Sam Allardyce admits it has been a frustrating summer as he struggles to add depth to a West Ham squad that managed a satisfactory mid-table spot in the Premier League last season.
The only arrivals have been striker Andy Carroll, who spent last season on loan with the Hammers and a man who is a cheeky outside football bet for top scorer at 50/1 – scoring seven times in 24 Premier League appearances for Allardyce’s side – goalkeeper Adrian and defender Razvan Rat. Meanwhile, Gary O’Neil and Carlton Cole were released at the end of June.
It had been thought that the 30-year-old former Portsmouth and Middlesbrough star O’Neil would sign a new deal with West Ham, currently 7/1 to be relegated come the end of the season with Paddy Power, but he now appears to be on the verge of being reunited with Harry Redknapp at Championship side QPR.
O'Neil, who worked with Redknapp during their time at Pompey, has been training with QPR’s first-team squad recently. He found the net three times in 48 league appearances for the Hammers.
Allardyce says he is continuing to work hard on bringing more players to the club, although Gent’s Belgium international striker Ilombe Mboyo will not be one of them.
Hammers chairman David Sullivan has said the club decided not to pursue their interest in the 26-year-old after becoming aware that fans had reacted badly to the news of the proposed transfer.
"We've been hugely frustrated in our quest over the last three weeks or so," said former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers boss Allardyce.
"Whether it's been the player, the club or interference from another club 75 or 80 per cent through the deal attracting him to them rather than us, it has unfortunately left us with a blank space.
"All we can keep doing is trying to find another player who wants to come to West Ham United who is better than what we have already got."