West Ham United have reportedly opened talks to bring back former striker Carlton Cole and sign ex-Chelsea defender Khalid Boulahrouz. 

According to the Metrodiscussions have begun with both players about a deal for the dup. 

The east London club released Cole at the end of last season, having seen the striker fall down the pecking order as Andy Carroll's form improved. 

Boulahrouz was released by Sporting Lisbon at the same time as Cole, but the pair are now a target for the Hammers after Sam Allardyce failed to make significant additions to the squad.

Cole scored 47 goals in 206 appearances for West Ham and the 29-year-old did not receive any attractive offers over the transfer window. 

Boulahrouz spent last season in Portugal but made just nine appearances for Sporting. The former Chelsea man would add more Premier League experience to Allardyce's back-line. 

West Ham signed Andy Carroll in the summer but his injury is expected to keep him out for another week at least.

The Hammers' only other options up front are Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga, so the potential signing of Cole could add some much-needed experience while the former Liverpool striker is sidelined. 

Boulahrouz did not impress particularly while at Stamford Bridge and the 31-year-old is short of playing time. However, he may turn out to be a great addition to the team with his commitment and tough-tackling making him a feared opponent for strikers. 

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