West Ham manager David Moyes would like to bring in a midfielder during the January transfer window – but looked to play down talk of an imminent move for Benfica’s Gedson Fernandes.
The Hammers get a break from their battle for Premier League stability when they head to Gillingham in the FA Cup on Sunday buoyed by a 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth.
Having replaced Manuel Pellegrini to return for a second stint at the London Stadium, Moyes is keen to strengthen the squad if possible.
West Ham have been linked with a move for 20-year-old Fernandes, who is also said to be attracting interest from Manchester United.
Moyes was pressed on the club’s reported interest, but remained coy over possible developments.
“I don’t think I would go so far as to say we are in deep talks, that’s not quite correct in my understanding. He is a name mentioned alongside many others,” the West Ham manager said.
“If we can strengthen the squad then I’d like to do so, but it would only be for the players we think are correct and who will improve us between now and the end of the season.”
Moyes added: “He (Fernandes) comes into the category, but I have got to say, we want to add a player in that department and trying to get the right one in January is never easy for anybody, but if we can add one to the group, it would help us.”
West Ham have also been linked with a move for Middlesbrough’s Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
“I think we are also talking with other keepers so it is not just Darren, there are other keepers in the pipeline,” Moyes told a press conference.
“I couldn’t confirm if it is him or not, but I do know we are looking to add another goalkeeper to the squad.”
Inter Milan forward Gabriel Barbosa is another reported option for the Irons.
Moyes, though, would not be drawn on specific targets.
“I have probably had hundreds of agents putting people into me, but at the moment, the only people I am concentrating on are the players I have here,” he said.
“If good players are available, we will look at them.”
Director of football Mario Husillos also left his role following the end of Pellegrini’s 18-month tenure.
Moyes feels a new appointment to the role is “not close just now”, saying: “We will look towards the end of the season and maybe look to do something.”
The Scot also revealed things were “going to be a bit slow” in terms of establishing his backroom staff, and Stuart Pearce was now not expected to make a return to the east London club.
“It might just be a big longer,” Moyes said. “I’ve got Alan (Irvine) at the moment.
“I will bring a couple of the lads from the academy up and that will do them no harm. I do hope to add to it, but not yet.”