Sam Allardyce does not expect Thomas Vermaelen or Lacina Traore to join West Ham United and says reinforcing his squad is proving “extremely difficult.”
West Ham, who dropped back into the relegation zone on Saturday after a 3-1 home defeat to Newcastle United, have been desperately seeking to make new signings this month to boost their chances of survival.
There had been reports that Allardyce was keen to take Belgium defender Vermaelen on loan from Arsenal, but the Hammers boss accepts that the 28-year-old still has a role to play for the Gunners this season.
“I think under the circumstances at Arsenal, with the situation they're in with the Champions League and cup matches, they've had to use him as soon as any of the two defenders [Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny] are injured,” Allardyce told the media. “I don't think there's any chance we'll get someone of his quality, but it would be nice if we could.”
West Ham have also been looking to strengthen in attack and had hoped to sign Ivory Coast international Lacina Traore on loan from Monaco, having agreed a deal with the Ligue 1 side and even applied for a work permit.
However, it is reported that Everton have since come in for the player and Allardyce now accepts it is “unlikely” the 23-year-old will be heading to Upton Park.
"We're finding it extremely difficult [to bring players in],” he said. "We had a terrible day yesterday [Friday] when I thought a player was signing for us and then I found out he wasn't, but there you go. [Any other club] can apply for a work permit like we did.”
He added: “I'll keep going and hope we get some [new players].”