Slaven Bilic has revealed how a phone call two years ago laid the foundations for Javier Hernandez’s transfer to West Ham this week.
Hernandez completed a £16m move from Bayer Leverkusen, the German club he joined from Manchester United in the summer of 2015.
Bilic was in the market for Hernandez back then, and the relationship he formed with the Mexico striker meant he was able to get the deal done at the second time of asking.
„When he decided to go to Leverkusen he called me,“ said Bilic, speaking at a press conference on the club’s pre-season tour of Germany.
„He was very polite. He told me ‘coach, sorry but I opted for Leverkusen’. It was a really nice gesture from him.
„Now, after two years, when we found out he might leave Leverkusen I called him again and of course we didn’t have to start from zero.
„We were laughing and he said ‘we spoke two years ago’ and all that, so it probably helped that he knew that we wanted him.“
Hernandez is one of four summer recruits along with Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and £25m Marko Arnautovic, while Bilic remains on the lookout for further signings.
He said: „We’ve done really well without spending crazy money, so if something extraordinary happens I’ll still be able to do it, I hope.“
Bilic also revealed Michail Antonio is ahead of schedule as he recovers from hamstring surgery and could return for the second game of the Premier League season – away at Southampton.
But Andy Carroll remains sidelined and his frustrated boss said: „Unfortunately he’s still injured and it’s a big loss for us.“Euro Soccer Bonus
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