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West Ham wary of Jelavic threat after trying to sign him from Rangers

14:44 21 December 2012

Everton's Nikica Jelavic. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

Everton's Nikica Jelavic. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Everton’s Nikica Jelavic could have joined West Ham when he moved to England and assistant manager Neil McDonald hopes missing out on the striker does not come back to haunt the Hammers when they host David Moyes’ side tomorrow.

The Croatia international plumped for a move to Everton when he left Rangers at the end of January, completing a move believed to be worth around £5million.

West Ham were in the Championship at the time but manager Sam Allardyce still showed a firm interest in acquiring Jelavic, according to McDonald.

McDonald said: “There was a definite interest there and we did speak to him.

“Obviously he went to Everton and scored goals and proved he can play in the Premier League.

“When we saw him at Rangers we thought he could score goals in the Premier League and he’s proved that. That’s Everton’s gain.”

Allardyce ultimately led the Hammers back into the Barclays Premier League and since returning to the top flight the club have invested heavily in the likes of Matt Jarvis and the loan signing of Liverpool frontman Andy Carroll.

McDonald admits that missing out on a target such as Jelavic is hard to take, but the 47-year-old, who had a spell at Goodison Park as a player, believes the signing of Carroll makes up for it.

He said: “You are always disappointed when you don’t get players who come into the Premier League and do well but we got Andy Carroll so there is a little bit of a pay-off there.

“We are pleased with Andy’s contribution so far, even though he has got injured. If you don’t get one (target) you try and get another.

“Of course it would (be good to have someone like Jelavic in the squad).

“Everton play a different system. Whoever you bring in has to try to fit in with the dynamics of the team whether they are big or small or indifferent.

“I think he scored goals for fun for Rangers and is an international. He is a goalscorer and that’s what we are looking for.”

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