Premier League

Hammers target Zapata - Report

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Sat, 06 Jul 2013 09:54:00

Brighton defender Adam El-Abd has signed a new two-year contract with the south-coast club.

The Brighton-born 28-year-old, who had been interesting Barnsley, will stay at the Amex Stadium until the end of the 2014/15 season, which will see him complete 10 years with the club.

"I'm absolutely delighted to have signed the new deal," he told the club's official website.

"I love playing for the club and I can't wait for the season to start now.

"I've been keeping myself fit in the gym and although it's not the same as doing pre-season, I feel really good and I'll definitely be fit for the start of the season.

"The last 10 years have been amazing and I feel really honoured to have been granted a testimonial year by the club."

El-Abd has made over 250 appearances for Brighton since he made his first-team debut in 2003.

The 22-year-old striker is currently with Argentine giants Estudiantes and a host of clubs have been tracking the £10million-rated marksman.

Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Besiktas and Benfica have all shown an interest in the Colombian, who scored 14 goals last season in the Argentine top flight.

However, West Ham - who have strong links in South America - have been keeping tabs on Zapata for a number of months and they have now decided to make a move for the powerful 6ft 2in frontman.

Zapata is yet to make his full debut for Colombia, but it is believed he will be part of their squad before next summer's World Cup finals, which they are on course to qualify for.

Zapata is being tipped to become the next Colombian to break into European football following on from the likes of Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, who began on the same career path from their homeland, to Argentina and then Europe.

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