£16m transfer opens the door for Fulham and Crystal Palace in striker hunt

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United may be about to benefit from AS Monaco's transfer dealings. Could Inter Milan striker head for Premier League strugglers?

Giant Ivory Coast international striker Lacina Traore has finally moved away from crisis club Anzhi Makhachkala - leaving one big spending outfit for another.

He joined Anzhi in June 2012 for a fee of €18 million from Kuban Krasnodar - and helped them fight for the title under Guus Hiddink last season. But things have gone sour at Anzhi - and sitting bottom of the Russian Premier League did not appeal to the big Ivorian striker.

So he has joined AS Monaco fee for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the £16 million region - although he is not expected to stick around.

Initial reports claim Monaco want to loan him out immediately, with West Ham the likely destination.

The Hammers need striker cover as Andy Carroll continues to suffer with a serious heel problem. And bringing in the 6ft 8ins striker might just be the perfect option.

And it seems the ramifications are already apparent - which could provide good news for Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Reports in Italy suggest that Inter Milan striker Ishak Belfodil could move to either London club on loan in January - now that West Ham are said to have their eyes fixed solely on Traore.

The Algerian, who was linked with a Liverpool move this summer, only joined from Parma a few months ago - but first-team football is hard to come by.

He was recently informed by his national team coach that despite playing for an illustrious club and being obviously very talented - he will not go to the World Cup in Brazil if he is not playing regular football.

That has seen him force permission for a loan move - with Fulham and Palace certainly in need of his services.

He has a French passport, so no need for a Work Permit, and is a player playing for a World Cup spot - so should be fired up.

Fulham could lose Dimitar Berbatov this winter - but regardless, another striker is needed. Meanwhile Palace will need all the firepower they can get to survive the drop.

The transfer merry-go-round then is in full swing - and it could be a player’s switch from Dagestan to the principality of Monaco could have a vital impact on the season of these two relegation fighters.

image: © Tom Cuppens

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