New West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is expected to receive hefty transfer backing, with the club understood to be pursuing a number of ambitious targets.
Chelsea’s Loic Remy heads the list alongside a lesser spotted, yet hyped to high heaven Croatian wonderkid, currently plying his trade at Barcelona B.
Having managed Croatia, a country arguably only Uruguay can rival in international football’s pound-for-pound rankings, as well as Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas, Bilic will already have garnered his fair share of footballing acolytes.
Below news.bwin.com flick through his Rolodex to see who else might be tempted to join the sometime lawyer and guitarist at the Boleyn Ground.
Alen Halilovic – Barcelona
The 18-year-old has long been the rising star of Croatian football and could be part of a mass exodus from Barca’s B team after their relegation to the third tier.
An attacking midfielder, he bagged four goals and one assist in 2014/15, also earning a Copa del Rey start for the seniors.
Dejan Lovren – Liverpool
Lovren’s Anfield annus horribilis won’t have come as too much of a surprise to those that had seen him fail to handle an equivalent step up at Lyon years earlier.
A return to a, for now, smaller pond and a sympathetic manager could well appeal to the man Bilic granted his first international cap – an £11m switch has been mooted.
Gokhan Tore – Besiktas
On Bayer Leverkusen, then Chelsea’s books as youngster, right winger Tore was a key part of the Irons boss’ Black Eagles outfit last term.
He hit nine goals and ten assists in 38 outings and proved himself unflappable when returning to action after sustaining a bullet wound in an Istanbul nightclub in April.
Olcay Sahan – Besiktas
Five years Tore’s senior at 28, Sahan operated on the opposite flank at Besiktas last term and, like his colleague, is expected to follow Bilic to east London.
Sahan proved more effective on the domestic scene than the younger man, yet less so in Europe, notching all eight of his 2014/15 goals and five of his seven assists in Super Lig action.
Demba Ba – Besiktas
He may not have departed the Boleyn on the best of terms after leaving the Irons for free upon their relegation in 2010/11, just four months after signing for the club.
Yet he remains a more consistent and prolific goalscorer than West Ham have on their books having struck 27 times in 44 games for Besiktas.