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Zola vows to boost strikeforce as Hammers mull Cavani move

PUBLISHED: 17:11 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:17 05 October 2010

Gianfranco Zola is determined to sign a top-class striker for West Ham this summer after watching his patchwork forward line fire blanks in last weekend's derby defeat by Spurs

By JONATHAN CLEGG

Gianfranco Zola is determined to sign a top-class striker for West Ham this summer after watching his patchwork forward line fire blanks in last weekend's derby defeat by Spurs.

With England pair Carlton Cole and Dean Ashton currently sidelined through injury, the Hammers boss was forced to start veteran duo David Di Michele and Diego Tristan at White Hart Lane.

West Ham's lack of firepower proved costly as £14m Spurs substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko netted a second-half winner for Harry Redknapp's side, who are now just three points behind the Hammers in the race for Europe.

Di Michele, 33, had missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock minutes before Pavlyuchenko's strike, while Tristan, 33, has struggled to make an impression since moving to Upton Park in October.

Both players are likely to leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of the season and, though Zola defended their contributions against Tottenham, the Italian has resolved to bring a new front-line forward to the club this summer.

He said: "When Di Michele went through [on Saturday], I thought it was our moment, but he is never lucky in front of goal.

"Diego has also done very well, but this is just the third game where he has played 90 minutes. Physically when you do not play for such a long time, you have to be understanding.

"Having said that, we will [look at signing a striker this summer]. That is a part of the team where we are looking to improve."

West Ham technical director Gianluca Nani is currently drawing up a list of potential reinforcements, with Palermo forward Edison Cavani understood to be the club's No1 target.

The 22-year-old Uruguay international was linked with West Ham last summer and is aware of interest from the Hammers and a number of other European clubs.

"I know that several foreign teams, but also Italian ones, are following me," Cavani said.

West Ham are also considering a move for Tanzania striker Mrisho Ngasa, who has joined the club on a two-week trial.

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