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Addicks after West Ham star

CHARLTON are expected to step up their interest in West Ham’s Michael Carrick after the Hammers’ 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace in the Division 1 promotion play-off.

The club were awaiting the outcome of the play-off final before moving for the 22-year-old central midfielder who knows must play in the Premiership to further his England career.

He has been capped at Under-21 level but persistent injury problems have slowed his progress.

West Ham’s failure to make an immediate top flight return is certain to result in severe cost-cutting, including the sale of their most prized playing assets.

There were rumours in April that Charlton had brokered a £2m deal for Carrick.

Boss Alan Curbishley also confirmed interest in Wales international striker Robert Earnshaw, who scored 31 goals for Cardiff last season.

Curbishley said: “I’ve seen him a couple of times because the better Division 1 players will want to take the step up soon and he’s one of them.”

Charlton are also being linked with former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars, who kept his home in London after signing for Barcelona. He is keen to return after Barca released him.

But on-loan Carlton Cole could be leaving The Valley, even though a year remains of his long-term loan from Chelsea.

The striker was disciplined at the end of the season following his repeated late arrival for training, despite the club finding him a flat in Eltham. Now there are reports he is refusing to return next season and has instructed his agent to find him another Premiership club.

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