West Ham have identified Sunderland’s Connor Wickham as a replacement for Andy Carroll, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Hammers’ club record signing has been ruled out for another four months after tearing ankle ligaments during pre-season, leaving Sam Allardyce with a late scramble for adequate replacement.

And the West Ham boss believes Sunderland youngster Connor Wickham could be the ideal striker to step in to the much criticised shoes of Carroll.

West Ham already signed Ecuador’s World Cup star Enner Valencia and Argentine forward Mauro Zarate to boost their attacking threat.

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But Allardyce is still not convinced that he has enough potency in attack to help deliver his promise of a more attacking style this season.

It’s believed Sunderland will demand around £6m for the 21-year-old, who has been told can leave the club should he decline the contract offer Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has offered him.

West Ham are also interested in Stoke’s Peter Crouch and Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha, and recently failed in their attempts to bring former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o to Upton Park.