West Ham United have agreed to sign the 26-year-old Czech goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka on a one-year loan from Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.
The experienced performer completed his medical over the weekend before finalising his switch. Lastuvka will join two compatriots - the highly-rated 18-year-old, and fellow shot-stopper Marek Stech, and goalkeeping coach Ludek Miklosko, at the Boleyn Ground. A former Under-21 international, Lastuvka spent four years at Miklosko's former club Banik Ostrava, including winning the Czech title in the 2003/04 season, before moving to Ukrainian football.
Lastuvka, who will wear the No24 shirt, will compete with Robert Green, Jimmy Walker and Stech, who after agreeing a five-year contract recently is set to be a regular in first-team pre-season action this summer. He previously spent one season on loan from Shakhtar to Fulham, making eight top-flight appearances in the 2006/07 campaign, before 25 Bundesliga games on a similar temporary arrangement with VfL Bochum last season.
Alan Curbishley believed the new arrival would have a positive impact on the squad, after recommendation by Miklosko. "Ludo is very keen," he said. "I think he feels that we will have a group of goalkeepers that work ever so hard in training and will be pushing and forcing each other to produce the performances."
Miklosko said: "Jan will be a very good addition to the club. We needed an experienced goalkeeper who, alongside Jimmy Walker, will be back-up for Robert Green. I know of Jan from when he played for the Czech Republic Under-21's and have known him for a few years now. He is an experienced goalkeeper and it is great for us to have him here. We are looking forward to working with him at West Ham and have him join what is a great group of goalkeepers."
Meanwhile, West Ham United have also acquired the services of 17-year-old Austrian midfielder Georg Grasser from Grazer AK, who will be a part of Tony Carr's youth-team set-up for the new campaign. The club have also signed this summer the highly-rated Swiss international Valon Behrami and Iceland U21 defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson.