West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Ricardo Vaz Te.

The former Portugal Under-21 international forward joins the Hammers on a two and a half year deal - with an option for a third year - for an undisclosed fee after making a massive impression for npower Championship club Barnsley this season.

Vaz Te's move to the Boleyn Ground reunites the Lisbon-born player with manager Sam Allardyce - the man who initially brought him to English football at Bolton Wanderers as a 16-year-old in 2003.

The 25-year-old is delighted to be working with Big Sam again and cannot wait to get his West Ham career underway.

"I feel great. I'm very excited to work with Sam again and it's great because I know a few players here," he said. "I'm very thankful and excited and looking forward to it.

"I spoke to Sam on Tuesday and went to see him at his office. He told me what he's looking for. I'm very excited and I think he's very excited too. I've played with Kevin Nolan and Joey O'Brien before and I also know Neil McDonald and some of the backroom staff.

"I had a fantastic time at Barnsley. I'm very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and I hope the fans can understand why I left as West Ham is a great opportunity for me. I have a great respect and love for the Barnsley fans and I wish them the very best."

A childhood friend and team-mate of Manchester United winger Nani, Vaz Te was born in the Portuguese capital before spending part of his upbringing in the west African nation of Guinea-Bissau.

After returning to Portugal and impressing for local club Real Massama, he joined SC Farense before moving to Bolton in 2003.

Vaz Te made his Trotters debut in an FA Cup third-round draw at Tranmere Rovers on 4 January 2004 - just three months after his 17th birthday - in a tie that also featured current Hammers captain Kevin Nolan.

The young attacker would go on to make 78 appearances for Bolton, 59 as a substitute, and score seven goals. During his time with the club, he also earned four Portugal U21 caps, scoring once.

After six months with Scottish club Hibernian in 2010/11, Vaz Te linked up with Barnsley on a one-year deal last summer and has been a revelation at Oakwell. A run of 12 goals in 24 appearances reminded Big Sam of his talents and the West Ham manager moved smartly to work with the player again.