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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

West Ham sign Hapoel defender Pantsil

West Ham have announced the £1million signing of Ghana's World Cup right-back John Pantsil from Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Completion of the transfer is now subject to Pantsil being granted a work permit - but that is not expected to be a stumbling block.

Pantsil, 25, signed a four-year contract with the Hammers last night after turning down down offers from French clubs Marseille and Rennes plus Belgian champions Anderlecht.

Pantsil's agent Jacky Mouyal said: 'He is not going to the club offering the most money. West Ham is his first choice. He likes the team and they like him.

'The player is very happy. The team are very good, the coach is very good. He is very happy in the city and he saw the stadium yesterday.'

Pantsil was invited to join West Ham's pre-season tour of Sweden after catching the eye of manager Alan Pardew during the World Cup, where he played in all four of Ghana's games.

Pardew has been in the market for right-backs all summer after Lionel Scaloni's loan spell came to an end.

He missed out on Charlton's England international Luke Young but snapped up the highly-rated Tyrone Mears from Preston for £1million.

Although West Ham have not paid a seven-figure fee initially, the price for Pantsil could rise to £1million depending on his progress at Upton Park.

West Ham revealed that Yossi Benayoun, a key figure in Pardew's midfield, played a key role in luring Pantsil to the club, recommending the Premiership to a player whose World Cup displays were widely admired.

Pantsil's signing bolsters the number of summer signings made by West Ham to five.

As well as Mears, centre-back Jonathan Spector, midfielder Lee Bowyer and striker Carlton Cole have arrived.