West Ham Jordan Rhodes bid rejected by Huddersfield

Hands off! Huddersfield reject Hammers bid for 3m-rated hitman Rhodes

West Ham must up the ante in their pursuit to land exciting Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes after the League One club rejected a bid from the Premier League promotion hopefuls.

Hammer time: West Ham want to sign Jordan Rhodes

Hammer time: West Ham want to sign Jordan Rhodes

The 21-year-old Scotland international has struck 20 goals in 20 League One games to his name so far this season attracting interest from a host of suitors including Norwich, QPR and Celtic.

But the Championship side have made him their No 1 target for when the January transfer window reopens for business with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce desperate to stengthen his injury-hit squad.

In addition to this latest snub, it is understood the Hammers had an initial offer rejected by Huddersfield.

They will almost certainly return with an improved offer in the region of 3million for the player who recently scored all four in the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United.

Rhodes would be perfect foil for Sam Baldock, who has been impressive since he arrived in August from League One high-flyers MK Dons. Baldock is out nursing a hamstring problem but hopes to return soon.

Among his list of 25 potential targets, Allardyce has also identified Southend teenager Kane Ferdinand and Crystal Palace winger Wilfired Zaha while USA striker Eddson Buddle has been on trial at the club”s Chadwell Heath training ground.

In demand: West Ham have also set their sights on Southend starlet Kane Ferdinand

In demand: West Ham have also set their sights on Southend starlet Kane Ferdinand

Football League blog

West Ham are second in the Championship, three points behind leaders Southampton who can stretch their lead to six when they face Bristol City on Friday night, a day before the Hammers” difficult New Year”s Eve visit to Derby.

Allardyce is without several first team players for the trip to Pride Park. Captain Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison, George McCartney and Julien Faubert are suspended while Baldock, Matty Taylor, David Bentleym, Guy Demel, Winston Reid and Abdoulaye Faye are all sidelined through injury.

Dig in deep: Carlton Cole has ordered his team-mates to persevere despite their current injury and suspension problems

Dig in deep: Carlton Cole has ordered his team-mates to persevere despite their current injury and suspension problems

Striker Carlton Cole, who scored at Birmingham on Boxing Day, has called on his fellow experienced senior players to help the club”s youngsters get through a tough and busy period of fixtures, with Coventry at home next on January 2.

“The experienced lads have to help the young lads,” he said.

“Everyone involved, right through the squad, has a part to play.”