West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has told Football.London that he may still be open to new signings, and a replacement is guaranteed if Pedro Obiang leaves the club.
Pellegrini has been backed heavily in the transfer market this summer, as Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson have all arrived.
West Ham look to be stronger entering the new season than they left the last campaign, but if Pellegrini still needs new faces in any area of the pitch, it's in the centre of midfield.
Wilshere is injury-prone and Mark Noble hasn't been at his best for a while, whilst reports suggest that Pedro Obiang could be on his way out of the London Stadium.
A 2015 signing under Slaven Bilic, Obiang has made 87 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers, and started West Ham's last pre-season game, the 2-2 draw at Preston North End.
However, Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Obiang is close to completing a return to Sampdoria, with the Serie A side – the club Obiang left three years ago – set to pounce.
West Ham fans have been confused by the club's apparent willingness to let Obiang leave given their issues in central midfield, though Sky Sports claim that Southampton's Mario Lemina is being eyed as a replacement.
Now, Pellegrini has been asked about the situation, and has told Football.London that he still wants to strengthen his squad, and if Obiang goes, then a replacement is guaranteed.
“We are trying to build a good squad,” said Pellegrini. “We have seven new players, also three important players injured so we don’t know when they will return. The last day that we have time to bring players, we will try to build as strong a squad as we can.”
“I don’t talk about anything. If for some reason, Pedro must go then there will be a replacement,” he added.