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Mexico striker Franco heading to West Ham

Mexico striker Guillermo Franco is set to sign for Premier League side West Ham United as a free agent, according to the player.

The former Villarreal forward said: "Imagine how I feel after so much criticism for not having a team but thank God my dream has come true to play in England. This is a new step, a new cycle with big challenges in a very strong league."

The Hammers have spent all summer attempting to bolster their strike force and failed with a deadline-day bid to sign Benjani from Manchester City. The club are yet to confirm that the 32-year-old former San Lorenzo and Monterrey forward will be playing for them this season.

Argentine-born Franco's contract with Spanish club Villarreal expired last month and a move to South American champions Estudiantes in the country of his birth fell through due to late registration.

A member of Mexico's 2006 World Cup squad in Germany, Franco was called up by national team coach Javier Aguirre for this month's 2010 qualifiers despite having no club and scored in the 3-0 win away to Costa Rica on Saturday.

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