West Ham track 41 goal in 46 striker, but already have competition...

West Ham United’s search for a striker has led them to another Italian – this time outside of Serie A.

The Hammers have reportedly turned their attention to Feyenoord goal machine Graziano Pelle – though they seemingly face heavy competition from Qatar.

Seen as a flop in the nation of his birth, the 28-year-old has lit up the Eredivisie since landing in Rotterdam in August 2012 – scoring 41 league goals in 46 appearances.

Pelle’s Dutch adventure is the second of his career – previously having represented AZ Alkmaar for four years – seeing the San Cesario di Lecce native draw interest from around Europe.

At Upton Park the need for reinforcements in attack has seen Italians Fabio Quagliarella, Marco Borriello and Alberto Gilardino all linked – though interest hasn’t seen a concrete move come to fruition.

Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio has maintained that Sam Allardyce’s side are now keen on capturing Pelle, but have already fallen behind in the race for his signature.

Qatari outfit Al Jaish have reportedly offered €8m to Feyenoord for the services of their free-scoring striker – though his current employers are yet to indicate whether they are amenable to a sale.

The Dutch outfit would stand to make a profit of €5m if the Italian is indeed allowed to leave – having taken him on for €3m – with Al Jaish’s purported offer meeting the €8m release clause believed to be in Pelle’s current contract.

It seems unlikely that West Ham will be able to hijack the move, having been priced out of a bid for Quagliarella by a similar quote – so seemingly their hunt continues.

Lacina Traore looks the latest to get away as Everton look to be finalising a deal for the Ivorian after he was close to the Hammers – whilst Chievo’s Cyril Thereu has been tipped as a potential alternative.

image: © Tom Cuppens

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch