FC Anzhi Makhachkala striker Lacina Traore is on the verge of joining Premier League strugglers West Ham United on loan until the end of the season.
Anzhi and Monaco have already agreed a deal for the summer transfer of Traore, but the highly-rated Côte d’Ivoire international will link up with the Hammers until the deal is completed.
The six-foot-eight-inch Ivorian is probably the ideal short-term replacement for injury-prone striker Andy Carroll.
Carroll, a £15 million signing from Liverpool in the summer, has yet to make an appearance for West Ham this season due to a heel problem.
The England international, 24, bagged seven goals and four assists in 24 league appearances while on loan at Upton Park last term.
The lack of a credible centre-forward has West Ham (3-6-11) — priced at 4/9 to avoid relegation – sitting in 19th-place in the Premier League table with 18 league fixtures remaining.
Man Utd could extend Tom Lawrence
Manchester United midfielder Tom Lawrence may have earned himself a new contract at Old Trafford after an impactful loan spell at Carlisle United.
The Wales youth international, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, is reportedly attracting interest from a host of clubs, including the likes of Cardiff City and Swansea City.
Earlier this week, Lawrence revealed he would like to extend his loan at Brunton Park, and understandably so.
The 19-year-old midfielder has made six League One appearances for the Cumbrians this season, netting three goals.
“When this loan stay ends it would be nice to stay, but I’ll speak to all kinds of different people to see what is the best option,” said Lawrence.
“I haven’t thought about it too much as I’ve just been concentrating on games. I’ve really settled in as they are a good group of lads, and I’m enjoying it.
“Getting experience at Carlisle is my main objective, getting games and getting used to the Football League. I want to play as many games as I can while I’m here.
“Manchester United said it would be great experience for me coming here and it has been a bonus getting a chance to play.”
In other news, Manchester United are weighing up a summer move for Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, who may be available on a free transfer after the World Cup finals in Brazil.
Cambiasso, who is also attracting interest from Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, has been on impressive form for Internazionale this term, having netted four goals in 17 Serie A games in 2013/14.