AC Milan's Carlos Bacca is reportedly close to joining West Ham
West Ham United's search for a new striker has been very much a public one, after co-chairman David Sullivan revealed the club's intentions to sign a forward for around £25-30 million, via their official club website.
The Hammers' pursuit of a striker has been a frustrating one, however, as they have seen numerous targets fall by the wayside.
Reports are now suggesting that the East London have finally made a breakthrough in their search, with a £25 million deal for AC Milan's Carlos Bacca close to completion (La Gazetta dello Sport).
Bacca in action for Milan
While there is no doubting Bacca's quality, at the age of 29 and with no experience of English football, it would seem that West Ham's desperation to sign a striker has forced them into an expensive and risky move for the Colombian.
The Hammers would have been far better off being patient, and biding their time in the transfer window, until they could actually secure one of their primary targets.
If that meant waiting util next summer to sign the striker they wanted, then so be it. There were plenty of short-term options available this summer, and there still are.
It was reported here on HITC Sport how Robin van Persie would have been the ideal temporary solution for the Hammers while they continue their search for a marquee striker, but the club have distanced themselves from the Dutchman (The Metro).
Robin Van Persie would a great option for West Ham
While Bacca could prove to be a hit in the Premier League, should a move eventually come to fruition, it is highly likely the transition from Serie A to England's top flight will be a prolonged one, and at the age of 29, time will be very much of the essence for the Colombian.
While there is still a chance, the Hammers should consider pulling the plug on the reported deal for Bacca, and head into the new season with either their already impressive array of striking options, or make a move for a short-term experienced striker in the mould of Van Persie.
Much will depend on whether or not Andy Carroll remains injury free for a prolonged period, and how much trust Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has in the English striker.
With Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and youngster Toni Martinez also among the squad, they are not exactly short of options as they head into the 2016/17 campaign, and should not be pressured into signing anyone.
Has West Ham's desperation forced their hand in the market?