Busy West Ham to add Sunderland duo and Holt to new signings

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West Ham have been busy snapping up the free transfers so far this summer, but Sam Allardyce is ready to start splashing the cash, with Grant Holt looking like the leading target.

Allardyce has continued his former connection with Bolton by bringing in Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal to replace Rob Green, while Mohamed Diame should strengthen the midfield.

However, the transfer activity is far from over at Upton Park with Allardyce still wanting a striker to help the Hammers’ quest for Premier League survival this season.

Speculation is that West Ham have already had three offers rejected for Holt, but Allardyce is determined to land his man and is readying a £6m swoop, with £4m of this being offered up front.

Holt managed 17 goals to help Norwich retain their Premier League status last season and would offer some competition for the main striking role to Carlton Cole.

But it is defence where West Ham arguably need the most reinforcements and Allardyce is close to making a deal for George McCartney permanent.

McCartney signed on loan from Sunderland last season and there was reportedly a clause in the deal that West Ham would sign the full-back if gaining promotion.

Meanwhile, West Ham are considering a double raid on Sunderland, with Ahmed Elmohamady also surplus to requirements at the Stadium of Light.

The Egyptian may even be available on a loan deal, which West Ham may prefer and could operate anywhere down the right side.

West Ham’s odds are 9/4 to make an immediate return to the Championship, but the good news for supporters is that there are five other teams considered more likely to be relegated.

First up for West Ham on their Premier League return is a home clash with Aston Villa, for which they are 6/5 to gain the three points.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.