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Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 15:13 UK

West Ham poised for Chamakh deal

By Simon Austin

Marouane Chamakh
Chamakh's goals fired Bordeaux to the French league title last season

West Ham hope to wrap up the signing of Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh this week, BBC Sport understands.

The deal depends on the sale of James Collins, who was the subject of a £5m bid from Stoke last week and has also attracted interest from Aston Villa.

Morocco international Chamakh, 25, would cost about £7m and is expected to sign a five-year deal at Upton Park.

Chamakh scored 14 goals last season to help Bordeaux break Lyon's seven-year monopoly of the French league title.

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has been told he must sell before he can bring any more players to the club.

The Italian has a surfeit of central defenders, with England international Matthew Upson, Welsh duo Danny Gabbidon and Collins and promising home-grown player James Tomkins all vying for two positions.

As far as I know, he (Dean Ashton) is still doing his rehabilitation and I'm hoping to have him in my team

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola

However, he is desperately short of strikers, with Carlton Cole the only fit centre forward in the first-team squad.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill travelled to Upton Park to watch Collins and Upson play in the 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham on Sunday.

Zola would be willing to let Collins leave the club but is reluctant to allow Upson to leave unless he receives a huge offer of "Joleon Lescott proportions", BBC Sport understands.

Everton defender Lescott is poised to join Manchester City for a fee believed to be in the region of £24m.

Meanwhile, Zola has denied reports that striker Dean Ashton could be about to announce his retirement because of a serious ankle injury.

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"As far as I know, he's still doing his rehabilitation and I'm hoping to have him in my team," said Zola on Sunday.

"He's a player who can make a big difference. Until they tell me something different, I'm hoping he'll come back."

Ashton injured his ankle in Zola's first training session with the club in September 2008.

The England striker signed for the Hammers from Norwich for £7.25m in 2006 and has made 46 league appearances for them, scoring 15 goals in the Premier League.



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see also
Footballer's career 'in balance'
24 Aug 09 |  England
Chamakh resigned to Bordeaux stay
19 Aug 09 |  African
Chamakh pushes for Arsenal move
09 Aug 09 |  Arsenal
Chamakh lashes out at Bordeaux
03 Aug 09 |  African
Ashton will miss rest of season
15 Feb 09 |  West Ham


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