Striker light! Allardyce looks for forward for the Hammers

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has put a striker at the top of his shopping list for the new season.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has made signing a striker his top priority after missing out on Peterborough United forward Craig Mackail-Smith earlier this week.

The marksman, who scored 35 goals for Posh last season, opted to join fellow Championship side Brighton over the Hammers, a decision that disappointed the West Ham boss.

“I had a good chat with Craig and was hopeful that he would come to us, but he has made the decision to go to Brighton and I can only think that it was not simply a football decision,” said Allardyce, who has already drawn up a shortlist of strikers to look at, including Blackpool front man DJ Campbell.

“We will run the rule over a few players, but I think we do need another striker in the squad,” he stressed.

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“It is difficult to work with just three strikers, especially in a 46-game season and ideally we will be looking for two strikers to grab between 15 and 20 goals each.”

Allardyce is not ruling out keeping some of his international stars and he intends to meet with them this week to find out the plans of the likes of Robert Green, Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Mexican winger Pablo Barrera.

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“They return this week and then I will sit down with them and they can tell me what their plans are,” he said. “Obviously if they want to go and we get a satisfactory bid in then I wouldn’t want to stand in their way, but let us see what they say first – we have not received bids for any of the players.”

The manager is running the rule over his squad this week in training before they jet off to Switzerland for a pre-season tour on Friday and he has been happy with what he has seen.

“It has been lovely weather and the boys are looking very enthusiastic. Everyone looks like they are glad to be back,” he said.

“Last season was a miserable one, but we have to put that behind us and start to work on the task ahead and that is getting straight back into the Premier League.”

The trip to Switzerland, where they will play two games, is one Allardyce is looking forward to.

“I have always gone on pre-season tours in the past and they are an invaluable way of getting to know everyone and improving the team spirit,” he said. “We have lots of new faces among the players and the staff and this will be the perfect chance for everyone to get to know each other.”

West Ham start their pre-season campaign with a match against Young Boys of Berne on Monday, with a 6pm kick-off, before playing FC Basel on Wednesday.

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