West Ham and Fulham in battle for £15m-rated striker Wilfried Bony

Ivory Coast international attracting interest from the London clubs

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The Independent Football

Fulham have joined West Ham in the race to sign the highly rated Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony.

It is understood that the Hammers, buoyed this week by the announcement that they will become the tenants of the Olympic Stadium, are prepared to smash the club record £11m they paid for Matt Jarvis last year in order to sign a forward for next season.

And it is the Vitesse Arnhem front man who is thought to top their wish list, with The Evening Standard reporting that a club source confirmed the 24-year-old is one player under consideration. Manager Sam Allardyce has prioritised a striker for next season.

The source also revealed that “five other Premier League clubs” are looking at the striker, including Fulham. The Dutch club want £15m for Bony, who has scored 26 goals in 24 league games this season.

West Ham have the fourth worst goal-scoring record in the Premier League this season, with just 32 goals in 29 games. Captain Kevin Nolan remains the leading scorer with six goals.

Allardyce, meanwhile, could sign a new deal as early as next month, providing the club ensure their safety in the Premier League.

There have been rumours that Harry Redknapp could return as manager next season should Queens Park Rangers be relegated and much may depend on Allardyce’s demands when talks begin on a new deal. It is understood, though, that the Hammers are optimistic that Allardyce will stay.