By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
West Ham have opened talks with Arsenal to sign Marouane Chamakh in January, Goal.com understands.
Arsene Wenger will allow the striker to leave Emirates Stadium as the north Londoners start the process of freeing up space in their squad and on the wage bill.
Chamakh’s former club Bordeaux are also interested in taking the 28-year-old back to France next month.
Negotiations with West Ham will centre on the length of the deal, with Arsenal keen to off-load the Moroccan permanently.
However, the Hammers want to explore the option of a loan until the end of the season as they prepare to call time on their Andy Carroll gamble.
As revealed by Goal.com on Thursday, West Ham believe Carroll’s £90,000-a-week wages could be better spent on other players and are ready to trigger the clause in his season-long loan from Liverpool that allows him to return to Merseyside.
Manager Sam Allardyce has targeted Chamakh as he attempts to strengthen his attacking options.
Of West Ham’s strikers, only Modibo Maiga has scored more than one goal this season, with the Mali forward chipping in with four, three more than Carroll, Carlton Cole, Ricardo Vaz Te and Nicky Maynard.
Even if Carroll stays at West Ham, he will not be available until early February after suffering a knee injury.
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.
The Moroccan 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 last week, 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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