West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is targeting a wealth of improvements to his side after inheriting a squad that have underperformed in recent campaigns.

Under new guidance, one of the first tasks on hand for the Hammers this summer is to strengthen a leaky defence and a number of options have been considered.

West Ham have been heavily linked with the services of Fulham full-back Ryan Fredericks in recent months, who helped fire the Cottagers to promotion from the Championship, but a stern fight for his signature has emerged.

However, The Daily Mail now states West Ham are leading the charge for Fredericks while respected insider ExWHUEmployee stated on his weekly show it would be a ‘surprise’ if the Hammers now missed out on his services.

25-year-old Fredericks caught the eye in Fulham’s successful push for a return to the Premier League, finishing the campaign with seven assists.

He also starred in the playoff final victory over Aston Villa, impressing fans on social media, and snatching his services would be a huge coup for the Hammers.