West Ham United have caught the eye of none other than Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ahead of the new season.
West Ham have been turning heads this summer after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as the club’s new manager and backing him with nearly £100 million of signings.
That included the record £40 million transfer of Brazilian attacker Felipe Anderson.
The club’s ambition has impressed disgruntled supporters, 52,000 of whom have signed up for season tickets for the third successive season – second only to Manchester United.
But it seems West Ham have also caught the attentions of last season’s title-winning boss Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard was speaking to the press about the challenges and threats he faces in a bid to retain the Premier League title this season.
And after highlighting the usual suspects from the top six, Guardiola name-checked West Ham and Everton in a press conference that was broadcast on Sky Sports News on Wednesday.
“All are contenders,” Guardiola said.
“Man U(nited) will be stronger and Liverpool and Arsenal and Chelsea and Tottenham and some of the other ones, Everton have a good manager, good players (and) West Ham again, Manuel (has) come back and bought a lot of players so always in the beginning the expectation of every team is high but we want to do really well and just continue what we started two seasons ago and try.
“Nobody knows what is going to happen in the Premier League, nobody.”
West Ham fans be warned, though.
Last pre-season Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had similar words of encouragement for Hammers fans.
He told the press it ‘looks like West Ham are playing to win the league’ with their transfer business, as reported by Eurosport at the time.
The Red Devils went on to beat West Ham 4-0 in the opening game of a season-long battle against the drop which cost Slaven Bilic his job and eventually saw the East Londoners finish 13th under David Moyes.