Cottee tells Hammers to break bank for Owen

Former West Ham striker Tony Cottee has called on his old club to do all they can to sign Michael Owen during the summer The Sun reports.

The 32-year-old is available on a free after being released by Manchester United after three-years at Old Trafford and rumors have spread that he could be a target for manager Sam Allardyce.

Planning has already begun for life back in the Premier League with Heerenveen forward Bas Dost reportedly on Allardyce’s recruitment radar as he seeks add a proven goal scorer to his squad.

But Cottee believes the newly promoted Hammers require a striker with an extensive top-flight pedigree to survive and believes his old club should go all out to bring free-agent Owen to Upton Park despite his hefty wage demands.

He said: “West Ham need to make three or four new signings — and Owen would fit the bill. A new striker is a must but also a proven Premier League scorer would be ideal.

“Everyone talks about Owen’s injury record but you know he guarantees reaching double figures in goals which would take so much pressure off the rest of the players.

“I know the fans would be excited about signing someone of his calibre. It would send out a message the board want to back the manager with quality.”

Bringing in experienced players is a must for Cottee and the former Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid striker isn’t the only player he feels Allardyce should be looking at.

The 34-year-old, who had two spells with West Ham during the 1980’s and 90’s, thinks Nigel Reo-Coker and Paul Robinson would provide invaluable knowledge ahead of their return to England’s top division.

“It would be criminal if the squad wasn’t built on.” Cottee said.

“The likes of Robinson, Cole or Reo-Coker would be shrewd signings.”