Chamakh closes in on loan switch to West Ham

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Marouane Chamakh is set to complete a loan move to West Ham by the end of the week, understands.

The Arsenal outcast trained at the Gunners’ London Colney training base on Friday morning but is on the verge of joining the Hammers on loan until the end of the season.

As revealed by last month, West Ham and Arsenal have been in discussions since Arsene Wenger sanctioned the departure of the forward to free up space in the Gunners’ squad and on the wage bill.

Arsenal had hoped to off-load the the Moroccan permanently but will instead subsidise the Upton Park transfer by paying some of his wages.

The 28-year-old will become West Ham’s third signing of the window after the east Londoners completed the permanent transfer of Joe Cole from Liverpool on a free and young Irish striker Sean Maguire.

Manager Sam Allardyce has targeted Chamakh as he attempts to strengthen his attacking options.

Chamakh has slipped alarmingly down the Arsenal pecking order following a reasonably encouraging debut season after moving on a free transfer from Bordeaux in the summer of 2010.

Speaking on talkSPORT on Friday morning, Allardyce signalled his intent to capture Chamakh even though he has not been signed in time to play in Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

“If I cast my mind back to what did at Bordeaux, he produced some good goalscoring performances and won the league under Laurent Blanc and got them into the Champions League,” said Allardyce.

Chamakh’s exit will pave the way for Arsenal to sign a new centre-forward this month, with Barcelona’s David Villa and Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez the two prime targets.

Chamakh has not played a single minute of Premier League football this season, with his only involvement being in the Capital One Cup and in the Champions League when Arsenal had already qualified for the knockout stages.

His last game for the club is likely to have been in the dismal Capital One Cup exit at Bradford City, when he missed a penalty in the shoot-out.

Arsenal will also listen to offers for Andrey Arshavin, Andre Santos, Johan Djourou, Sebastien Squillaci and Emmanuel Frimpong in the January window.

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