West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is making a staggering £8million bid for Southampton’s England striker Rickie Lambert.

Allardyce is being backed by owners David Sullivan and David Gold who are prepared to gamble a fortune on a hit man to keep them up.

And the Hammers are confident of success as Lambert could be up for the move despite their lowly position.

Lambert, the fairy-tale success who made the Three Lions side from humble origins, needs to play regularly to keep his World Cup hopes alive.

Southampton cannot offer him any guarantees of that right now because of the competition for places at Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Now the £8million offer may tempt Saints supremo Nicola Cortese to sell - as long as enough of the cash is up front and not based on staying-up bonuses.

West Ham have laboured without a top-class striker in the absence of Andy Carroll, whose return date is still a mystery.