Just three years ago West Ham United finished on the brink of Champions League football and the right business this summer could see them go one better.

Under Slaven Bilic in the 2015/16 campaign West Ham recorded their best ever Premier League points total.

The Hammers finished agonisingly short of Champions League football by just four points.

In fact West Ham were so good that season they would have qualified comfortably had they converted just two or three of their league-highest 14 draws into wins.

It has been a turbulent time since which has seen the club move stadiums and both Bilic and his replacement David Moyes depart.

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Hammers heading in the right direction

West Ham finally look to be heading in the right direction again under Manuel Pellegrini.

The Chilean has a remarkable record of building teams into Champions League regulars, even with Villareal and Malaga.

His man objective to bridge the sizeable gap will be overhauling his striker options this summer.

West Ham look likely to sell both Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez.

Perez has barely played since signing from Arsenal and has had a number of run-ins with his manager. He looked set to join Real Betis in January but was denied a move.

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Striker overhaul on the cards

Hernandez wants a move to La Liga and came close to joining Valencia in January.

Andy Carroll’s contract is up after six years and he will not be offered a new one.

Then there is Marko Arnautovic. Despite signing an improved deal after the China saga in January many feel his heart is no longer in it and he will leave for the right price in the summer.

The Hammers have been linked with a host of potential replacements.

 

And if Pellegrini can snare two of these five prime targets West Ham will start to look like they can bridge the gap on the top sides.

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Moussa Marega

According to a report from Portuguese newspaper Correio de Manha, Pellegrini remains keen on Porto striker Moussa Marega who has been long-linked with a move to East London.

Marega has been starring for Porto in the Champions League of late and has scored 41 goals in 85 games for the Portuguese giants.

At 27 he would be coming to West Ham for his prime years should the club sign him this summer.

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Maxi Gomez

West Ham United were reportedly close to signing Maxi Gomez from Celta Vigo in January. According to reports they will return for the Uruguayan in the summer.

Gomez’s release clause is said to be £45 million. But if Celta are relegated that would be halved to £22.5 million. They are currently in the bottom three in La Liga.

The 22-year-old is a strong target man and would be a quality addition which would send a real signal of intent. The only sticking point is that top clubs such as Liverpool and Barcelona are rumoured to be interested too.

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Alexsandar Mitrovic

With Fulham certs to be relegated their impressive forward Alexsandar Mitrovic is likely to be on his way.

The Serbian would be the ideal replacement for Andy Carroll and makes up for a distinct lack of pace with his strength, movement, aerial prowess and hold up play.

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Edin Dzeko

Bosnian legend Edin Dzeko knows Pellegrini well having helped him with the title at Manchester City.

He too has long been linked (talk SPORT).

Dzeko has broken scoring records at Roma. But his time there is coming to an end as the Italian giants look to cash in before his contract expires in 2020.

An able and top quality proven replacement for Carroll but perhaps used as back-up rather than first choice.

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Alfredo Morelos

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has been bullish about keeping Colombian maverick Alfredo Morelos.

But West Ham have been credited with an interest in the past and could register their interest this summer depending on the future of Arnautovic.

Morelos can be a liability with his temperament but Pellegrini could well get the best out of the 22-year-old who has scored 46 goals in 83 games for the Gers.

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