Viduka could be new Hammer!

AFTER the dust settled on yet another dramatic transfer deadline day, there were mixed emotions for West Ham fans, writes DAVE EVANS. Despite late interest from Spurs that didn t go as far as an official bid, Matty Upson remained at Upton Park, with the �

AFTER the dust settled on yet another dramatic transfer deadline day, there were mixed emotions for West Ham fans, writes DAVE EVANS.

Despite late interest from Spurs that didn't go as far as an official bid, Matty Upson remained at Upton Park, with the �5million move by James Collins to Aston Villa the only transfer activity from the Hammers on the day.

The Upson news was the bright spot for West Ham fans, with Italian side Fiorentina also making an inadequate �9million bid for the England centre back on Tuesday morning.

But it was the absence of a new striker that would have most alarmed supporters. West Ham have just Carlton Cole and Alessandro Diamanti as fit forwards with any semblance of experience.

Talks with Manchester City striker Benjani broke down despite the clubs agreeing a fee.

The 31-year-old former Portsmouth marksman could not agree personal terms, as West Ham were unwilling to meet his demands.

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Bordeaux forward Marouane Chamakh was never an option on deadline day, as the player had decided to see out his Champions League campaign with the French club.

However, if they do not make the knockout stages, then West Ham could easily be back in January to prise the player awat from France to London.

In the meantime, the Hammers are desperately looking for an out-of-contract striker to bring to the club.

Former Newcastle and Leeds marksman Mark Viduka is apparently topping that list.

The 33-year-old has 32 caps for Australia and a wealth of Premier League experience, but with his recent injury problems, he would certainly be a gamble.

The other player seemingly on the West Ham radar is former Celtic man Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

The Dutch international is still only 30 and had a useful record of 44 goals in 108 appearances north of the border.

Undoubtedly, Gianluca Nani will have other ideas up his sleeve, with a potential signing from Italy or Spain, but West Ham fans will hope that he comes up with someone a little better than Diego Tristan, who disappointed after arriving as a non-contract player last November.

West Ham will look to tie something up for next week's trip to Wigan Athletic, but it is financing the deal that will be the biggest headache.

Club sponsors SBOBET put up the money to secure the signature of Diamanti last week, but the Collins deal has now covered that advance.

They received �3.2million plus Manuel Da Costa from Fiorentina for Savio, and part of that will be used to finance the wages of a free agent striker - if they can find one.

Dean Ashton remains on the sidelines as he nears the first anniversary of his injury, while Freddie Sears cannot be called back from his season-long loan spell at Crystal Palace.

But there was one glimmer of light on the horizon.

Former Tottenham youngster Terry Dixon continues to progress in training, and he may well be given his first run-out in claret and blue in next Tuesday's reserve team game against Birmingham City at Upton Park.

Dixon's elevation to the first team squad is a long-term aim though, getting a new striker in has to be the priority.

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