Sunderland striker can be Hammers ready-made Carroll replacement

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Sunderland have slapped a new deal on the table for striker Connor Wickham to sign, but as yet the Englishman is not playing ball as he weighs up his options ahead of the new Premier League season.

Such an impasse in proceedings is not lost on Sam Allardyce down at West Ham, who is still keen to bring in a target man of crocked Andy Carroll’s ilk.

The Hammers’ injury-stricken record signing is currently staring down the barrel of another lengthy lay-off thought to be around four months, as he tries to recover from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season.

At 6ft 3” the former Ipswich striker possesses the frame to successfully plough a lone furrow up front and unlike Carroll does have a burst of pace in his locker.

Wickham cost Sunderland £8m back in 2011 when he joined from the Tractor Boys, though he’s since spent spells away on loan and it wasn’t until the very end of last season that Gus Poyet was given a timely reminder of his qualities.

The England U21 international played a pivotal role in the Wearsiders’ amazing scramble to safety at the end of last season, scoring five times including a double against champions Manchester City.

Nevertheless, Poyet has already stated the club will not be held to ransom over Wickham’s demands, saying the front man will be moved on if he refuses to take up the offer in front of him.

West Ham have already bolstered their attacking options this summer with the additions of Mauro Zarate from Lazio and Ecuadorian World Cup sensation Enner Valencia.

Even so, with rumours afoot Carroll will be pawned off in the January window anyway, the Hammers boss is still very keen on covering the former Newcastle and Liverpool striker’s position.

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

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