Hammers good-Wilf Hunting
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is tracking Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha, as he explores potential options to bolster his attack.
The east London outfit, 13/5 for a top 10 finish next term are open to either a loan move or permanent deal for the England international, depending on what the Red Devil’s terms are. With United set to play 3-5-2 under Louis van Gaal, the Dutchman only sees Zaha as a striker, and he has four at his disposal already, with Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck.
This could mean that he may be prepared to allow the former Crystal Palace player to seek first team football elsewhere, with West Ham vying for his services.
Allardyce has changed his transfer policy this summer, switching to youthful attacking talent in a bid to placate fans, who voiced their concerns over the former Bolton manager’s attritional tactics last season.
They have already secured the signing of Carl Jenkinson on loan from Arsenal, as well as Aaron Cresswell, Cheikh Kouyate, Diego Poyet, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate this summer, though with news that centre forward Andy Carroll is injured for four months with damage to ankle ligaments, Allardyce is keen to add a goalscorer.
West Ham are also said to be tracking the progress of Sunderland’s Connor Wickham, whose contribution of five goals was vital to helping the Black Cats stay in the Premier League last term. HNK Rijeka’s Croatian striker, Andrej Kramaric, is also understood to have been the subject of extensive scouting, and Allardyce could yet make a move for the 23-year-old.
While former England international Peter Crouch, and Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o have been linked, joint-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan reportedly don’t see any value in any potential move, due to wage demands, and their age.
Hugo Almeida and Joel Campbell have also been considered, though the latter is thought to be in Arsene Wenger’s thinking for this term, however he does have a reputation for sending his young stars on-loan for a season in the Premier League, as he did with Jack Wilshere.
Zaha, however could be the most likely, and if terms can be agreed, he may compete for a starting spot in West Ham’s first game of the new campaign against Spurs. Allardyce’s men are 9/4 to beat the north London outfit at Upton Park.