By Michael Brown

11th Jan, 2021 | 4:00pm

'In The Pipeline' - Pundit Exclusive: West Ham tipped to sign better striker than Haller

Michael Brown says West Ham must have a deal for a “better” striker “in the pipeline” after Sebastien Haller was allowed to leave the club so swiftly.

The ex-Manchester City, Sheffield United and Tottenham man gave his assessment of the situation in exclusive conversation with Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge amid concerns about West Ham’s lack of depth up front.

Football Insider revealed on Thursday that the Ivory Coast international was in advanced talks with Ajax, and West Ham confirmed the completion of the £20.25million deal on Friday.

Now, with Antonio out injured, West Ham do not have an out-and-out first-team striker among their number.

This has led Brown to believe that the Hammers must already have a replacement lined up.

Brown told Football Insider: “To let a deal happen so quickly, you would think they must have something in the pipeline because they’ve been light at the top of the pitch with Antonio missing.

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“You would expect them to heavily believe they can do a deal at the top of the pitch

“If you get a good offer [as in the case of Haller] and you can go back to the market and replace, it’s not always the manager’s option.

“If you don’t play him for a period of time, you get weaker [financially] so it happens, you win some at times, you lose some.

“They won’t want to lose money on the fee, for sure, but if you feel there’s a better player out there for the same package, that’s the answer.

“If they feel that there is a target they’re ready to go or they feel like they can find a target at some point then you make it happen and ultimately, you never thought he was going to start for a long period of time at West Ham.

Haller is the club’s most-expensive-ever transfer, joining from Eintracht Frankfurt for £45m in July 2019.

Fellow flop Felipe Anderson — the club’s record signing just two seasons ago — was shipped out on loan to Porto at the begining of the campaign, leaving fans questioning the club’s recruitment process.

In other news, West Ham have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Josh King.