Hammers sign Ferdinand until 2010

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The Independent Online

The West Ham manager Alan Pardew said: "I'm overjoyed we have signed another of our top young players on a long-term contract and Anton fully deserves the new deal.

"He has made fantastic progress since I came to the club and I want him to be a big player for this club in the years to come.

"We now have all of our young players secured on long-term deals and that stability is paramount to the success we want to achieve at this club in the future."

Ferdinand has played in every Premiership match for the Londoners this season having gained a regular first-team place during the Hammers' promotion campaign last year.

The West Ham managing director Paul Aldridge said: "I am delighted. Having progressed through our youth academy, he has established himself as an important member of Alan Pardew's team and a firm favourite among the supporters. Anton was keen to commit his future to West Ham United and we believe he can help us to achieve the success we are aiming for in the future."

The Manchester City defender David Sommeil has decided to contest the violent-conduct charge lodged against him by the Football Association.

After taking observations from the match referee, Alan Wiley, the FA have launched a case against Sommeil for his studs-up tackle on Tottenham's Lee Young-Pyo during Spurs' 2-0 Premiership victory at Eastlands on Wednesday.

Sommeil is facing a three-match ban and was given the option of pleading guilty so he could start the suspension immediately. Instead, the 31-year-old has opted to have the case heard at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, which means he is now free to face Scunthorpe in the FA Cup today, but risks missing any fourth-round game, plus the Premiership encounters with Manchester United and Bolton that precede it.

Sommeil has the backing of his manager, Stuart Pearce, who, unlike most observers, felt the full-back's challenge came more out of self-defence than any intention to hurt the South Korean, who left the pitch with a badly bruised knee.

"It looked to me like the Tottenham guy was trying to smash the ball at David," Pearce said. "David has definitely caught the lad, but whether he is trying to turn away to shield himself or whether he has intentionally kicked him I am not sure. But he is not a nasty person and his disciplinary record bears that out."