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Wednesday 22 May 2013

Razvan Rat signs for West Ham as Carlton Cole heads for exit

Romania left-back joins from Shakhtar Donetsk as forward ends seven-year spell at Upton Park

  • Razvan Rat played 57 times for Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League

  • Sam Allardyce ihas been impressed with Razvan Rat's character

  • Carlton Cole, left, will leave West Ham after seven seasons at Upton Park

West Ham United have announced the signing of Razvan Rat on a free transfer. The 31-year-old left-back has agreed a one-year deal, with the option to extend to two or three years, starting on 1 July following the expiry of his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Romanian has been at Shakhtar for 10 years, during which he has made 248 appearances for the club, including 57 in the UEFA Champions League. He has won 88 caps.

"Discipline, character and ability are the three big things in the Premier League"
Sam Allardyce

"I'm hugely happy that we've got a player of his experience and his character,” Sam Allardyce, the West Ham manager, told the club website. "He's been playing Champions League football this year and at the highest level for many years. Shakhtar had offered him a very good contract, but his ambition was to come and try his abilities and skills in England.

"He speaks perfect English, which he taught himself, and that shows the discipline and the character of the man. Discipline, character and ability are the three big things in the Premier League, and with a little bit of adjusting, we'll see him early on in the season giving hopefully his best performances for West Ham."

Rat will be the third Romanian to represent West Ham after Florin Raducioiu and Ilie Dumitrescu, who played in the mid-1990s.

West Ham also announced that Carlton Cole will leave the club in the summer. The 29-year-old forward had seven seasons at Upton Park, during which he scored 33 goals in 167 Barclays Premier League matches. "Carlton's need at his age is to be playing football as often as he can. From our point of view we felt it better that he found pastures new,” Allardyce said. "We can only thank him for his outstanding commitment and service to West Ham United over the last seven years.

The club confirmed that talks are taking place with midfielder Gary O’Neil over a new deal.

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Key Points

  • West Ham United sign Razvan Rat on a free transfer
  • 31-year-old Romania left-back joins from Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Club announce that forward Carlton Cole will leave in the summer