West Ham United may be considered as the favourites in some quarters to sign Arsenal outcast Jack Wilshere, yet co-chairman David Gold insists that the club are currently prioritising the addition of a pair of new strikers as they look to strengthen Slaven Bilic's squad following a difficult 2016-17 campaign.
The Sun reported in April that the Hammers were targeting Wilshere, dispatched to Bournemouth on loan last term before another leg fracture ended his season prematurely, and were prepared to spend approximately £30m ($38.9m) to lure him from north to east London.
Bilic subsequently dubbed the 25-year-old as a "great player with great ability" and some now consider West Ham as favourites to secure his services this summer with a possible return to the south coast all but ruled out.
Wilshere is entering the final 12 months of his contract at Arsenal and former Gunners stalwart Martin Keown recently claimed that he will "certainly" be offered fresh terms.
Asked if he would be interested in Wilshere during a wide-ranging interview with talkSPORT, Gold claimed that West Ham would always pursue players of a high standard but stressed that forwards were currently firmly top of the transfer agenda amid links to the likes of Gunners duo Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, Sampdoria's Luis Muriel and Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City.
"We are interested in all good players but we have to face the facts here - we have got good midfielders," he said. "We have got a good defence, we have got good midfielders, we have got good wingers.
"We need strikers and that is the key to everything for this season, so we are focused first and foremost on bringing in two strikers. They are top of our list."
Earlier, Gold said: "It's clear to most fans that we are desperate for centre-forwards. We need strikers. Andy Carroll is injury-prone as we know, we have had an injury problem with [Diafra] Sakho and we have just got to bring in centre-forwards. We have got to find the money. Without strikers, you struggle in the Premier League. You struggle in any division because strikers are your key players."
Gold admits that high wages are a problem for West Ham, who he says are working on bringing in players with Premier League experience after looking further afield to Europe with disastrous results during a much-criticised 2016 summer window.
"I know David Sullivan is working day and night in an effort to solve this problem," he said, admitting that fringe players - such as the recently departed Havard Nordtveit - would need to be sold if there was not enough money available.
Pressed if Bilic would have been eager to sign in-demand Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who is set to complete a season-long loan switch to Swansea City after rejecting newly-promoted duo Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion, Gold reiterated that West Ham needed "proven, experienced centre-forwards."