'We are desperate for centre forwards' - West Ham chairman rules out Wilshere move

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David Gold confirmed the club is seeking to sign new strikers, claiming that they are already well stocked in midfield and do not need Wilshere

West Ham are not looking to sign Jack Wilshere, and instead are "desperate" to sign strikers, co-chairman David Gold has said.

The Arsenal midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Emirates, with West Ham a possible destination, but Gold has ruled out a move for the 25-year-old.

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“We are interested in all good players but we have to face the facts here – we have got good midfielders," Gold told talkSPORT  when asked about Wilshere.

“We have got a good defence, we have got good midfielders, we have got good wingers. We need strikers and that is the key to everything for this season so we are focused first and foremost on bringing in two strikers.”

Michail Antonio was the top goalscorer for Slaven Bilic's side last season with nine Premier League strikes, despite featuring in a number of positions including right-back, while Andy Carroll started only 15 league matches.

West Ham's lone signing since the end of the campaign is former Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta on a free transfer and Gold indicated he is ready to spend big money to make additions to Bilic's forward line.

The Hammers have targeted both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott as part of their summer transfer list, and Gold is adamant that signing a new striker is his number one priority.

"It's clear to most fans that we are desperate for centre-forwards," Gold continued.

"Andy Carroll is injury-prone as we know, we have had an injury problem with [Diafra] Sakho and we have just got to bring in centre-forwards. We have got to find the money.

"Without strikers, you struggle in the Premier League. You struggle in any division because strikers are your key players.

"You have to spend your money wisely but it must be on strikers, particularly strikers that have had experience with Premier League football - the very best we can afford."

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Overseas imports including Edimilson Fernandes, Gokhan Tore, Sofiane Feghouli, Jonathan Calleri and Simone Zaza struggled to make an impact at London Stadium last season.

And Gold indicated West Ham will shop domestically in a bid to improve returns from their close-season signings, with a move for Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho also likely dependent on a buy-back clause.

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"We have tried the route of going overseas to bring in players - that hasn't worked," Gold added. "We had a very difficult season because players we brought in from Europe didn't make the grade and we paid the price. We struggled.

"We were actually flirting for some time with relegation because we couldn't score goals. That is why we have got to bring in players with Premier League experience and that is what we are working on now. [Co-chairman] David Sullivan is working day and night in an effort to solve this problem."

West Ham's opening game of the new Premier League season sees Bilic's men travel to Manchester United on August 12.

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