to choose Crystal Palace over West Ham raised eyebrows on deadline day, but Pellegrini insisted he was only ever interested in signing a striker if one was transferred out.

“I am not frustrated,” he said. “We didn’t have any interest in bringing a new player here unless we sold one.

“We have a squad, we have some players with long injuries but we have other players.

“The only interest we had in changing players was if we sold one but if not, we have the squad and it must be ready to play the last 14 games of the season.

“The only player we had interest in was Gary Medel, they told us it was free and we were interested because he can play in two or three positions. But then it turned out the player was not free.

“So I think that we have the squad and we will work with it until the end of the season. Then we will see in the summer what we need to do. The January window does not offer many solutions.”

The January window did, however, pose plenty of problems for Pellegrini with defeats at Bournemouth and Wolves and an FA Cup humiliation at AFC Wimbledon.

Defender Pablo Zabaleta admitted after the Wolves game that the Arnautovic saga, when interest in him from the Chinese Super League emerged, had been an unwelcome distraction.

“I agree with Pablo,” said Pellegrini. “But not only with Marko, there are always a lot of clubs that call players offering a lot of money but they don’t want to pay for them.

“The players then think they must go and of course their performances are not the same.

“Now the transfer window has closed I think that all of them, not just Marko, will be involved in our target.”

Arnautovic faces a late fitness test ahead of Monday’s home meeting with leaders Liverpool after suffering a foot injury at Wolves.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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