Sam Allardyce
Allardyce must lighten his squad before he can make further additions. (Reuters)

West Ham United must still sign another striker before the closure of the transfer window co-owner David Gold has conceded, but admits the club must sell before they can buy.

The Hammers have spent in the region of £20m in adding Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Daniel Whitehead, Adrian and Razvan Rat to their ranks this summer, but are still faced with a shortage of striking options.

As Carroll continues to recuperate from an injury he picked up on the final day of the 2012/13 season, Sam Allardyce has Modibo Maiga as his only other recognised striker, who has himself been linked with a move away from Upton Park with Ligue 1 outfit St Etienne keen on the 25-year-old.

But if the club are to bring in another striker Allardyce must first offload some names from the club's wage bill in order to generate the funds needed to bring such a player in.

"We have reached our target laid down by the new rules in terms of wages," Gold told Sky Sports News.

"The only possibility now is if players are sold. That's up to Sam, that's in his hands. If he releases wages, that will give us the opportunity to bring in replacements for those players.

""I think it's clear that we are still short of a striker. David Sullivan agrees with that, Sam agrees with that, but until we release those wages by players leaving, there is little we can do.

"The next couple of weeks, we will see what happens."

Maiga led the line as West Ham cruised to a 2-0 win over Cardiff City in their opening game of the season on Saturday, supported by Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan who each got themselves on the score sheet.

Carroll has been unavailable for West Ham's entire pre-season campaign as he has recovered from a heel injury he suffered in May and Allardyce admits there is no specific date for the 24-year-old's return to the first team fold.

"We are not putting a specific date on it, but we think it is not too far away now with the injury now repaired," Allardyce said last week.

"It is about the slow process of rehabbing him and making sure his body is capable of handling the pressure of training in the Premier League on a day to day basis.

"There is slight discomfort still, not caused by still having the injury but with the scar tissue which he needs to shift, so it is progressing."