Belfast Telegraph

Cole set for Hammers return

Former England striker Carlton Cole is poised to return to West Ham just months after being surplus to requirements at the Barclays Premier League club.

West Ham offloaded Cole at the end of last season, his seventh at Upton Park.

But the Hammers were left frustrated in their efforts to bring in a new forward on transfer deadline day, missing out on three targets, and are ready to hand Cole an opportunity to stake a claim.

The 29-year-old has remained a free agent over the summer and could now return to manager Sam Allardyce's squad, the club confirmed on Tuesday.

West Ham said in a statement: "Despite the board and manager deciding to do their business early on in the window to avoid last-minute panic buys - resulting in the successful signings of Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Razvan Rat and Adrian - joint-chairman David Sullivan and manager Sam Allardyce did spend all night on Monday trying to sign one of three international strikers, but all opted for the lure of European football instead.

"Importantly, the board also turned down bids for several first-team players in the last week of the window as they are determined to give the squad the best chance possible of bettering last season's tenth-placed Premier League finish.

"The club are pleased to announce that popular striker Carlton Cole is also undergoing a medical today with a view to returning to the Boleyn Ground on a short-term deal."

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