Ex-Brummie forward tasked with entertaining West Ham fans

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The conditions for Sam Allardyce keeping his West Ham job were made abundantly clear by Messrs Sullivan and Gold after the end of this season; entertain us next term or you’re out.

As someone who values his monthly paycheque, the former Bolton manager naturally agreed to those changes and is thought to be putting the final touches on a deal for the first player to be signed in the club’s new recruitment strategy.

In a statement made after Allardyce’s end-of-season meeting with the board, Gold and Sullivan expressed their desire for “improvements to the set-up of the playing and backroom staff to ensure the team provides more entertainment next season.”

While probably being priced out of a move for Lionel Messi, West Ham seem to have found an Argentine to thrust the responsibility of providing such attacking verve on.

Mauro Zarate is expected to complete a switch from childhood club Velez to Upton Park in the coming weeks, a move which will see the 27-year-old embark on his second stint in the English top flight.

During the 2007/08 campaign, Birmingham City loaned the Haedo native from Al-Saad in a bid to stave off relegation. The midlands club ultimately fell short in their survival attempts, despite Zarate’s four goals in four games towards the back end of that season.

A five-year stint in Italy brought fluctuating success, before Zarate moved back home to Velez for the start of this season.

18 league goals in 29 appearances followed to catch the eye of Europe’s scouts once more and it seems the Hammers have won the race for his signature.

Pacey Zarate would provide Allardyce with some variety in attack next season, having spent the majority of the last campaign not even using one before calling on one-dimensional target men Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.