And the club realise they will be taking a big risk if they go in that direction for the striker cover they are seeking.
The former Ipswich front man spent loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds last season before a return to the Stadium of Light when he grabbed five goals in three games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Cardiff City.
However, that took his record at the highest level to just six goals in 43 games and given that a fee of around £5 million would be involved, the Hammers seem unlikely to move in that direction.
A source told ClaretandHugh: “He just doesn’t score enough goal although maybe the penny dropped towards the end of last season.
“But it’s a big maybe because so far he’s had just a a tiny purple patch which all strikers have from time to time. “