Hammers keen on revitalising careers of two top-flight misfits

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Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Matt Taylor are just three men who have enjoyed a footballing rejuvenation since joining West Ham and the Premier League’s version of Battersea Dogs Home are looking to rescue two more men this summer.

Joleon Lescott was a Sam Allardyce target in January but wasn’t able to seal a deal for the former Wolves stopper due to Manchester City’s pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple and Manuel Pellegrini’s need for a bench-warmer in case of injury.

The 26-cap international’s contract runs out this summer and, having made just eight Premier League starts this term, will likely walk away from the Etihad club, who are 13/2 to win the league this season, on a free.

A switch from bench-warming title chaser to mid-table regular would be just the career move Lescott would need now he’s the wrong side of 30.

A five-year stint at City helped the centre-back win every major domestic trophy available in England and he surely now only has regular football on his list of priorities and West Ham, who called in Roger Johnson as an emergency loan in January, would certainly provide that.

The Hammers, who are 6/5 to pick up the three points against Crystal Palace next time out, are also keen on giving relegation-threatened Sunderland outcast Emanuele Giaccherini a lifeline after the Italian started just two Premier League games in 2014 for Gus Poyet.

A move to Upton Park looks good too as the 28-year-old has reportedly rebuffed attempts from Genoa and Roma to bring him back to his native land.

Should Sunderland fail to beat the drop, as they are 1/8 to do, then the Paolo Di Canio recruit would surely be one of the first to jump ship and West Ham are ready to offer the player a £5m escape route.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.