Three players West Ham should scout at the Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria Flag at 2010 WC

The Africa Cup of Nations is poised to kick off later this week, but who should West Ham be scouting at the competition?

Nicolas N'Koulou, Cameroon

With Winston Reid's contract set to expire at the end of this season, West Ham are facing up to the prospect of losing the New Zealand international, as reported in the Daily Mail.

That means manager Sam Allardyce must look to find a possible replacement for the 26-year-old, and the Daily Mail have recently linked the Hammers with a move to sign Marseille's Nicolas N'Koulou.

The 24-year-old centre back has impressed with the French giants, and could put himself in the shop window at the Africa Cup of Nations if he impresses for Cameroon.

Andre Ayew, Ghana

Despite reverting to a new 4-3-1-2 system for large parts of the season, adding another winger may be in Allardyce's plans - especially if Matt Jarvis is sold this month.

Back in October, the Hammers were linked with a move to sign Ghanaian World Cup star Andre Ayew by the Daily Mirror, also from Marseille.

The 24-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season, meaning he can pen a pre-contract agreement with any club that wishes to offer him one this month.

A prolific wide man who can also play through the middle, Ayew will be a bargain for somebody - and with strong displays for Ghana, that could well be West Ham.

Islam Slimani, Algeria

Finally, we come to the possibility of adding another striker.

Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have all impressed this season, but Carlton Cole is little more than an afterthought, whilst Mauro Zarate has already moved on to Queens Park Rangers.

Having been linked by Tutto Mercato Web with a move for Islam Slimani, the Algerian striker admitted that he turned down a move to Upton Park in the summer.

"Yes [there were negotiations], but thank god I stayed with Sporting," he told Le Buteur. "I made the right choice. Stability is a positive. I have to work to make more progress, and then I can think about moving elsewhere."

WIth West Ham faring better than imagined, Allardyce's men have become far more attractive - and they could rekindle their interest in Slimani with good displays at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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