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Tevez and Mascherano join West Ham

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LONDON, England -- West Ham United have completed the sensational double signing of Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano from Corinthians for undisclosed fees.

The pair have signed permanent deals after a transfer fee was agreed with the company that own the players' transfer rights -- Media Sports Investments.

The Hammers have beaten off a number of the world's top clubs -- including Premiership trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea -- to sign the pair.

Striker Tevez and midfielder Mascherano both starred for their country at the World Cup and were tipped for big-money moves to one of Europe's top sides.

However, Upton Park will now be their new destination after both players signed permanent deals.

Tevez has not appeared at Corinthians for 10 days and Mascherano, suspended from Wednesday's win over Sao Caetano, also missed training on Tuesday.

Corinthians lifted the Brazilian title last season but are struggling in the relegation zone this term.

Tevez and Mascherano are in London this weekend, in Argentina's squad for the friendly against Brazil at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

The transfers echo the shock double signing of Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa who joined Tottenham Hotspur just weeks after Argentina won the World Cup in 1978.

That deal transformed Tottenham's fortunes in the late 1970s and early 1980s and Tevez and Mascherano will become heroes in east London if they are anywhere near as successful as Ardiles and Villa were at Spurs.

Tevez, 22, is one of the most talented young strikers in the world. Widely described as 'the new Diego Maradona', he is one of the few players who might live up to that tag.

He began his career with Maradona's old club Boca Juniors, making his debut at the age of 17 and helped Boca to the Argentine championship and the Copa Libertadores.

In December 2004 he moved to Corinthians in a $22.6million deal, the biggest ever in South American football.

Initially he struggled in Brazil but soon won the supporters over and became captain with the club securing the Brazilian championship in 2005.

He has played 25 times for Argentina, scoring four goals.

Mascherano, also 22, is a highly rated defensive midfielder who adds a touch of granite to Argentina's attacking play.

Mascherano left River Plate, the great rivals of Boca Juniors, to join Corinthians in 2004, for $15million, and helped them in their title success last year. With 20 caps for the national team, he is considered one of the county's hottest properties.

Feyenoord sign Greek striker

Meanwhile, Dutch rivals Feyenoord have signed Greece striker Angelos Charisteas from Ajax, the Rotterdam club have announced.

According to media reports, Feyenoord will pay 2.5 million euros ($3.21 million) for Charisteas, their first signing from arch-rivals Ajax in 14 years.

The 26-year-old, who scored the winning goal in the Euro 2004 final against Portugal, has agreed a three-year contract with Feyenoord.

Charisteas left Werder Bremen for Ajax in January 2005 but was never a first choice. He scored 10 goals in 31 league appearances.

Tevez has been a target for several of the top clubs in the English Premier League.



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