Kornilenko set for striker trial

WEST HAM boss Gianfranco Zola is putting all his efforts into bringing a new goalscorer to Upton Park following the latest injury to his strikeforce. With Carlton Cole apparently on the way back and Guillermo Franco looking impressive in claret and blue,

WEST HAM boss Gian-franco Zola is putting all his efforts into bringing a new goalscorer to Upton Park following the latest injury to his strikeforce.

With Carlton Cole apparently on the way back and Guillermo Franco looking impressive in claret and blue, it appeared that the Italian manager would be looking for a right back and a back-up goalkeeper before contemplating recruiting a new striker.

But with Franco now likely to be out until February, Zola is desperate to bring in reinforcements, though it is likely to be only a loan move.

The familiar names of Eidur Gudjohnsen and Nuno Gomes have been mentioned, while Luca Toni's transfer to Roma from Bayern Munich ended that little dream for West Ham, but it appears that a safer bet may be Belarus international Sergey Kornilenko.


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The 26-year-old, who has scored nine goals in 30 international appearances, has struggled to get into the starting line-up of UEFA Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg since signing from Tom Tomask six months ago in a �1.6million deal.

Despite that, he has a good reputation as a speedy striker and may compliment Cole's game.

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Kornilenko is due at Upton Park tomorrow (Friday) for a trial and will be looking to impress and get his career back on track after being told he is not in Zenit's future plans.

West Ham have also been linked with Matteo Contini, a 29-year-old defender who plays for Napoli, and Palermo's Brazilian goalkeeper Fernando Rubinho, but it is a striker who is now the top priority for the Hammers.

They will have just Frank Nouble and Freddie Sears to choose from on Sunday against Aston Villa, and Zola knows that sort of strikeforce will not be enough to haul West Ham out of trouble.

MEANWHILE, West Ham's postponed clash with Wolves has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 2.

The game, to be shown live on Sky Sports, will kick-off at 7.45pm, although it will be rearranged if Wolves draw their FA Cup fourth round match with Crystal Palace.

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