Soccer

France midfielder Alou Diarra joins West Ham

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LONDON (AP)

France midfielder Alou Diarra has joined West Ham from French club Marseille.

Both clubs announced the deal on their websites Friday without giving any financial details or the length of contract. French reports estimated the transfer fee at ?2.5 million ($3.07 million ).

The 31-year-old Diarra is experienced at international level, having played 44 games for France and captaining his country several times under former coach Laurent Blanc.

He also came on for the injured Patrick Vieira in the 2006 World Cup final in which France lost to Italy on penalty kicks.

''I know a lot about West Ham as a club and when I knew they were interested in signing me, I was very happy and knew it would be a good choice for me,'' Diarra said on the English club's website. ''I see this as my chance in the Premier League to do well with West Ham. I hope that my experience can help and the fans will see me give my all in the matches.''

Diarra had a previous spell in England with Liverpool during the 2002-03 season, but did not play in the Premier League.

The defensive midfielder won the French title with both Lyon and Bordeaux and joined Marseille from Bordeaux last season. Diarra scored two goals in 50 games in all competitions, and helped Marseille win the League Cup and reach the Champions League quarterfinals.



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