West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has confirmed he would ''love'' to sign David Beckham - but revealed Joe Cole rejected his former club's advances.
West Ham are waiting on a work permit to appoint Avram Grant as Gianfranco Zola's successor next week, but Sullivan, who bought the club along with David Gold last season, has already been linked with names such as Thierry Henry and confirmed his desire to bring L.A. Galaxy star Beckham back to his native east London on loan.
''I'd love David Beckham,'' Sullivan told the Daily Mail. ''He has massive cult status in east London and still has a house near Bishop's Stortford, not far from our training ground. He's from Chingford, which is our heartland. We are the club of east London and Essex.
''If AC Milan didn't want him in January and if he still wanted to do it, I'd love to have him. He seems a remarkable professional.''
Beckham is not the only name on the list though, as Sullivan confirmed to Soccernet on Saturday: "Its a very long shot and one of fifty players we are looking at," he said.
As for Cole, who began his career with the Hammers before moving to Chelsea - where he is out of contract this summer - Sullivan said: ''We've asked Joe to name a price but he said no.''
The Hammers are likely to turn to Lyon striker Frederic Piquionne, Everton centre-foward Yakubu, and veteran defender Tal Ben Haim as the club attempt to strengthen ahead of next season.