English Premier League strugglers West Ham signed Mexico World Cup winger Pablo Barrera from Pumas UNAM for £4 million and also landed French striker Frederic Piquionne from Lyon on Friday.
Barrera agreed a four-year contract with the club after passing a medical and receiving his work permit. The 23-year-old's deal has the option of a further one-year extension. The wide man, who played three times for his country at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ was the second signing made by new Hammers boss Avram Grant and Piquionne became the third less than two hours later.
Piquionne spent last season playing for Grant on loan at Portsmouth and the 31-year-old has signed a three-year contract with West Ham after the east London club agreed an undisclosed fee for the forward. Capped once by France, he scored 11 goals in all competitions for Portsmouth and helped the team reach the FA Cup final.
"I am very happy to sign for West Ham because my last manager was Avram," he told the club's website. "I know Avram and I like working with him and I think he likes me. I'm coming to work hard for the squad and I hope we have a good season. Avram is a very, very good coach. Last year we had many problems at Portsmouth but we got to the FA Cup final. As a player, it will be good just to concentrate on my football."
Grant first noticed Barrera's potential in Mexico's 3-1 friendly defeat against England just before the FIFA World Cup and the player believes he can make a big impact at Upton Park. "I knew about West Ham when I was in Mexico. They are a big club and I have heard about the great players they have had in the past," he told West Ham's website.
"For sure, I think it is possible for us to win trophies. I am very excited about the possibilities with West Ham and excited about working with the new manager and the team," he went on. "My goal is to win my place in the team with my skills, to show the fans that I will do my best for West Ham and to win a title with West Ham. People have said that I am the sort of player that the fans want to have the ball as often as possible because I can make things happen. I like to excite supporters."