Leeds United: Bilic confirms West Ham and Everton were not alone in Sam Byram chase

Sam Byram signs for West Ham.
Sam Byram signs for West Ham.
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WEst Ham manager Slaven Bilic has revealed there were more than two clubs interested in signing Leeds United star Sam Byram.

The United Academy product has joined the London Premier League club in a deal worth £3.7m after failing to agree a new deal with Leeds owner Massimo Cellino.

It had seemed that he was set for a move to Everton after the Merseysiders had an initial bid accepted ahead of the Hammers, however, Bilic persuaded him to move south.

Bilic has revealed how he and his scouting team had been watching Byram for ‘a really long time’ and that he was ‘delighted’ to have finally got his man. But he also confirmed that there were more clubs interested other than Everton and West Ham.

Bilic, whose West Ham side entertain Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday evening, said: “We have been tracking him (Byram) for a long time and there was not only Everton interested in him, but a few other clubs, too.

“According to the TV, he was quite close to signing for Everton, but we knew we had a good chance and we are delighted that he came to us.”

Byram has been a star player for United during his time in the first team, but Bilic has already pinpointed areas where the 22-year-old can improve his game... and has told him so.

“I told him that I like young players and I told him my opinion and which areas he can improve and he liked it.

“I didn’t promise him anything, but what he really liked is that we had been watching him for a really long time and he realised that we were serious and that we have big plans for him, but it is up to him to show us in training and in games his improvement.”

Byram is expected to train with his new club for the first time on Friday.

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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