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By ESPN Staff

Kovac claims he's close to West Ham move

Spartak Moscow midfielder Radoslav Kovac claims he is close to securing a move to West Ham.

The Czech Republic international and Brazilian Mozart were left out of Spartak's pre-season training camp in Turkey to "resolve questions about their future careers'', according to the Russian club's website.

And Kovac claims he is on his way to London to sign a loan deal with the Hammers which may become permanent at the end of the season.

He told Russian newspaper Sovietsky Sport: "Everything was sorted out on Wednesday afternoon. Recently my agent has been working actively and a few firm options immediately presented themselves.

"I didn't imagine that the training session ahead of the training camp in Turkey would be my last for Spartak.

"I've not even had chance to say goodbye to the lads. The call came in and I was told that everything was decided. Spartak are preparing the documents. A flight to London is booked and I'm flying there on Thursday.''

Kovac claims Scottish champions Celtic were also keen but the lure of the Premier League proved decisive.

"The final decision was to choose West Ham over Celtic,'' he added. "The prestige of the Premier League tipped the balance.

"This year I will be 30. In a few years' time I will be classed as a veteran. I want to fulfil my ability in one of the leading championships. Everyone I asked for advice said that it was the right time. The examples of (Nemanja) Vidic and (Roman) Pavlyuchenko are an inspiration.

"They both left Spartak for England and it's working out well for them.''

The Russian Premier Liga is currently out of season so Kovac admits it will take him a while to get his match fitness up to speed.

He said: "For the next 7-10 days I will concentrate on my running. After the holidays I have not regained my full fitness. And I'll get on with learning English.'

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