West Ham United is pleased to announce the appointment of Gianluca Nani as the club's first Technical Director.

The 45-year-old Italian arrives at the Boleyn Ground from Brescia Calcio, where he has been the club's sporting director since 1999. His responsibilities included being in charge of all aspects of technical development - such as the youth academy, transfers and improving training facilities. Nani will start his new role full time in June but has already begun working with Alan Curbishley on identifying potential transfer targets for the summer.

An English speaker, who is fluent in Spanish and has a good knowledge of French, Nani's appointment comes after a six-month search by the Board and the manager to find a suitable candidate capable of helping the club move forward on the domestic and European stage.

Nani's roles at West Ham United will include:

* Enhancing the international scouting network
* Working with Alan Curbishley and the Board on all transfers
* Developing the youth academy with Tony Carr
* Improving all aspects of the training ground facilities


GIANLUCA NANI - BIOGRAPHY

Nationality: Italian
Marital Status: Married (one son)
DoB: 1 October 1962 (Rome)

Career highlights

* Nani studied law at university and worked in Spain organising international football tournaments before embarking on his career as a sporting director.

* He is a graduate of the world-renowned Italian FA (FIGC) technical centre in Coverciano where he holds regular seminars related to the duties and responsibilities of his position.

* At Brescia, Nani has been responsible for bringing in several 'unknown' players who have gone on to achieve great success including World Cup winners Andrea Pirlo and Luca Toni.

* Nani was also involved in the arrival of former world player of the year Roberto Baggio at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti in 2000. Baggio spent four years with Brescia, helping them qualify for Europe.

* The club are currently in the Serie B promotion play-off positions, and just four points from top spot.

* At the end of his first full time campaign with the club in the 1999/00 season, Brescia were promoted back to Serie A. They stayed among the Italian elite for the next five seasons before losing their top-flight status on the last day of the 2004/05 campaign.

* The most successful campaign was in 2000/01, when the club finished seventh in Serie A although they also reached the semi-final of the Coppa Italia the following campaign.

STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD:

West Ham United is a club with ambition. Solid foundations have been built over many years and the club now has a major opportunity to grow and develop as a leading footballing force within the Premier League.

Everyone at the club is committed to improvement and to a positive and dynamic future.

To achieve our ambitions we will develop the club on sound football and business principles.

Our aims, over time, are to:

* Remain successful in the Premier League
* Challenge for the main English club trophies
* Qualify for European football
* Nurture young playing talent
* Develop our transfer trading policies and scouting networks
* Utilise the best physical and medical support services for the playing staff
* Improve our training ground facilities
* Examine ways of expanding our ground capacity via improvement or relocation
* Build our fan base and extend the links into local communities; and
* Strengthen the brand image of the club both nationally and internationally.

The Chairman and the Board will work closely with the Manager and all the staff at the club to identify the steps that need to be taken to achieve these aims in the years ahead.