Bassila heads for West Ham

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The Independent Football

West Ham were expecting to complete the loan signing of the French utility player Christian Bassila yesterday. Harry Redknapp has agreed to take the 29-year-old former Lyon man on loan from Rennes until the end of the season.

West Ham were expecting to complete the loan signing of the French utility player Christian Bassila yesterday. Harry Redknapp has agreed to take the 29-year-old former Lyon man on loan from Rennes until the end of the season.

He is unlikely to be involved in the Hammers game against Leicester at Upton Park today, but could be available for the match with Manchester United on Saturday.

Redknapp said: "He is a big midfielder who can also play centre-back. He grew up in the same under-21 team as Frédéric Kanouté and Thierry Henry and he will join us until the end of the season.

"He can play in several positions and will be a good player to have around because we only need one or two injuries and the squad becomes stretched."

Mark Fish is set to make his long-awaited return for South Africa after he was named on Tuesday in an 18-man squad for an African Nations Cup qualifier against Congo in Pointe Noire on September 3.

Earlier this year Fish said he was ending his international career because he was unhappy with the coach and wanted to concentrate on his club career with Bolton Wanderers in the First Division.

But last week he announced a change of heart and he has now been recalled, along with the captain, Lucas Radebe, and the goalkeeper Hans Vonk, who have also not played since the African Nations Cup in Ghana and Nigeria in February.

The coach, Trott Moloto, who will make way for thePortuguese coach Carlos Queiroz after the match in Congo, included one uncapped player - the striker Bradley August from the Danish club, Lyngby.

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