By Alex Taylor

West Ham have begun talks to offload Diafra Sakho to Sunderland as they step up their pursuit of Carlos Bacca from AC Milan, according to reports.

The Shields Gazette claim that Sunderland are banking on the completion of the Bacca deal to trigger the opportunity to land Sakho as manager Sam Allardyce seeks to secure a high-profile summer addition.

The report says that the Hammers are unwilling to let the 26-year-old leave the Olympic Stadium without cover already in place.

Slaven Bilic’s side are in advanced talks to sign Bacca in a £26million deal, with meetings due to take place this week.

The 29-year-old joined Milan from Sevilla 12 months ago for a fee of around £22million after his release clause was activated and is contracted to the Italian giants until 2019.

If West Ham are able to finalise a deal for the Milan star, they will then allow Sakho to leave if their £15million price tag is met.

The current Sunderland manager brought the forward to the English game two years ago while in charge at West Ham, costing £3.5million to secure his services from FC Metz.

The Senegalese striker impressed during his stay in France, winning the Ligue 2 division in 2013/14 and being named the Player of the Year in that season due to his 20 goals.

Since his move to England he has 44 appearances to his name and has scored a respectable 15 goals in that time.

In other West Ham news, David Gold has recommended Sam Allardyce for top job just a year after rejecting him.