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West Ham a top-class striker away from breaching top four - Bilic

Britain Soccer Football - Stoke City v West Ham United - Barclays Premier League - The Britannia Stadium - 15/5/16 West Ham manager Slaven Bilic Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic
Britain Soccer Football - Stoke City v West Ham United - Barclays Premier League - The Britannia Stadium - 15/5/16West Ham manager Slaven BilicAction Images via Reuters / Carl RecineLivepic

(Reuters) - West Ham United are a top quality forward away from challenging for the Champions League spots in the Premier League, manager Slaven Bilic has said.

West Ham relied heavily upon goals from different areas on the pitch to get them through last season, with only talismanic midfielder Dimitri Payet, with 13 goals, managing to notch up more than 10 goals.

Bilic's forwards fluffed their lines as Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia could only manage to find the back of the net 14 times.

"Everyone knows we want a top-class striker. And if we can get a 20-goals-a-season man, there's no reason why we can't improve on last season and challenge the Premier League's top teams," Bilic told the club's website.

West Ham have already dipped into the transfer market as they looked to improve on their seventh placed finish in the Premier League, having signed defender Havard Nordtveit and winger Sofiane Feghouli on a free transfer.

Bilic revealed the club had to ward off interest from several clubs fighting for the duo's signatures.

"We are proud and glad that he (Feghouli) and Havard Nordtveit, the captain of Borussia Moenchengladbach, have signed for us because other big clubs were trying for them," the 47-year-old said.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru)

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