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Jan, 24, 2011

Hammers to 'gamble' on Ba loan deal

West Ham have confessed that they have taken a "gamble" in signing Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba on a six-month loan deal because of his injury problems.

Having failed a medical with Stoke, which caused the collapse of his proposed £7.1 million move to the Potteries, the centre-forward experienced similar problems with his Upton Park medical.

Stoke called off a deal to sign Ba but West Ham are willing to take a risk by signing him on loan, though the Hammers have refused to sign him permanently until he proves his fitness.

A West Ham insider told ESPNsoccernet: "The deal is now 99% done. The player's medical showed up the problem, but as a loan it's worth a gamble and it is a gamble!"

The Hammers will pay £500,000 for the loan fee and another £1.5 million in wages. But Ba's move to English football must go down as one of the most unusual of all time, as clubs normally shy away from taking a player who fails one medical, let alone two.

Having failed to lure a succession of top targets to Upton Park, mainly due to the prohibitive price tags from their clubs on top of high wages, the Hammers will be relieved to have finally signed a striker to help bolster Avram Grant's attack in the club's fight for Premier League survival.

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