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Hammers seek Samuel Eto’o swoop as Andy Carroll cover

West Ham United, 5/1 with Coral to be relegated this season, have bid for free agent Samuel Eto’o, following his release from London rivals Chelsea, according to the weekend tabloids.

The Cameroon national captain, 33, only signed a one-year deal at Stamford Bridge last summer, but Blues boss Jose Mourinho has moved to bring back Didier Drogba on a similar contract and earlier swooped for Brazilian-born Spain striker Diego Costa.

Despite scoring nine Premier League goals in 21 appearances, including a memorable hat-trick against Manchester United, there was no place for Eto’o in this new-look Chelsea attack. His exit from west London has resulted in international interest in his services.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is in the market for another striking option, because £15m record buy Andy Carroll sustained yet another serious injury on the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and New Zealand. The England target man will spend four months on the sidelines following surgery on damaged ankle ligaments.

If Big Sam is to land Eto’o, he must fend off competition from Premier League rivals Everton, who can offer the player Europa League football this season, and QPR. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is also strongly linked with a permanent move for another Stamford Bridge star in Romelu Lukaku, following his impressive loan spell at Goodison Park last term.

Allardyce is also reportedly interested in targeting a temporary cross-capital move for Arsenal understudy right back Carl Jenkinson. The England cap, 22, would likely be third-choice in that position under Arsene Wenger, because of the signing of France international Mathieu Debuchy and imminent arrival of Southampton teenage talent Calum Chambers.

East London outfit West Ham will not have a clear run on Jenkinson joining them, however, with Swansea, Sunderland and other Europa League entrants Hull all chasing him on a season-long loan deal. Wenger is understood to be keen that the player continues his development by being sent out for a year.

Big Sam has been set the target of a top 10 finish by the Hammers board, and is 13/5 to achieve it despite Carroll’s injury. Whether or not Eto’o and Jenkinson are at Upton Park for the season opener against Spurs on 16 August remains to be seen.