West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Stoke City centre-back Abdoulaye Faye.

The experienced Senegal international will join the Hammers after his contract expires at the Britannia Stadium on 30 June. The Hammers won the race to his signature ahead of several interested clubs at home and abroad.

The club expect to be busy in the transfer market as manager Sam Allardyce assembles a squad geared to win promotion from the npower Championship at the first attempt.

Faye is expected to be the first of at least seven players the club hopes to sign this summer. Supporters will hear about every new arrival first on the club's official website - whufc.com - and Twitter feed here.

The defender himself is delighted to have joined the Hammers. He said: "I am very happy to be here at West Ham - this is a great club, a big club and I cannot wait to get started here. For me to come here was no problem, I had other clubs' offers, but I was happy to come here.

"People may ask why as the team are in the Championship, but I am excited at the challenge to help get the team back to the Premier League, where I think the club belongs. The club also has a great fan base and I am looking forward to playing for them and giving my all on the pitch."

The first of those signings, Faye has enjoyed a successful career in English football with Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United - where he worked under Allardyce - before moving to Stoke in August 2008.

He is looking forward to working with his old boss again, adding: "Sam is a very good manager and I am very pleased to be playing for him again - he gave me a chance here in England and he is someone who gives you confidence.

"He is also someone who I know the players will respect and I think he will bring a lot to the club - the fans will see this also. I can't wait now to get playing for the club, for Sam and for the fans and do my best for everyone."

The defender made his name in French football with RC Lens and FC Istres before being brought to Bolton - initially on loan - by Allardyce in July 2005.

The 33-year-old spent two seasons at the Reebok Stadium, appearing in the UEFA Cup and making more than 70 appearances for the Trotters. Twice, Faye scored in Bolton victories over Arsenal as Allardyce's side finished eighth and seventh in the Premier League table.

When the manager moved to Newcastle in the summer of 2007, he immediately moved for Faye, with the powerful defender featuring 24 times during his single year at St James' Park.

Stoke splashed out £2.25m to snap up the 34-times capped international in August 2008, and Faye repaid the Potters by being voted the club's Player of the Season in his first year at the club.

After an impressive 2009/10 campaign, Faye helped Stoke to reach the first FA Cup final in the club's 148-year history before leaving the Britannia Stadium at the expiration of his contract this summer.

At international level, Faye has been a regular fixture for Senegal since making his senior debut against Zimbabwe in January 2006.

After helping his country to fourth place at the 2006 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, he scored against Angola at the 2008 tournament.

*Full reaction from Abdoulaye Faye will appear on whufc.com and West Ham TV soon. To subscribe to West Ham TV, click on the link below.

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