West Ham close on Chamakh transfer

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is edging closer to signing Bordeaux forward Marouane Chamakh and is looking to sell James Collins to push the deal through.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis is still hopeful of signing Collins but the Hammers are also waiting to see if Aston Villa are willing to bid for the 25-year-old centre-back.

The money for Collins would be used for Morocco international Chamakh, who is needed to support Carlton Cole as Zola's only senior striker.

Chamakh wants to leave his French club and earlier in the summer was on the radar of Arsenal but Arsene Wenger felt his price was too expensive for a player whose contract is running out.

Meanwhile, left-back Herita Ilunga's facial injury means he is rated as doubtful to face Tottenham on Sunday in the Barclays Premier League clash at Upton Park.

Jonathan Spector is a likely replacement but Fabio Daprela, the Switzerland Under-19 international, impressed in a behind-closed-doors practice match against Watford.

Radoslav Kovac also featured in the 2-1 win, his first appearance since signing a permanent deal with the club. Josh Payne and Zavon Hines scored the goals in the friendly.

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