Sam hails Papa arrival

Sam Allardyce has hailed the arrival of Papa Bouba Diop at West Ham United.

The manager had to wait to get his man after a successful trial in the last two weeks, with a work permit hearing unable to be held until Tuesday afternoon.

Allardyce attended in person to make sure he got the FIFA World Cup star, who has just come off the back of a hugely successful season with Greek side AEK Athens, and had been waiting patiently to seal the move.

With centre-backs Winston Reid, 23, and James Tomkins, 22, at the heart of his defence, as well as the likes of the youthful Mark Noble and Jack Collison in midfield, the manager felt he needed to add extra experience and steel to his squad.

"I am sure Papa will be familiar to most West Ham fans after his years at Portsmouth and Fulham in the Premier League," said Allardyce. "He has just completed a very good season at AEK Athens and wanted to get back and play in England. We were very fortunate to get him and he will bring in an added value to the squad.

"He played 37 games last season for AEK, as they won the cup and finished high enough in the league to qualify for Europe again. He has appeared in two FA Cup finals - once as a winner - and I see him as a tremendous asset to the squad and to the team. He is a very good all-round midfield player and one that will be of great value of us." will be the place to be today for all the transfer latest with the club looking to add to the nine new faces already at the Boleyn Ground - although Championship clubs can take advantage of the loan window when it reopens next month. Return throughout the day to see all the official news first and fastest.