Allardyce’s striker hunt heads to France as Spence is loaned out again

West Ham boss interested in Nice’s Eric Mouloungui as defender heads back to Bristol City

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce took his striker search to France at the weekend as he eyed up a move for Nice attacker Eric Mouloungui.

Allardyce left Upton Park at half time of the Hammers’ 2-0 win against Real Zaragoza to fly to the south of France to watch Mouloungui play in Nice’s game against Calcio, in which the Gabon international played 80 minutes.

The West Ham boss has made no secret of his intention to bring a striker to Upton Park before the close of the summer transfer window, and it is thought that 27-year-old Mouloungui, who can play either on the wing or up front, is on Allardyce’s radar.

With Carlton Cole and Freddie Piquionne the only current senior strikers at the club, it is thought that Mouloungui’s pace would add another dimension to the West Ham attack.

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Another option for Allardyce is Finland international Mikael Forssell, who is currently on trial with the Hammers.

The 30-year-old is best known in England for his spells with Chelsea and then Birmingham City, where he was signed when David Gold and David Sullivan were at the club.

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However, following Birmingham’s relegation in 2008, Forssell moved to German club Hannover, where his contract ended this summer.

Forssell is hoping to impress enough to be offered a contract at West Ham, and the fact that there would be no transfer fee is something that would no doubt appeal to the Hammers board.

? Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that young defender Jordan Spence has joined Bristol City on a season-long loan from West Ham.

In a peculiar move, Spence returns to Ashton Gate, where he made 11 appearances during a two-month spell last season, and goes straight into the squad for the Robins’ first game of the season at home to Ipswich Town.

“It is a good opportunity for me, especially at this time,” said Spence. “I have spoken to the manager and we both agree that it is better that I am playing all the time.

“This loan move gives me the chance to do that and if I am called back, then I know I have been playing regularly.

“The manager at Bristol City knows me and wanted me to come back down, so I am going to work hard and hopefully do well.”

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