West Ham United have finally completed the protracted transfer of Senegal striker Demba Ba from Hoffenheim.
Ba has signed a three-and-half-year contract that will keep him at Upton Park until 2014, rather than a loan switch that had previously been reported.
The Hammers made their move for the striker earlier in January, after a proposed switch to Stoke fell through due to concerns over his fitness. A loan deal was reported to be in place last week, but a hitch over insurance prompted a delay.
But those issues have been ironed out and the Hammers have completed the deal for the striker, but in a surprising development the move from Hoffenheim has been made permanent.
"It was a long story but now I'm happy because it had a really good end and I am glad to be here," Ba told West Ham's official website. "I'm going to give everything to West Ham United."
Ba has scored six goals in 17 games for Hoffenheim this season. "We are happy we can close the Demba Ba chapter. After much to-ing and fro-ing this solution is the best for all concerned,'' the Bundesliga club's manager Ernst Tanner said.