Report: West Ham target World Cup winning goal machine

West Ham have already been linked with Fabio Quagliarella and Marco Borriello but there's a new name doing the rounds - Alberto Gilardino.

West Ham's search for a striker continues to include a heavy Serie A influence and the latest reports in Italy suggest that they are looking at Genoa marksman Alberto Gilardino.

Over the last few weeks, the Hammers have been linked with Juventus' out-of-favour marksman Fabio Quagliarella and Roma hit man Marco Borriello.

Juventus are said to be reluctant to let Quagliarella leave on loan, scuppering West Ham's plans, while Borriello has hinted that he would rather stay in Italy should the chance arise.

So the new man in the frame is 2006 World Cup winner and proven goal machine Gilardino, who has recently rejected a move to Toronto FC.

The 31-year-old truly made his name at Parma between 2002 and 2005 when he had the phenomenal strike rate of 50 goals in 96 games and in the 2003-04 campaign he was the second highest scorer in Serie A to Andriy Shevchenko.

Gilardino has also been at AC Milan, where he was often maligned but still produced more than a goal every three games, and Fiorentina where he became a firm favourite at the Stadio Artemio Franchi with his trademark scoring touch.

This term, Gila has an impressive eight goals to his name for mid-table Genoa and has apparently caught the eye of West Ham.

According to Sky Italia's Calciomercato programme, West Ham are ready to step in with an offer and aim to bring the lethal marksman to East London as soon as possible.

West Ham are in dire need of a striker and Gilardino would be a massive swoop, but it remains to be seen whether he would consider relocating to England.

Gilardino recently stated that he was happy at Genoa but unsure of his future, prompting the club's fans to start a Twitter campaign to convince him to stay.

image: © Tom Cuppens

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