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New Stones bid refused

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Mauro Zarate close to West Ham move

Velez Sarsfield striker Mauro Zarate says he has agreed a three-year deal with West Ham as he closes in on a return to the Premier League.

- Thorne: Will anything change at West Ham?

Zarate, who was the top scorer in the Argentine league last season, spent the second half of the 2007-08 Premier League campaign on loan at Birmingham from Qatari side Al Sadd.

He then moved to Italian side Lazio and also played in Serie A for Inter Milan.

The 27-year-old told Sky Sports on Monday that he has been approached by West Ham and confirmed he had agreed terms on a three-year contract.

He said: "It's a new chance for me. West Ham called me. They are a fierce team and now I think I want to play [there]."

Zarate also revealed that he had spoken to fellow Argentineans Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano who played for West Ham in 2006-07, but added that a deal is not yet definite.

"Yes a little bit," he added. "Now we will talk [with West Ham's owners] and maybe I will sign."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has been told to make his team more entertaining next season after securing a third straight year in the Premier League.

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