West Ham United have been handed a double blow ahead of the new season after news that Andy Carroll will miss the first month of the campaign while transfer target Salomon Kalou has rejected the chance to move to Upton Park.
Carroll, the club record £16m signing from Liverpool, endured an injury plagued loan spell in east London last season, injuring his heel on the last day of the season in a 4-2 win over Reading which forced him out of England's friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
The 24-year-old has spent much of the summer recovering from the knock in a bid to be fit for the start of West Ham's season, but manager Sam Allardyce has admitted he is likely to adopt a more cautious approach and delay Carroll's return to action.
"Andy is making good progress and doing some running," Allardyce was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard.
"We will look at things over the next week but considering where he is in his preparation, I would have thought that we're looking more realistically at the match following the international break, which is Southampton away on 15 September."
Carroll's absence through injury will leave the West Ham boss with limited options up front, with the club yet to secure a partner for the former Newcastle United and Liverpool striker.
The Hammers have been heavily linked with former Chelsea forward Kalou and were thought to be favourites to bring the Ivorian international back to the Premier League after Allardyce revealed a move for the 28-year-old was "very appealing".
However Kalou, who was also linked with a move to West Bromwich Albion, has revealed he has little desire to leave Lille with an exciting campaign under the tutelage of Rene Girard about to begin.
"He is a coach who can make progress," Kalou told French newspaper Voix Du Nord.
"In these circumstances I do not see why I need to go elsewhere."
After Marouane Chamakh and Wellington Paulista returned to their parent clubs and Carlton Cole's release from the club this summer, Allardyce has just Modibo Maiga and Ricardo Vaz Te as his forward options in their season opener against Malky Mackay's newly promoted Cardiff City.