It’s one or the other

THE NEW Premier League season kicks-off this Saturday, but West Ham are still desperately battling to bolster their attack with an experienced striker, writes DAVE EVANS. Both Icelandic international Eidur Gudjohnsen and Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni

THE NEW Premier League season kicks-off this Saturday, but West Ham are still desperately battling to bolster their attack with an experienced striker, writes DAVE EVANS.

Both Icelandic international Eidur Gudjohnsen and Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni are in the frame, but the wage demands of both are proving a frustrating obstacle to overcome.

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is a good friend of both strikers and that has enabled the Hammers to persuade the pair to come to the negotiating table, but with the club wary of committing themselves to sky-high salaries again, the hardest part is getting them to agree personal terms.

It seems that West Ham may be talking to both players, but they would only be able to afford one of the two, with Zola looking for a cheaper option as a third striker at the club to back up Carlton Cole.


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Fans have vented their frustration on the Recorder messageboard in the past week, but the manager himself is not panicking.

"It is not frustrating. I am not frustrated yet," insisted the Italian.

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"Obviously I am expecting that something will happen soon, but I'm not bothered too much, because I know my team, and I know myself.

"In difficult situations we become very creative, so we will find solutions."

He continued: "I trust the club. They are trying to do everything to meet my requests and so we still have some days before we can't do anything more, something will certainly happen in the next few days."

One thing that does seem to have happened is the former loan Hammer Radoslav Kovac has signed from Spartak Moscow in a �2million deal.

The 29-year-old, Czech international, will go into the squad for Saturday's trip to Wolves, but he is likely to act as back-up to Scott Parker in the holding midfield role.

Julien Faubert seems set to start at right back, with Jonathan Spector not expected back from World Cup duty in Mexico until Thursday, while unless a striker arrives by tomorrow (Thursday), West Ham are likely to play just Cole up front.

Saturday's game at Molineux is a sell-out, but whether the fans inside the ground get a glimpse of Gudjohnsen, Toni or neither, remains to be seen.

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