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West Ham target ‘very best’ strikers they can afford and coy on Jack Wilshere

Alexis Nunes and Stevie Nicol sift through the latest rumours around Giroud, Lacazette, Oxlade-Chamberlain and more.

West Ham United joint chairman David Gold has told talkSPORT the club will sign “the very best we can afford” as they look to cure their goal-scoring problems of last season.

The Hammers, who have been linked with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, scored 18 fewer goals last season compared to the previous campaign, and finishing 11th when in 2015-16 they were seventh to earn European football.

Winger Michail Antonio was the club’s top scorer with nine goals, with only one of those coming in 2017. Andy Carroll was their most prolific striker with seven, but injuries limited him to just 15 Premier League starts.

Gold also distanced the club from links to Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere

“It’s clear to most fans that we are desperate for centre-forwards,” Gold said. “Andy Carroll is injury prone as we know, we have had an injury problem with [Diafra] Sakho and we have just got to bring in centre-forwards. We have got to find the money.

“Without strikers, you struggle in the Premier League. You struggle in any division because strikers are your key players.

Michail Antonio was the club’s top Premier League scorer with nine goals

“You have to spend your money wisely but it must be on strikers, particularly strikers that have had experience with Premier League football — the very best we can afford.

“We have tried the route of going overseas to bring in players — that hasn’t worked [such as Simone Zaza]. We had a very difficult season because players we brought in from Europe didn’t make the grade and we paid the price. We struggled.

“We were actually flirting for some time with relegation because we couldn’t score goals. That is why we have got to bring in players with Premier League experience and that is what we are working on now.

“[Joint chairman] David Sullivan is working day and night in an effort to solve this problem.”

On Wilshere, Gold added: “We are interested in all good players but we have to face the facts here — we have got good midfielders.

“We have got a good defence, we have got good midfielders, we have got good wingers. We need strikers and that is the key to everything for this season so we are focused first and foremost on bringing in two strikers.”

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