Arsenal and West Ham battle to land striker

Romania's Ciprian Marica

West Ham are hoping to beat Arsenal to the free signing of striker Ciprian Marica, reports the Express.

The Romanian forward could move to the Premier League after leaving Schalke this summer, with Lazio, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk also interested.

The Hammers are looking for another striker, and have turned down a move to re-sign Carlton Cole after the forward failed to prove his fitness. With just three recognised strikers at the club, Sam Allardyce is keen on brining Marica to Upton Park.

However, he would have to fight off the interest from Arsene Wenger, who is reportedly close to bringing the 27-year-old to the Emirates. The Frenchman also has limited strike options, with Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo and Nicolas Bendtner the club’s only senior strikers.

Marica spent two seasons at Schalke, where he scored five goals in 34 games. However, only 11 of those matches were starts, as the Romanian struggled to get regular first team action with the Bundesliga side.

The 27-year-old has had more luck getting into the national side though, and scored in Romania’s 3-0 win over Hungary in their 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Friday.

While there could be potential for a regular role at Upton Park, reports suggest that the striker will join Arsenal, who can offer him Champions League football.

Should Marica snub Arsenal for the Hammers? Would he play at Upton Park?

Share your thoughts below!

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Article title: Arsenal and West Ham battle to land striker

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