West Ham Close on First Signing of Pellegrini Era

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According to the Evening Standard, Manuel Pellegrini’s first signing as West Ham boss will be Fulham defender Ryan Fredericks.

The Chilean is targeting five signings this summer and Fredericks is seen as a vital addition to the squad if they are to avoid another relegation-threatened season.

Out of contract at Craven Cottage, the west Londoner will move to the Hammers from Fulham on a four-year deal.

Fredericks failed to agree terms with the Cottagers despite playing a prominent role in their promotion campaign, including a starring role in the play-off final win over Aston Villa at Wembley.

It’s understood 25-year-old Fredericks was seeking a salary in excess of the Cottagers highest earner Tom Cairney’s £40,000 per week. The club has Cyrus Christie, 25, to replace the departing right-back.

Formerly with Tottenham Hotspur, Fredericks made 114 appearances for Fulham after moving to the banks of the River Thames in 2015. He quickly established himself as a key member of the teams whose continual improvement eventually culminated in this season’s promotion.

The Hammers already have Pablo Zabaleta as right-back but are set to lose Sam Byram due to lack of first-team football. The 33-year-old Uruguayan was considered in some quarters to be West Ham’s best player during a turbulent 2017-18 season.