Cole told he is free to leave West Ham

Carlton Cole has been advised to look for a new club as West Ham manager Sam Allardyce looks to reshape his squad, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Cole fell behind loan signing Andy Carroll in the Upton Park pecking order but found his way back into the team when the Liverpool striker suffered an injury not long after the transfer window had closed.

But with the January market open and the Hammers particularly active in the transfer window thus far – signing a pair of strikers in Marouane Chamakh and Wellington Paulista and being linked with a third, Manchester City forward John Guidetti – Cole has again fallen down the list of Allardyce’s preferred centre-forwards.

Cole however has not taken the news well, the Mirror adds, with the former Chelsea target man keen to stay at the club and prove his worth over proposed moves to either Reading or Norwich City.

West Ham have struggled to find a prolific Premier League striker this season, with Cole netting only twice in 19 appearances and Carroll scoring just once before injury interrupted his season. Chamakh has not been scoring with regularity at Arsenal either, managing two goals this term but playing only four games, and scoring only once in 21 appearances last season.

The 29-year-old Cole has been at West Ham since 2006, playing 227 times for the club and scoring 59 times, winning England caps during his almost 7 years in claret and blue.

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