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West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has said that Samir Nasri has yet to reduce on the necessary weight to put him into contention for a short-term contract with the club. The Frenchman recently served an 18-month ban after failing an anti-doping test and he is now preparing himself to make a surprise Premier League comeback.

In a report covered by The Independent, Pellegrini said that Nasri has yet to reach the peak fitness required at the east London club but he remains optimistic that the target can be achieved by the turn of the year, he said: “For me the weight of the player demonstrates his mentality. Ican’t give an advantage in this profession, especially when every game is so tight. "When every team has good players you cannot be overweight. I think that Samir will be at the end of the month the weight that we need him to be to be a professional player for West Ham. He is working hard and is absolutely convinced that he can do it.”

Meanwhile, “the Hammers have been making progress in the Premier League of late“and they have secured victories over both Cardiff City and Newcastle United during the past two gameweeks. As such, they have distanced themselves from the drop zone and “they are now within“ three points off the top half of the table.

Next up, the Hammers are scheduled to face Crystal Palace at the London Stadium and they should fancy their prospects of a third-straight victory with their London counterparts struggling for form in the forward department. West Ham’s last two league victories have witnessed them score three goals but it remains to be seen whether they can replicate the feat when an out-of-form Palace team visit them for the cross-town derby this weekend.