It’s no secret West Ham’s striking budget doesn’t quite match the club’s lofty ambitions.

With Andy Carroll crocked once more and domestic targets Loic Remy, Javier Hernandez and Charlie Austin too expensive, the Hammers look like they’ll have to scour Europe for a decent forward.

Here are five lesser-known European names the Irons could chase in this transfer window as their signatures might be kinder on the club’s limited bank balance.

5. Alexander Meier, Eintracht Frankfurt

Hardly one for the future, but the big German could prove the perfect Andy Carroll stand-in.

A legend at Eintracht, having bagged more than 100 goals for the club since 2004, Meier was the club’s top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 19 goals following the club’s promotion.

The 6ft 5ins giant matches Carroll’s physicality and, at 32, would be unlikely to cost too much.

We reckon: £5million

4. Luca Toni, Hellas Verona

Yes, he’s still playing. Honest. And guess what, he scored 22, yes 22, goals for Verona in Serie A last season.

The 38-year-old would be a massive gamble but, having never played in the Premier League, would the old warhorse be able to resist one last shot at the big time? (We’re not lying, he really is still playing)

We reckon: next to nothing

3. Clinton N’jie, Lyon

If for nothing else, just for the potential nickname “President Clinton”.

The 21-year-old is at the opposite end of his career from the likes of Luca and, as a diminutive and pacey option, would offer something completely different.

However, N’jie has yet to truly establish himself in the French league, which could work in the Hammers’ favour when negotiating a fee.

The Cameroon international has already scored six times for his country and proves that he has an appetite for the big-time, with a goal scoring man-of-the-match performance against PSG in February. Another risk, but one worth taking for Bilic?

We reckon: £4million.

2. Renaud Emond, Waasland-Beveren

Yes, he may have only notched 15 goals in the Belgian league last season, but that was with relative minnows Beveren, in his first season in top-flight football.

Emond’s efforts helped his club avoid relegation and would likely be an inexpensive capture for the Hammers. Backup, certainly.

We reckon: £1million

1. Ishak Belfodil, unattached

If Bilic wants a proven striker who can stand in and do the business, he would be wise to take a look at the former Internazionale man.

Yes, he may not score many goals, but one has to take into account that he was part of an awful Parma team last season who could barely escape their own half to feed him crosses.

The Algerian's stock is low at the moment, so would be unlikely to command huge wages.

We reckon: He’s free