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West Ham boss Bilic: We still like to buy British

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 February 2016

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic reacts on the touchline during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round match at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic reacts on the touchline during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round match at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

PA/Press Association Images

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic says he is being offered a better class of player by agents

Michail Antonio scores West Ham's first goal v LiverpoolMichail Antonio scores West Ham's first goal v Liverpool

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he is being offered a higher standard of player by football agents at the moment, but he insists that the club will try and continue with their policy of buying predominantly British players.

With the Hammers lying close to the European positions as well as their impending move to the Olympic Stadium, the chances to bring more top quality players to the club seem obvious.

But Bilic says that they still cannot compete with the biggest clubs in the Premier League.

“Being where we are has changed the sort of players we are being offered a little bit, but it is mostly calls from the agents,” explained the manager. “It may all be just stories, but the names that the agents are mentioning now and offering now are a little different from last year.

Manuel Lanzini, West Ham United (John Walton/PA Wire)Manuel Lanzini, West Ham United (John Walton/PA Wire)

“But then last year we got Payet, Lanzini and Ogbonna who are already big, big names. The players that are here already are the best recommendation for new players, they act like a magnet for new players,” said the boss.

West Ham’s business last summer certainly strengthened the squad with Payet one of the signings of the season by any club. But Bilic says that they may have to look under the radar again in the next window.

“We can’t get the same players as the big clubs,” revealed Bilic. “We are working on it, but we aren’t going to buy a lot of players – first of all we are going to try and keep most of our players.

“Also our priority is to get as many English or at least British players in as we can which is extremely hard. But we got Michail Antonio and Sam Byram and we will try to do that again.”

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring their fifth goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round match at Ewood Park, Blackburn.West Ham United's Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring their fifth goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup, fifth round match at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

What would be amazing for West Ham is if they could land another player of the calibre of Payet or Lanzini, but that is easier said than done.

“If we are going to buy from abroad it should be a player who is going to improve our first eleven,” he added.

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