Hammers struggling to land strikers

The Hammers, who will officially unveil new manager Avram Grant

before the world’s media at Upton Park on Thursday, have admitted

defeat in their attempts to sign Germany’s World Cup striking star

Miroslav Klose. In the meantime, their hopes of landing for

Portsmouth loanee Frederic Piquionne from French club Lyon also

hang in the balance. Piquionne enjoyed a successful loan period

with Portsmouth under Grant last season. Newly promoted West Brom

have since shown an interest in signing the striker but it is

understood the player would rather team-up with Grant again at

Upton Park. A £1million deal to land Piquionne appeared to

have been completed on Tuesday but the move was thwarted by

differing views within Lyon. It is understood club president

Jean-Michel Aulas is happy to cash-in on the striker but coach

Claude Puel wants to hang on Piquionne, who helped Portsmouth reach

the FA Cup final last season. Meanwhile West Ham’s co-owner David

Sullivan has admitted that a deal to land Klose is unlikely to go

through following the striker’s star performances in South Africa.

Klose, 32, has scored four goals for Germany as they reached the

semi-finals of the competition. Klose’s club Bayern Munich were all

set to let the striker quit on a free transfer after he scored just

six goals in 38 appearances for the Bundesliga side last term. But

Klose’s form in South Africa has left him just one goal short of

Brazilian Ronaldo in the all-time World Cup scoring charts and as a

result of his form, he may now look to move elsewhere in Europe.

“We had a deal in place before the World Cup, after he had a bad

season in Germany. However, as a result of what he has done at the

World Cup, it’s unlikely to happen,” Sullivan told Soccernet. The

Hammers have also played down suggestions that former Birmingham

and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant, now with Real Zaragoza in

Spain, might be bound for Upton Park.