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Hammers strike deal for Italian forward Diamanti

After a difficult time off the pitch, West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Livorno forward Alessandro Diamanti on a five-year deal.

The 26-year-old has cost a reported £6m and, despite attracting interest from a number of Italian clubs, has moved to Upton Park following his success in helping Livorno win promotion from Serie A.

Diamanti scored 18 goals in 37 games for the Italian club last season and will provide valuable support to England international Carlton Cole in the Hammers' attack.

The arrival of the forward is something of a coup for the club after a week in which the conduct of their supporters has been heavily scrutinised following crowd trouble during the Carling Cup win over Millwall.

"I am very happy to be at West Ham United and to get the chance to play for Gianfranco Zola," Diamanti told the club's official website. "This is a big club and I want to give everything for the supporters.

"I chose West Ham because the club has the tradition of playing great football. Also because the West Ham fans are really passionate and that is the way I am."

Diamanti is the second player to arrive at Upton Park from Italy this summer after Inter Milan forward Luis Jimenez. The club have also signed youngsters Fabio Daprela and Frank Nouble as well as securing permanent deals for Radoslav Kovac and Herita Ilunga.

"I am delighted that we have been able to secure this transfer at last as we feel that Alessandro will be a perfect complement to our existing attacking options," chief executive Scott Duxbury said. "I must offer personal thanks to Bill Mummery and our sponsors SBOBET for the way they have endorsed what we are trying to achieve here.

"Their backing, along with the efforts of Gianfranco and Gianluca Nani this week, has enabled me to finalise the deal. It has been a case of working around the clock to ensure we landed another of our key targets and the three of us are grateful for the supporters' understanding of what we are trying to achieve with our exciting squad."

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