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West Ham start transfer search as targets are revealed

12:53 31 May 2012

Blackburn Rovers Ayegbeni Yakubu stands dejected during the Barclays Premier League match at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

Blackburn Rovers Ayegbeni Yakubu stands dejected during the Barclays Premier League match at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Allardyce keen to strengthen strikeforce and bring in a keeper

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is believed to have identified a list of up to 30 potential summer signings as he sets about strengthening his squad ahead of the Premier League season.

The Hammers released six players last week and are looking to strengthen in several different positions, with a forward high up Allardyce’s list of priorities.

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha looks to be top of that list and is keen on a move to the Premier League having caught the eye with several dazzling displays for the Eagles last season.

Another player believed to be on West Ham’s radar is Blackburn striker Yakubu, who wants to remain in the top flight following Rovers’ relegation to the Championship.

The Nigerian frontman is available for around £1m and deal is likely to emerge in the coming week.

The third striker on Allardyce’s long list is Heerenveen hotshot Bas Dost, who scored 32 goals in the Dutch top flight last season.

It is understood that the Hammers have bid £7m for the 22-year-old, who has attracted interest from elsewhere in Europe.

West Ham are also looking to strengthen in midfield, and Sunderland’s Kieron Richardson has emerged as a target.

The 27-year-old began his youth career at the Hammers before moving to Manchester United at the age of 16, and would provide cover both at left back and midfield.

Another position the Hammers are keen to recruit for is in goal, with current No. 1 Rob Green stalling on signing a new deal.

If Green rejects a new and improved deal at Upton Park, it is believed that Allardyce will turn his attention to Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who is available on a free transfer when his current deal runs out at the end of next month.

Other keepers also on Allardyce’s list are Blackburn’s Paul Robinson and Sunderland’s Craig Gordon as well as recently released Manuel Almunia, who spent six weeks at Upton Park last season, covering for Green.

In terms of defensive recruits, the Hammers are close to signing George McCartney on a permanent deal after the left-back enjoyed a successive loan spell in east London last season.

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