Hammers in for French forward

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West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce is joining the race for Chelsea outcast Nicolas Anelka.

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has told Anelka he is free to leave after they fell out, and Allardyce wants to bring the forward to Upton Park.

The Hammers target has been outcast at Stamford Bridge and sent to train with the reserves along with defender Alex.

Now Allardyce is ready to make a bid for the former France international, who looks set to leave Chelsea in January.

"If Nicolas is available, I'd be massively interested. I've not contacted Chelsea and am just looking at the situation with January looming," he said.

Allardyce worked with Anelka while he was still boss at Bolton Wanderers and the two had a good relationship.

However, the former Newcastle United boss feels that promotion back to the Barclays Premier League is essential if they are to attract players of Anelka's quality.

The Hammers boss has admitted he will make moves in the transfer window, but feels January may be too early to sign Anelka.

"It would be an end-of-season pursuit rather than next month," he added. "We need to get into the Premier League — and then we'd have a better chance of signing someone of Nicolas' quality."

Premier League

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