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Transfer news: Carlton Cole return to West Ham collapses after striker fails to prove fitness

The striker's contract expired in the summer after seven years at Upton Park

Carlton Cole has missed out on sealing a return to West Ham after failing to prove his fitness, Press Association Sport understands.

The 29-year-old ended a seven-year stint at Upton Park when he left at the expiration of his contract in June.

But the England international striker was unable to find a new club, and with West Ham failing to add a striker to their ranks despite a number of transfer deadline day targets, it emerged that Cole could make a swift return.

The Barclays Premier League club confirmed an interest in re-signing the former Chelsea frontman with a statement on their website on Tuesday.

"The club are pleased to announce that popular striker Carlton Cole is also undergoing a medical today with a view to returning to the Boleyn Ground on a short-term deal," it read.

A potential deal was also hailed by Hammers captain Kevin Nolan but it now appears that Cole will remain a free agent, with West Ham going forward with Andy Carroll, Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga as their options in attack.