West Ham’s search for a striker over the summer has failed to translate to a penetrating force on the field. Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are on the treatment table with only a few days to go left in the transfer window.
The loss of the frontmen led to a toothless display at the first Premier League home game at the London Stadium, with tens of thousands of fans hungry for something to cheer but given very slender fare.
Michail Antonio can’t carry the burden of goal hunter while new signing Jonathan Calleri is a prospect but, as he showed with his last minute miss in Sunday’s game, he is not a guarantee of goals.
So it’s back to the phones as the club try to do a deal that will see them over the early part of the season. Next Sunday’s away fixture at the home of the title favourites Manchester City may have come a little too early for a squad that now feels depleted and undercooked.
Juventus striker Simone Zaza is said to be “seriously considering” a move to east London, according to his father. And the 25-year-old Italian forward has been told he’s free to move.
Zaza featured in the Juventus friendly that acted as a curtain raiser for the new stadium.
Dad Antonio said: “West Ham are a solution we’d appreciate and represent something more concrete.
“We are taking London into serious consideration as his next destination. Simone still has four years left on his contract and would happily remain in Turin to give his contribution.
“Juventus don’t want to sell Simone to a direct rival. Milan, Napoli and Roma would be the options, we’ll see what happens.”
Another name in the frame is Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony who is surplus to requirements at Pep Guardiola’s regime despite heading north for £28million in January last year.
The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international has been mentioned before as West Ham tried, and failed, to land a “20 goal a season striker”, missing out on the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke and Carlos Bacca.
Manager Slaven Bilic knows that the market is going to be tough between now and August 31. He said at the weekend: “We are going to try to get one. The chairman is going to be very generous and he will get one if we find the proper one, it’s very hard now.
“I am going to speak with the chairman and director of recruitment on Monday and if we get one, it’s got to be a good one.”
Troubles up front are matched by injuries among the midfield creatives too with Sofiane Feghouli, Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini having a variety of knocks and injuries.
Europa League latest
Meanwhile, despite some teething problems with the new stadium, the club have announced that its popularity continues with fewer than 1,500 tickets left for Thursday's match against Astra Giurgiu.
The match is a must-win for West Ham if they are to progress in the Europa League after a disappointing 1-1 draw in the first leg on August 18.
The rush for tickets comes after it was revealed that some fans were left sitting on concrete at the Bournemouth match because of a mess-up by contractors LS185.
Vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "I can only apologise LS185 say it was an admin error. We will make sure it is rectified and LS185 will be compensating 56 supporters affected."
• The capacity at the ground was brought down from 60,000 to 57,000 on Sunday because Newham Council had raised safety fears over persistent standing.