West Ham may not be able to afford Nicolas Anelka’s wage demands, as the club look to swoop for the French striker in the January transfer window.

The former Chelsea and Arsenal player has been linked with a move back to the English Premier League, after failing to settle at Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

The Hammers are one of several interested parties, as they look to reinforce their striking options after injuries Andy Carroll and Ricardo Vaz Te, both of whom were regular features of the newly promoted side’s forward line during the season’s early months.

West Ham boss Allardyce is known to be a big fan of Anelka after the 33-year-old enjoyed a successful stint at Bolton, while he was in charge at the Reebok Stadium.

But in an interview with talkSPORT, he admitted he was uncertain whether the Hammers would be able to reach an agreement with Anelka’s current Chinese employers over a transfer.

“Nicolas is an outstanding centre-forward,” he said. “He’s a great goalscorer. It would be great to have him here but there’s always that one thing that holds it back and that’s money. It would be lovely to have him but whether it’s affordable for us another matter.

“Finance dominates and we can only spend what we can afford and what the chairmen can find.”

Anelka has only managed three goals for Shanghai Shenhua since moving from Chelsea in last season’s January window.