West Ham United are continuing their search for striking reinforcements as they wait to learn the full extent of Andy Carroll's latest injury setback, reports suggest.
The club's record signing was thought to be nearing his return date having not played any football since the final day of the 2012/13 season in May after aggravating a heel injury.
But the former Liverpool striker's hopes of returning to lead the West Ham line took a severe setback when he suffered a separate foot injury on Monday, with early reports suggesting the 24-year-old may have suffered an Achilles injury that could see his season finished before it has even begun.
The Daily Mail report Carroll will travel to Holland to see a specialist who will assess the full extent of the striker's injury with an extended spell on the side lines expected.
With Carroll's absence set to continue, the Hammers have sought to bolster their striking options by signing former Fulham frontman Mladen Petric until the end of the season.
After abandoning attempts to resign Carlton Cole due to concern s over his fitness levels, it would appear the club are still looking to add another striker from the free agent pool with Modibo Maiga the club's only other senior striker.
Former Schalke striker Ciprian Marica, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks given their own dearth of striking options, has also reportedly appeared on the West Ham radar as the club seek to address their blunt attack.
But according to Romanian publication Libertatea, it would appear the Hammers' chances of signing the Romanian striker are slim due to his exorbitant wage demands.
It is reported Marica is looking for wages close to £2m a year or £40,000 per week, a price Sam Allardyce and the West Ham hierarchy are not willing to rise to.
The severity of Carroll's injury may dictate whether West Ham cast the net out further for potential new recruits in addition to Petric.
The Croatian could be in line to make his debut for the club this Sunday against Southampton, and his new teammate Matt Jarvis likes the look of the club's newest acquisition.
"Mladen is a good addition to the squad," Jarvis told West Ham's official website.
"This is what it is about, having a squad as when you have injuries and everything, others have to step up and play their part."
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