By 90Min
August 04, 2019

West Ham are looking to add one more centre back to their squad before deadline day, as Manuel Pellegrini seeks cover for first-choice pairing Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena.

Having leaked 10 goals in five games in pre-season, manager Manuel Pellegrini is hoping a new defender can help sure up his backline - that was also the ninth-worst in the last Premier League campaign.

Football.london reports that Pellegrini would like an experienced campaigner to come in as a third-choice centre half, but also provide real competition for the starters.

Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

According to Sky Sports, West Ham identified New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long as their budget choice to boost their squad options, after spending heavily on the likes of Sebastian Haller and Pablo Fornals.

Long, the MLS Defender of the Year for 2018, has a £4m release clause in his contract and wants to move to the Premier League according to the report. However, West Ham are yet to secure a work permit for the 26-year-old as he has not made the required number of international appearances for the United States.

The defender is hopeful that he can secure a move to West Ham, saying: "As our biggest ally, it seems strange that a football player from the US can't automatically get a work visa to play in England.

"Every kid in the USA dreams of playing in the English Premier League. Not many players getthe chance, so of course I would like to play there someday."

Lintao Zhang/GettyImages

West Ham might need to hurry up with not only the transfer window closing next Thursday but also because clubs such as Marseille, Fiorentina, Rennes and Lyon remain interested in the American.

Football.london's report also name-checks Gary Cahill as a possible option for the Hammers should they fail to land Long, with the former Chelsea captain now a free agent.

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