West Ham's Sam Allardyce reveals what he is looking for in January

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce says only the availability of a 'top player' will tempt him into the January transfer market.

Sam Allardyce was a busy man over the summer, with his West Ham United squad reshaped by regular comings and goings.

Among those drafted in, Aaron Cresswell, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Song, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have all impressed.

Jenkinson arrived on loan from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Song from Barcelona, but the others did not come cheap.

A considerable outlay means Allardyce will now have to keep a close eye on the Upton Park bank balance during the January window.

He admits that he would be prepared to dip back into the market if the right player becomes available, but concedes that the target would need to be of the highest standard and would require someone else to head through the exits in order to free up space and funds in his squad.

Allardyce told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday: “Everybody has to understand that we are well into the second year of Financial Fair Play, or financial restrictions, so we are all in a much more difficult position when the windows come in terms of spending power – not just transfer fees, but wages. That’s across the board now.

“When it comes to January, it’s not just about asking the owners to go and find this amount of money - even if they wanted to, they could perhaps do it, but at the end of the season they may well end up with a pretty hefty fine.

“I would say that one top player, if he became available, would be something we would pursue, but maybe somebody would have to leave to fund another player. There is no point bringing anybody in unless they are a top player, because what we have now is top drawer. We have got 22 players who are all fighting for places in the team and playing really well.

“I think we have covered all positions this year. At the moment the squad looks really tight, good camaraderie, but if somebody came in January that was an absolutely outstanding player, then maybe, yes.”

As Allardyce suggests, West Ham are now well stocked in most areas of the field.

It has been suggested that Mauro Zarate may be allowed to move on, with Southampton said to be keen, and that would free up an attacking spot.

The Hammers are also yet to agree fresh terms with centre-half Winston Reid, so it could be that he is offloaded or that long-term cover is sought for a player due to become a free agent next summer.

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