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Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 10:42 UK

West Ham complete Franco signing

Guillermo Franco
Franco celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica

West Ham have completed the signing of Mexico striker Guillermo Franco.

The 32-year-old joins the Hammers on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract with Spanish side Villarreal this summer.

The Argentine-born forward has scored four goals in his last six internationals for his adopted country.

"I am really happy to sign for West Ham," Franco told the club's official website. "It was my dream to come play in the Premier League."

Franco had been linked with a number of Spanish clubs since leaving Villarreal and saw a move to South American champions Estudiantes fall through, paving the way for his move to Upton Park.

In the absence of injured striker Dean Ashton, Franco will provide competition up front for Gianfranco Zola's side alongside Carlton Cole and summer signings Frank Nouble and Alessandro Diamanti.

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"I am pleased to be able to welcome Guillermo to Upton Park," said West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury. "I was determined to deliver the extra attacking options that Gianfranco wanted for the new season.

"He understands what we are trying to achieve and his high level of European and international experience will be invaluable."

Franco is set to link up with his new team-mates for the first time on Thursday but it is not yet certain if he will be involved for the Hammers in their home fixture with Liverpool on Saturday.

"This is an important team with great players and a great manager," said Franco. "I know that the club are very ambitious and want to do well.

"I want to do my best to make that happen and I am excited about the challenge."

Franco, who represented Mexico at the 2006 World Cup, joined Villarreal from Mexican side FC Monterrey after starting his career in Argentina with San Lorenzo.

He played six times for the Spanish side in the Champions League last season, including the 1-1 home draw with Arsenal in the quarter-finals.

He has also previously played at Upton Park against the Hammers, for Villarreal in the inaugural Bobby Moore Cup last year.



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see also
West Ham close in on Franco deal
11 Sep 09 |  West Ham
Behrami makes return after injury
09 Sep 09 |  West Ham
Zola brings in defender Da Costa
31 Aug 09 |  West Ham
West Ham confirm Diamanti signing
28 Aug 09 |  West Ham


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