West Ham transfer news: Work permit granted for goalscoring solution

Carlton Cole

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce search for a new striker continues, though Lacina Traore is expected to arrive after being granted a work permit.

The giant Ivorian striker joined Monaco from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala earlier this month, but the Ligue 1 side intend to loan the 23-year-old straight out.

At 6ft 8in tall, Traore fits the bill for what Allardyce looks for in his strikers. Traore is strong, powerful, and unsurprisingly good in the air as the Hammers seek to add some much needed goals to their side.

Allardyce's men currently lie in 17th place in the Premier League table, level on points with Cardiff City – who are in the relegation zone – whilst only being one point clear of bottom club Crystal Palace. With Andy Carroll absent for the season so far, West Ham have struggled to hit the back of the net, with Modibo Maiga and Carlton Cole contributing just five league goals between them this season.

The deal for Traore hit a stumbling block though, as he only attained seven caps for Ivory Coast, meaning an initial work permit was turned down. But after a “exceptional talent” plea from the Hammers, the striker was granted permission to complete his move to Upton Park, though confirmation hasn't been released just yet.

Elsewhere, the situation regarding Ravel Morrison's future continues to be a mess. The former Manchester United midfielder is seemingly unhappy at West Ham, and has attracted interest from Fulham and Cardiff, both managed by ex-United coaches in Rene Meulensteen and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer respectively.

Meulensteen made his interest in the 20-year-old public on Tuesday, stating that he knew the midfielder wanted to move across London to Craven Cottage, which the Hammers are treating as an illegal approach and have filed a complaint to the FA as a result. New speculation suggests that West Ham would be willing to sell Morrison for a fee of £10m, which means Fulham's £6m bid fell some way short.

The fallout rumbles on there, but one situation that has been resolved is the future of striker Carlton Cole. Cole, who was released by West Ham in the summer, rejoined the club on a short-term deal in October, and his impressive performances have led to a new 18-month contract with the club. Having first arrived at the club in 2006 from Chelsea, Cole was understandably delighted to secure his future at Upton Park.

It’s a bit of a relief that the deal’s done and it’s nice to be somewhere I’m wanted," he said. "It’s nice to be settled. The relationship with the fans probably had something to do with me coming back: they appreciate me and I appreciate them.”

With two weeks left of the January transfer window, expect West Ham to be linked with a handful of other strikers, but also defenders after the failed attempt to sign Johnny Heitinga from Everton. The Hammers need points and quickly, so Allardyce may be active in the transfer market in the coming fortnight.

image: © East Ham Bull

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