Sat, Sep 02, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Hammers pull off transfer coup

SURPRISE, SURPRISE The East London club revealed they had signed Argentina pair Tevez and Mascherano despite them being linked to a host of other top sides

AFP , LONDON

Argentina players Javier Mascherano,left, and Carlos Tevez pictured during the World Cup quarter-final between Germany and Argentina at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany, on June 30. West Ham shocked their Premiership rivals by revealing they had signed the two internationals on Thursday.

PHOTO: AP

West Ham emerged with the most impressive haul after a frantic last day of wheeling and dealing in the English Premiership transfer market.

With the transfer window shutting at midnight local time and staying closed until January, many clubs were desperately trying to add new faces to their squads.

And it was West Ham boss Alan Pardew who pulled off the biggest coup by persuading Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to join the east London outfit from Brazilian club Corinthians.

Tevez, a 22-year-old striker, and midfield anchor man Mascherano, also 22, both played at the World Cup in Germany.

For several days leading English clubs Manchester United and Arsenal had been linked with moves for Tevez, while the Old Trafford club were also thought to be keen on Mascherano.

But, with both players in London for their country's friendly against Brazil tomorrow, it was Pardew who managed to get their signatures.

The players moved to Upton Park on a permanent basis and should make their debuts for West Ham against Aston Villa on Sept. 10.

Inevitably, Chelsea were also involved in a high-profile story on deadline day as they revealed they had re-opened negotiations with Arsenal over their England left-back Ashley Cole, who has been a target for Blues boss Jose Mourinho for over a year.

A deal seemed unlikely this week as Chelsea were refusing to increase their orginal offer of £16 million (US$30.5 million) to meet Arsenal's £20 million asking price, but late on Thursday the move appeared to be back on with French defender William Gallas possibly set to be a makeweight in the transfer.

Reyes loan

Arsenal also agreed a season-long loan deal which saw Spanish winger Jose Antonio Reyes heading for Real Madrid with Brazilian midfielder Julio Baptista heading to the Gunners.

Another man leaving the Emirates Stadium was French defender Pascal Cygan who is leaving for Villarreal on a two-year deal.

Elsewhere, Tottenham landed French midfielder Steed Malbranque from Fulham for around £2 million, with winger Wayne Routledge going in the opposite direction on a season's loan.

Tottenham boss Martin Jol was also hoping to complete a deal for France right-back Pascal Chimbonda from Wigan, who themselves signed Kevin Kilbane from Everton.

Liverpool shipped out Florent Sinama-Pongolle to Recreativo Huelva on loan while Jan Kromkamp's brief stay at Anfield came to an end when he agreed to move to PSV Eindhoven.

Portsmouth coach Harry Redknapp has a well-deserved reputation as one of the more astute players of the transfer market.

Pompey swoop

And he was in action on Thursday as he swooped for Croatian Niko Kranjcar from Hadjuk Split for around £4 million, as well as bringing veteran striker Andy Cole from Manchester City for £500,000.

Sporting Lisbon's Roudolphe Mbela Douala then penned a season-long loan deal to also move to Fratton Park.

Blackburn signed highly-rated Congo striker Shabani Nonda on a season's loan from Italy's Roma.

Charlton manager Iain Dowie brought Uruguay midfielder Omar Pouso to The Valley on a season's loan from Penarol and let striker Jason Euell move to Middlesbrough for £300,000.

Manchester City brought in the US' DaMarcus Beasley from PSV Eindhoven on a season-long loan and said farewell to Antoine Sibierski who moved to Newcastle for an undisclosed fee.

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