West Ham United are pleased to confirm the signing of Brazilian forward Ilan on a six-month contract.

The 29-year-old, full name Ilan Araujo Dall'Igna, was available on a free transfer after leaving French club AS Saint-Etienne in January.

The skilful forward met with manager Gianfranco Zola at Chadwell Heath on Monday morning before heading for the Boleyn Ground to complete his move to east London later that night.

"I am very happy to have signed and to play here," Ilan said. "I spoke to Gianfranco Zola and he is a very nice guy. I spoke a little Italian and a little French to him. I am happy to be here and it is a great opportunity for me.

"West Ham are a big club in England and a very traditional club. I also love the Premier League."

A former team-mate of Herita Ilunga at Les Verts, Ilan has a proven goalscoring record in the French top-flight. The pair were on the pitch together when the forward netted the Ligue 1 goal of the season with a spectacular bicycle kick in a 2-0 win at Paris Saint-Germain in February 2007.

Ilan scored 24 goals in 54 league matches for FC Sochuax-Montbeliard between 2004 and 2006 before his move to St-Etienne. He then added another 25 goals in 95 matches, forming a prolific partnership with France forward Bafetimbi Gomis.

He first came to prominence in his homeland at Parana Clube and Sao Paulo FC. It was at Atletico Paranaense where his career took off, though, as he helped the club to their first league title in 2001.

At international level, the Curitiba-born player earned all three of his senior caps for Brazil at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup in France, making substitute appearances against Cameroon and the United States before starting his country's final group-stage fixture against Turkey.