Zola to target striker

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West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola will attempt to bring in a striker this week after Guillermo Franco picked up an injury in training.

Franco, 33, was the only senior striker left following Carlton Cole's knee problems but now faces the rest of the month on the sidelines after a suffering a muscular complaint.

Cole has started training with the ball but is still out until later this month - he may return for the Barclays Premier League clash against Portsmouth on January 26 - but Zola still wants to strengthen his attacking options.

Nuno Gomes, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Aston Villa's former Hammers striker Marlon Harewood and Stoke targetman James Beattie have all been suggested as possible targets to help Zola's bid to avoid relegation this season.

The better news for the Italian is players returning from injury, with Scott Parker, Mark Noble, Jack Collison and Danny Gabbidon among those in the frame for next weekend's trip to Aston Villa.

The club could also make an announcement this week on how talks are progressing over a takeover.

Icelandic bank Straumur, the club's owners, continue negotiations over a potential sale. David Gold and David Sullivan are said to be in the race along with Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes and the InterMarket Group.

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Eidur Gudjohnsen
Carlton Cole
Eidur Gudjohnsen
Stoke City
Scott Parker
Premier League
Marlon Harewood
Mark Noble
James Beattie
Gianfranco Zola
Jack Collison
Aston Villa
West Ham United

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