West Ham have begun their search for significant improvements to the squad in the months ahead, eyeing new signings and a new manager to lead the side.

A number of names have been raised as potential targets for the Hammers, including Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore – who has also attracted the attention of Newcastle United.

The former Barcelona youth prospect has caught the eye on Teesside with his performances in the Championship, although he previously struggled for the club in the Premier League.

While it’s been suggested the Hammers could take a punt on the 22-year-old, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has warned West Hamm off a pursuit.

Speaking after Middlesbrough’s goalless draw with Aston Villa in the playoff semi-finals, which the Teessiders lost 1-0 on aggregate, Merson criticised Traore’s display.

“If I was watching Traore today and was going to buy him for £30 odd million, I would be going away thinking I’m not sure about that.”

“He didn’t really show any guile for me. There was a goal kick and everybody came across, just stay out! Take a chance. There was no cleverness there.”