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West Ham swoop for Swiss defender Behrami

  • Story Highlights
  • West Ham complete £5 million signing of Swiss international Valon Behrami
  • The 23-year-old defender leaves Lazio to sign five-year deal with London side
  • Behrami played in all three of his country's's matches during Euro 2008 finals
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(CNN) -- Premier League West Ham have completed the £5 million ($10m) signing of Switzerland international Valon Behrami from Lazio.

New West Ham signing Behrami played in all three of Switzerland's matches during Euro 2008.

The 23-year-old can play at right-back or in midfield and has signed a five-year deal with the London club after passing a medical.

Behrami, who has 15 caps, played in all three of his country's matches at Euro 2008 and was a regular for Lazio, playing for the Rome side in last year's Champions League.

Behrami told West Ham's official website: "It's my dream come true to play for West Ham and play in the Premier League.

"At last I am able to sign. After the Euro 2008 Championships I spoke to West Ham who had expressed an interest but I had to be sure it was the right thing for everybody.

"I have now made my decision and am looking forward to being part of this side and playing in the English league."

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury insists the signing of Behrami shows that reports of the club struggling to find the finances to strengthen the squad this season are nonsense.

He said: "Valon is a player who will a valuable addition to the squad as we aim for a successful season ahead. His signing also indicates the club's positive ambitions. Contrary to some reports we are fully committed to strengthening the playing staff.

"There will not be a mass exodus and fans can be assured we are working as hard as always to ensure high-calibre competition in all areas of the team."

Last week, the Hammers sold striker Bobby Zamora and defender John Pantsil to Fulham for a combined fee of over $12 million.

And after manager Alan Curbishley admitted to being asked to trim his staff at the end of last season, supporters feared there was an attempt to redress the balance of the multiple big-name signings made by the club's new Icelandic investors last term.

But while Zamora and Pantsil were let go, major new contracts were awarded to striker Dean Ashton and left-back George McCartney, prompting an appeal from goalkeeper Robert Green to reappraise his own deal which he renewed a year ago.

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