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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Pardew 'persuaded Argentine duo'
Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano
West Ham's Uefa Cup odds tumbled to 18-1 after the deal
Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano have explained why they turned down some of Europe's biggest clubs in order to make a shock deadline day move to West Ham.

The Argentine duo were only told about the move two days before it took place.

Tevez said: "Other clubs in the Premier League and Europe were interested in us but when we met Alan Pardew he made us both really feel wanted."

Mascherano added: "Pardew talked about his vision for us and the club and we both became very excited."

Tevez and Mascherano, both 22, starred in the World Cup and have been tracked by a host of teams across Europe.

But West Ham beat off the competition to land the pair on permanent contracts.

Tevez says he became a fan of the Hammers last season when another Argentine player, Lionel Scaloni, moved to Upton Park on loan from Deportivo La Coruna.

I know of Anton Ferdinand - he is talked about a lot in Argentina as a great player of future

Javier Mascherano

"I had followed the club quite a bit last season because I am a close friend of Lionel," added Tevez.

"We watched every West Ham game in Argentina because of our friendship and he spoke very highly of the club, its supporters and the manager."

Mascherano was also pleased to complete the move, saying: "I am also aware of some of the great players at West Ham.

"I know of Anton Ferdinand - he is talked about a lot in Argentina as a great player of future, while I also like Nigel Reo-Coker, who is a very dynamic captain and displays the work ethic that is clearly in place here."

Pardew expects the arrivals of Tevez and Mascherano to take West Ham on to the next level.

The Hammers boss said: "It is a massive coup for us.

"I've no doubt this will give us a real chance to compete with the very best teams in the Premiership and in Europe.

"I didn't have to sell West Ham to them. They knew all about our success last season and our style of play."

There will be a real buzz around the place when we report back for training on Tuesday morning

Alan Pardew

The club have refused to divulge details of the deal, but both Tevez and Mascherano commanded 15m transfer fees when they signed for Corinthians from Argentine clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate, respectively.

And West Ham have denied speculation they have stolen a march on bigger rivals with a view to selling them on next season.

Hammers media spokesman Phil Hall insisted: "There is no way West Ham would act as a feeder club for others.

"These are exciting signings for us but, of course, if we were offered major fees for the players in the future we would have to consider it - just as we would with other players."

Striker Tevez started two matches at the World Cup and appeared off the bench in two others, while holding midfielder Mascherano was an ever-present in his country's campaign in Germany.

Pardew watched Argentina's match against Serbia and Montenegro and described himself as being "blown away by his talent" after Tevez came on as a substitute and scored.

"I know West Ham fans will take to him straight away. He is in the same bracket as Paolo Di Canio in terms of what he can bring - charisma, high skill and excitement," Pardew added.

"Mascherano is a different player - he brings a calming influence in possession and is an intelligent player on the pitch.

606 VIEW

"Not only am I excited by the arrivals of Carlos and Javier, but the entire squad is too, and I am sure our supporters feel the same. What a day for West Ham United.

"I've already had three or four of our players on the phone. They are all very excited by the news, and I'm sure there will be a real buzz around the place when we report back for training on Tuesday morning.

"I've said all along that, while signing young English players remains very important to our transfer policy, I want to take this club forward and will get talent from wherever it is available.

"Our chairman Terry Brown came to me on Monday and gave me the opportunity to go for Carlos and Javier - and you don't turn down the chance to sign two world-class players."

West Ham sign Tevez & Mascherano
31 Aug 06 |  West Ham Utd


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