Belfast Telegraph

Bilic challenges Sakho to earn new deal or transfer

Diafra Sakho will be handed the chance to resurrect his West Ham career - and maybe ride to Slaven Bilic's rescue.

Amid the chaos and fall-out of West Ham's deadline-day dealings came the saga of Sakho, who flew himself to French club Rennes and underwent a medical.

Upon finding out West Ham had not agreed to sell him, the Senegal striker travelled back to England for showdown talks with the Hammers hierarchy - but only after a trip to Chelmsford racecourse where his agent's horse won the 3.20.

Having failed to get the move he wanted, Sakho is now back in training and in contention for Monday night's visit of Huddersfield, a crucial match for Bilic whose future as boss will be in serious jeopardy if West Ham suffer a fourth straight defeat.

Beleaguered Bilic, who has also had to deal with West Ham's dispute with Sporting Lisbon over their unsuccessful bid to sign William Carvalho, not to mention a public disagreement with his own chairman David Sulllivan, admitted: "There are so many issues, so I have to pull up the Diafra Sakho file now.

"Yeah, Diafra wanted to go. But also, that issue is not quite black and white. Did he have permission, permission on paper or just a form or an SMS? I don't know.

"The fact is he wanted to go there. He did a medical, but the club decided not to sell him and he's back.

"So I told him 'Diafra, you are fit? I know what you can do. Sit there, hopefully now you are going to get fit and I am going to help you get focused here'.

"He's been training. He came back - he flew to Rennes last week, a couple of days before the end of the transfer window - but he's been training since.

"He looks good in training. Hopefully he is going to stay like that for a long time. Because he will know that until January he is a West Ham player.

"That's the way he's going to get a new contract, or play again for Senegal, or get a move: if he plays good."

Striker Andy Carroll is also in the squad for the first time this season, but midfielder Manuel Lanzini is ruled out with a knee injury.

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