Sam Allardyce will attempt to lure two Premier League legends to Upton Park in attempt to bolster his high-flying squad with some experience.
The West Ham United gaffer is interested in signing Nicolas Anelka in the January transfer window, and could also offer ex-England international Rio Ferdinand a return to the club where he learned his trade at the end of the season.
Big Sam is known for signing ageing veterans and providing them with a renaissance of their previous best in the twilight of their careers. Bolton fans will remember the likes of Fernando Hierro, Ivan Campo and the late Gary Speed performing well under Allardyce despite being in their mid-thirties.
Nicolas Anelka, who also played under Allardyce at Bolton, is currently unsettled at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua and has opened talks with the East Londoners about a return to England’s top flight.
The French striker, who has played for Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea in his successful career, is currently paid £250,000 per week by the Chinese club. Although he is willing to take a pay-cut to return to a higher standard of football, it is unlikely West Ham will be able to agree to the 33-year-old’s wage demands.
The Hammers are hoping the former France international’s good relationship with Allardyce will smooth over contract negotiations, however several other clubs throughout Europe are also interested in acquiring the Shanghai player’s signature.
Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand has surprised Manchester United fans be announcing he is unsure whether he will renew his contract at Old Trafford, which expires at the end of the season.
The veteran defender has refused to speculate whether he will retire at the end of the season, but has now been presented with a third option by Allardyce to return to his old stomping ground – Upton Park.
Ferdinand, 34, progressed through the youth ranks at West Ham and made 157 appearances for the club before moving to Leeds United in 2000.
Sir Alex Ferguson has made it clear he wants Ferdinand to extend his contract at United, but the former England international will wait until the busy winter period to make a decision on his career.
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