West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that he tried to sign Everton new boy Sandro Ramirez this summer, but the Toffees beat the Hammers to his signature.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman signed Ramirez as a replacement for the Manchester United bound Romelu Lukaku, but Bilic (who was well known to be after a striker this summer) did his best to persuade the former Barcelona man to make his way to the London Stadium - which, obviously, was to no avail:
“Ramirez from Malaga came in, he was in Barcelona, and we wanted him, but he chose Everton,” he told Croatian outlet Slobodna Dalmacija.
Ramirez became a very cheap replacement for their Belgian striker. Lukaku cost United a hefty £75m, whereas their new man only set Everton back £5.2m - an impressive piece of business, but Bilic has noted that the change was not like-for-like:
“He is a quick player and has traits like Lukaku,” he explained.
“They lost his strength, but gained speed.”
Instead of Ramirez, West Ham signed Bayer Leverkusen's Javier Hernandez for around £13m - not bad for a proven Premier League goalscorer. Though he failed to get off the mark in his debut against former club United at Old Trafford.
The Hammers were pulled apart as a rampant United ran riot. Lukaku himself managed a brace in the 4-0 victory, whilst Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba completed the rout in the closing minutes of the game.
It's now back to the drawing board for Bilic, and reports this week are claiming that the club are looking to complete their summer business with a £35m move for Sporting CP's William Carvalho.