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Tuesday, January 26, 1999 Published at 14:05 GMT

Hammers close in on Foe

Foe should official become a Hammer on Tuesday

Cameroon international Marc Vivien Foe could be ready to make his Premiership debut for West Ham against Wimbledon on Saturday .

West Ham are set to complete the 3.5m signing before Friday and also have admitted their interest in signing Sheffield Wednesday's troubled striker Paolo di Canio.

West Ham's football secretary Neil Harrison confirmed: "There will be no announcement today but you would be right to assume things are moving in the right direction.

"We are still waiting for international clearance for Foe but there is no problem over a British work permit as he has dual nationality with a French passport."

And after Sheffield Wednesday secretary Graham Mackrell reportedly said West Ham had "made an inquiry" about di Canio, Harrison confirmed: "There has been an inquiry but he is just one of the number of players we are interested in."

Di Canio was banned for 11 matches by the Football Association after the infamous incident in September when he pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground after being sent off against Arsenal.

He was due to return on Boxing Day but remained in Italy against Wednesday's orders and claimed he was suffering from depression.

The Hillsborough club have since imposed a series of fines on him which are now believed to total more than 200,000.

Hammers' boss Harry Redknapp would not comment on the likelihood of taking a gamble on the temperamental 30-year-old striker whose talent is undisputed, but the West Ham manager revealed he hopes to eventually bring in four new players with the money received from John Hartson's recent transfer.

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