Bilic confirms West Ham 'quite close' to Martinez signing


West Ham are "quite close" close to completing the signing of 18-year-old Valencia striker Toni Martinez, manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed.

The teenager is yet to break into the first team at Valencia, who sacked coach Gary Neville on Wednesday, but Bilic is excited by the prospect of bringing him in.

"With Toni Martinez at Valencia, we are quite close," Bilic said. 

"Terry Westley with the Under-21s does a great job, and if we finish [the deal], we will have one of the brightest young players from Valencia. All the other rumours are all speculation at the moment."

West Ham will be without James Collins and Sam Byram for Saturday's visit of Crystal Palace, although James Tomkins is fit to return from a calf problem.

"James Tomkins is back, and the only players who are out are James Collins and Sam Byram," the Croatian added. 

"They are progressing really well, but they won't be in the frame for the Palace game. Some players are still flying back [from international duty] tomorrow [Friday], like Victor Moses, but [Dimitri] Payet is back from France.

"It's not ideal, but we want to immediately get back into the shape that we were in before the break.

"With the break, on the one hand, we didn't want it. We wanted to continue our form, but we have also played many games, so it was not bad for us. We rested a bit, then trained hard, before having another rest.

"Some players went to play international games, and now we are mostly back together, but not everyone.

"That's why this Crystal Palace game might be coming a little too soon. I'm not happy because we will not have all of us on the pitch for training still."