Filed: Tuesday, 19th July 2005
By: Matthew O'Greel
Alan Pardew has made no secret of the fact that he is looking to bolster his squad by signing a top-class striker.
Join KUMB as we take a look at some of the names thought to be interesting the Hammers.
Milan Baros (Liverpool) Czech striker Baros has spent most of his career on Merseyside, and is still only 23 years old. The leading goalscorer in the 2004 European Championships could be allowed to leave Anfield for as little as £5m - placing him well within Alan Pardew's reach.
Dean Ashton (Norwich) A popular player with KUMB members, Ashton signed for Norwich for £3m last season and went on to cause something of a stir in the Premiership from January onwards as his goals almost conjured an unlikely escape for the Canaries. However it wasn't to be and Nigel Worthington is desperately trying to hold on to the 21-year-old ex-Crewe man - although a bid in the region of £7m might just make him think again.
Mirko Vucinic (Lecce) Serbian international Vucinic was something of a sensation in Serie A last season, notching 19 goals in just 20 starts. Still only 21, the Serbian international has been with Lecce since the age of 16 and barely registered on the radar before last season - much like Andy Johnson in the Premiership (see below). But with the likes of Inter also said to be interested the Hammers would be hard-pushed to land one of Europe's most exciting talents; expect him to move on for no less than £8-9m.
Darius Vassell (Aston Villa) A bit of an enigma is Darius - he has always shone for England but never managed to do it consistently for his club side in the Premier League. Would be available for around £2.5m but unlikely to offer more than our current strike force.
Peter Crouch (Southampton) Despite having already offered £6m for the lanky striker Alan Pardew appears to have accepted defeat in his attempts to sign the former Villa and Portsmouth target man, who has made it quite clear that he would prefer a move to Liverpool. However with the Reds stalling on an improved bid it is quite possible that someone else could steal in and snatch Crouch. Not a popular choice amongst the fans, it would seem.
Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace) Johnson was something of a revelation last year, hitting 21 goals and earning himself an England call-up in the process. However with 12 of those coming from the penalty spot, that return isn't quite as good as it looks on paper. Despite that the former Birmingham man is unlikely to go for less than £7-8m; whether Alan Pardew feels that is a gamble worth taking remains to be seen. Linked recently with a move to Spain.
Angelos Charisteas (Ajax) 25-year-old Greek striker Charisteas was part of the side which won the European Cup against all the odds in Portugal last year. However he has failed to settle down in Holland since moving from Werder Bremen in a £2.5m switch little over a year ago, and is now thought to be surplus to requirements. Ajax are said to be looking for around £7m for the striker although they will be lucky to get half that according to Dutch sources.
Fabrizio Miccoli (Juventus) Thought to be surplus to requirements with the Italian giants, Miccoli - who spent last season on loan at Fiorentina - has been reported to be interesting both the Hammers and Birmingham. Available for around £4m, the 25-year-old would represent something of a gamble for Alan Pardew.
Benni McCarthy (Porto) A move for the South African is seemingly dead in the water after comments Alan Pardew made in Sweden earlier in the week. A rank outsider, at best.
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