West Ham tried to sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea during the summer, reveals Sam Allardyce

The striker ended up moving to Everton on deadline day

If Everton hand a debut to on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku at Upton Park on Saturday West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will probably be left thinking what might have been.

The Hammers have failed to score in the Barclays Premier League since their 2-0 opening day win over Cardiff whilst club-record signing Andy Carroll remains sidelines with his heel problem.

Belgium international Lukaku was brought in by Everton boss Roberto Martinez on transfer deadline day after impressing on a loan spell at West Brom last year.

And ahead of their meeting at the weekend Allardyce admitted a deal for Lukaku escaped from his clutches following a summer-long pursuit of the 20-year-old.

"I chased him all summer to be honest," he said.

"But when it became the final day of the deadline we missed out an Everton managed to secure his position. We were more or less told he was going back to West Brom. We tried, but didn't manage to clinch it."

With Carroll still likely to be out for some time and yet to feature since completing a permanent transfer from Liverpool, West Ham have struggled to find the back of the net.

Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan struck in the victory over Cardiff but since then the Hammers have drawn a blank in the league, drawing 0-0 at Newcastle and Southampton and suffering a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke, leaving Allardyce with a growing worry.

"We are concerned about it - there is no doubt about that," he conceded.

"It's not the fact that we are not creating chances - our quality of finishing needs to improve. Our defensive side is very good."

As well as Lukaku West Ham had a number of forwards they were looking to bring in as the transfer window drew to a close but they were unable to acquire any targets.

Even a deal to bring former striker Carlton Cole back to the club after he left at the end of June failed due to his lack of fitness with ex-Fulham frontman Mladen Petric eventually drafted in.

The 32-year-old was signed on a free transfer and, although Allardyce has been impressed with his effort in training, the game against Everton is likely to come too soon for the Croatia international.

"Mladen Petric is training every day and trying to overcome the every day fatigue. He is going through a pre-season and that leaves you tired," he said.

"We're then waiting to find his recovery is quicker and he's into the football as well as the physical side. He's enjoying being back with a group of players he can mingle with rather than being stuck in a park or gym.

"We're hoping he can make an appearance in or around for the Cardiff game [on Tuesday night]."

That means Allardyce is likely to persist with Modibo Maiga as his main striker although there is an outside chance he could recall Ricardo Vaz Te in to a more central role than he is accustomed to.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot