Allardyce keen on defensive loan trio as well as young Swede

Allardyce interested in three Premier League defenders

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is set to step up his search for a new loan defensive signing this week, with up to three Premier League centre-backs in the frame to join the Hammers.

It is understood that the club are interested in bringing Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha to Upton Park, although it is believed that there are two other stronger contenders – who are yet to be named – also in the frame.

Both of these other candidates are currently contracted to Premier League clubs but are not playing regular first-team football, despite having plenty of top-level experience.

“My main priority is to find a central defender to loan for the next two or three months,” revealed Allardyce, following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Hull City.

“Abdoulaye Faye and James Tomkins were outstanding against Hull, but they are the only two central defenders we have at the club at the moment, so I have to fill that position and help us carry on this great run of results that we are on.”

One player that the Hammers are definitely understood to be keen on is Swedish winger Mervan Celik.

Most Read

The 21-year-old currently plies his trade for GAIS in Gothenburg and scored an impressive 14 goals last season as he guided his club to a fifth-place finish in the Swedish top flight.

Celik, who can play on the right or left-hand side of midfield and has been capped at under-21 level for Sweden, has been linked with Middlesbrough and Fulham, although the Hammers have also watched him and are considering making a move in January.

There was some positive news for the Hammers on the injury front this week, as defender Guy Demel made a welcome return from his hamstring injury to play 45 minutes for the Development Squad in their 2-2 draw at Gillingham.

The young Hammers took the lead through Brian Montenegro, who impressed alongside Cristian Montano, who was recalled from his loan spell at Swindon Town a week early.

After the interval – and once Demel had been taken off – Gillingham scored twice to take a 2-1 lead.

However, in the 93rd minute, 17-year-old Danny Potts equalised from an Olly Lee free-kick.